Dealing with a bureaucracy such as Social Security Administration, is an absolute nightmare for the average U.S. Citizen. One the best ways to get answers is to contact a SSA field office directly. But therein lies another issue. The average wait time (on hold) in 2020 was 16 minutes, down for the high of 24 minutes in 2018. One factor is because of COVID-19. Social security closed 1,200 field offices, with that, the call load was then shared among the remaining open field offices.
Another complaint, after surviving the wait time, is that the answer is all too often wrong.
The AARP March 2022 issue lists the “5 Ways To Beat the Bureaucracy”.
- Avoid calling during busy times
Avoid the first week of the month and every Wednesday as payments are processed
- Skip the phone and seek help online
A silver lining from the pandemic is it’s now easier to do things online.
- Explore the Social Security website
If you are receiving conflicting answers to questions research the issue(s) at ssa.gov It’s full of very valuable information to show the SSA rep.
- Research AARP’s Social Security Resource Center at aarp.org/socialsecurity
Calculators, tools, and articles, plus the ability to submit questions.
- Consider Hiring an Expert
Seek and hire a money manager especially just before retirement, the decisions of when and how to file are tricky. The SSA rep. is there just to process the claim, etc., and will note give advice.