Shutterstock imageID: 281684063 By Mark Van Scyoc

Social Security Administration confirms sudden end to telework for thousands

The Social Security Administration has confirmed that it is shutting down telework on Nov. 8 for thousands of its employees, in a sudden and, to critics, unnecessary move that is bound to disrupt their work and their private lives—according to a new report on

The shift applies to customer-facing parts of the agency as well as some support staff, the report said.

In the report, the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents many SSA employees, acknowledged the move is permitted under their new contract—but the union simply did not expect it to come so soon. The agency defended the switch as needed to better manage customer service.

Reader comments

Mon, Nov 4, 2019

It sounds as if the right checks and balances were not in place. They now run the risk of hurting morale for those individuals looking forward to teleworking and the ones not abusing the system.

Sun, Nov 3, 2019

Customer service has been impacted more by attrition rates and hiring freezes along with office closures, the stress of repeated threats of a shut-down while forced to work without pay coming in... than it has been by telework. The agency plans mass hirings during this time as well so they can sing praises to the improvement of backlogs (existing long before telework)... and say look what an improvement was made by bringing people back to the office. Offices closed and hours shortened have increased delays- not telework. When only 25% of your operations staff is on telework and the majority of those people do their work via computer regardless and have no contact with the public— this is not going to improve customer service to bring them in. That is a joke. An embarrassment to proffer that as an excuse when the math doesn’t add up. Unfair to some employees - agreed... but telework as the cause for the increase in wait times on the 800 line and in the field... that’s an insult to my intelligence and yours. If control and improvements in accountability are needed these can be done remotely. The technology is there. Wasn’t Saul seeking to improve technology anyway? Looks like he went back in time with this Fred Flinstone leadership plan. Well done... let’s go backward instead of focusing on what we all know are the real culprits... attrition, hiring freezes, office closures and reduced hours open to the public.

Fri, Nov 1, 2019

It seems that the elimination of teleworking is done on the basis that management does not trust its employees to do a full day work effort at home or at another center. In the big outfit in Bethesda, managers supposedly telework when in fact they are on vacation and do not want to use their annual leave. This is a real common entitlement these non-performers think they deserve. The management is the one full of crooks and lazy ineffectual excuses called bosses.

Fri, Nov 1, 2019 ArmyVet1970

I’ve never had a problem at the SS office in NJ

Fri, Nov 1, 2019

mm - you sure about that? the person who wants it canceled seems to have seen some pretty lame telework at their agency and thats what they say was going on social security. it's a pretty important one to not mess up.

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