woman teleworking (Creative Lab/Shutterstock.com)

SSA employees telework their way through backlog

A months-long backlog of claims at the Social Security Administration is being drawn down fast -- and the employees doing the work offer an interesting explanation: Telework. 

After a long White House-ordered cutback on remote work, SSA has resumed increased telework during the COVID-19 crisis -- and that increase has permitted more efficient processing of new claims and appeals of denied claims, according to an NPR report

The report quotes an official with the American Federation of Government Employees as well as official SSA productivity reports. Over the past month and a half, according to those sources, the backlog of claims has fallen by 11%, an improvement the sources say is a result of telework. 

Reader comments

Mon, May 11, 2020

Telework works! It'about time all realize the benefits of a WIN WIN situation! As long as productivity is monitored, it works!

Thu, May 7, 2020

Like I said yesterday, I think telework is going to be the lifesaver we need here. ( I don't understand why this comment wasn't posted sooner. I tried yesterday. Maybe I somehow didn't enter the I'm no a robot code.)

Thu, May 7, 2020

The report is one-sided. Since the public-facing offices of SSA are closed to in-office visitors, there is less incoming work which is what is allowing the agency to reduce backlogs. The article implies that telework is the cause of increased efficiency, which is unsupported.

Thu, May 7, 2020

I work at SSA, and for field offices, the main reason we are able to eliminate backlogs at this time is because we are not assisting customers in-office. This has created a huge reduction in front office workloads for field office employees that has allowed them to focus on these backlogged workloads. Of course, we expect to be inundated with in-office visitors and the accompanying workloads they will bring once we reopen our offices.

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