Long Wait at Social Security

Since 2011, Social Security has lost nearly 11,000 employees, and weekly field office hours have been reduced from 35 to 27.   I read about this in LifeHealthPro, a magazine for the insurance industry.

The article summarizes a report on Social Security:

From July 2011 to November 2013, average wait times at field offices more than doubled, from 14.4 minutes to 30.5 minutes.

Reduced hours limited the time available for appointments, resulting in clients waiting two months to be seen.

Fewer hours led to longer lines that sometimes stretched outside the doors of field offices.

As for people waiting two months to get an appointment in a local Social Security office, most of my clients in Tucson, AZ have said they were told they could not make an appointment.  When they called 800-772-1213, they were told to go into the local office and wait.   I can say from personal experience that the wait will be at least two hours.

Most people turning 65 can and should enroll in Medicare on line.  Same goes for signing up to receive Social Security benefits. But if paperwork needs to be presented (like the story I just wrote about Wendy and her name change), people need to go into a local office so they know their paperwork was received and put into the system.

My clients who have gone to the local Social Security offices in Tucson (there are two of them) have had only good things to say about the service they received.  They did say the wait was long – but worth it to know they had been enrolled in Medicare right there on the spot.

When applying for Medicare on line, I suggest you start at  Medicare.gov because there is a link that takes you directly to the right page at SSA.gov.  The SSA.gov home page has too much information to easily figure out which link you need to use.  Here’s a picture of the Medicare.gov home page and link:

medicare.gov

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3 Responses to "Long Wait at Social Security"

  1. Linda Powell says:

    Need info re: assistance paying for an orthopedic brace. Per my health plan I’ve a copay which I’m not able to pay.
    DOB: 12-03-1949
    Memid: M20118985
    Plan: Phoenix Health Plans
    Auth/preauth#:20150825144700064/Hangar orthopedics&prosthesis
    Received from phps an approval

    Can Medicare savings plan assist with payment of copay⁉
    Thxs
    Linda Powell

  2. Denise says:

    Are you on AHCCCS? Phoenix has Advantage plans that work with AHCCCS and your AHCCCS plan would cover the 20% co-insurance. (People on Medicare also get help from AHCCCS if their income is less than $1,000 per month.) If you are on a “regular” Phoenix Health plan, you have 20% co-insurance for prosthetic devices. The Medicare Savings Plan (MSP) (for people with income below $1,330 per month) does not help with co-pays or co-insurance. The MSP only pays your Medicare premium.

    You should ask Hanger if they have a program to help people who cannot afford to pay 20% of the bill.

  3. Linda Powell says:

    I’ve inquired at Hangar and they referred me to u. I really need this knee brace. My knee/leg is getting worse.

    Advise please

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