CONGRESSMAN MORELLE CALLS ON SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION TO ADDRESS SERIOUS DEFICIENCIES IN DISCHARIGING ITS DUTIES
(Rochester, NY) – Today, Congressman Joe Morelle called on the Social Security Administration (SSA) to address deficiencies in customer service that have led to significant economic and emotional hardship for residents of Monroe County and across the nation. In addition, Rep. Morelle released a letter sent to SSA Commissioner Saul, as well as Inspector General Ennis, detailing concerns about the agency’s culture, accuracy of information, response times, and more.
“In my first year in office, my team has heard from countless constituents who have struggled to navigate the Social Security Administration and receive the benefits they are rightfully owed,” said Rep. Morelle. “We have identified systemic issues that cause the most vulnerable in our community to suffer unnecessary emotional and financial hardship. Government agencies should function to support these individuals, not burden them—which is why I’m calling on the Social Security Administration to address these concerns immediately.”
Since Rep. Morelle has taken office, his staff has opened more than 120 SSA-related cases for constituents. It is consistently the second largest portfolio of casework the office takes on. To date, the office has helped return over $500,000 of incorrectly withheld benefits to constituents.
Community members have raised alarming concerns about the poor customer experience they receive, as well as egregiously long wait times—in some cases, multiple years have elapsed before constituents were awarded their rightful benefits.
In light of these challenges, Rep. Morelle is calling on the Social Security Administration to provide explanation on what is being done to ensure SSA staff are properly trained; to ensure offices are adequately staffed; to ensure SSA responds to inquiries in a timely matter; to improve employee moral; to ensure rules and regulations are streamlined; and to better protect our most vulnerable citizens from inadvertent collections that cause significant financial hardship.
The full letter is below.