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SSA to open offices to the public as agency staffing issues continue.

Date: 07-04-2022
Subject: SSA to open offices to the public as agency staffing issues continue
Amid a struggle to hire more employees at the Social Security Administration, agency workers are ramping up to provide in-person services at local offices. That will start on April 7, just about a week after many of those workers returned to the office themselves on March 30.

Along with hiring issues, the agency faces problems with its phone system for customers. That could place additional strain on current employees when the agency starts in-person services, representatives from the American Federation of Government Employees said.

“We have been transparent with our employees and the public about telephone problems, which we are working hard to resolve,” SSA said in an email to Federal News Network.

Inadequate funding under the fiscal 2022 budget exacerbates the hiring and retention challenges, SSA added.

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The appropriations are “not sufficient to provide the level of service the public requires, as our funding has remained relatively flat for the previous four years,” SSA said. “The 2022 enacted level is nearly $850 million short of the president’s fiscal 2022 budget.”

The agency said the flat budget contributes to staffing challenges that delay results at the customer end.

“It will require us to delay needed hires, including teleservice center staff and information technology improvements,” SSA said. “We will have less overtime available to help address increased demand from people returning to our offices for in-person service.”

The agency announced in a blog post on April 4 that it will open its doors to the public on April 7. SSA employees returned to the office last week after the agency reached an agreement with its three unions in January about return-to-office plans.

Source Name:-federalnewsnetwork

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