Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security, recently received an honor as a 2020 Influencer in Aging by PBS’s Next Avenue, a digital publication dedicated to covering issues for people 50 and older. The list honors advocates, researchers, and thought leaders who are changing how people collectively age and think about aging. Commissioner Saul earned the distinction for being an innovative leader and making customer service his top priority since his confirmation in 2019.
“When I came in, the first thing I did was make it very clear that our job at the agency, meaning the whole team, was to serve the public. Customer service is the most important feature–that’s the mojo here, and that’s what we are dedicated to do,” said Commissioner Saul. “The global pandemic has changed the way we do business, and I think it will be changed forever. We must provide the public with additional online, remote service, and self-service options that we all expect from organizations today.”
The agency has made tremendous progress in improving service delivery, despite the unprecedented times. Commissioner Saul has led the agency to significantly reduce the wait time for a disability hearing, offer remote hearings via video or telephone, hire new employees, improve staff training, and streamline workflows and communications. His full interview with Next Avenue is available at www.nextavenue.org/for-social-securitys-chief-andrew-saul-customer-service-is-job-1/.
During his interview, Commissioner Saul highlighted two topics that are especially relevant during the COVID pandemic and holiday season: scam calls and Social Security’s online services.
Social Security continues to raise public awareness, particularly during the holiday season, about telephone impersonation schemes. These calls include scammers pretending to be government employees or requesting cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for purported Social Security number problems. The agency urges the public to remain vigilant, hang up on these fraudsters, and report the call to Social Security’s Office of the Inspector General at oig.ssa.gov.
A safe and secure way to conduct business with Social Security is through the agency’s website, where people can create their my Social Security account, a personalized online service. Through a personal my Social Security account, people can request a replacement Social Security card, check their Social Security Statement, apply for benefits, manage their benefits, and more. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount for more information.
Agency employees continue to work remotely to provide the vital services the public relies on through online services and phone services, and offices are not able to accept in-person visitors at this time, except by appointment for dire need situations, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus for more information about services during the pandemic.
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