Accession Number : ADA187667

Title :   Social Security: Telephone Accessibility.

Corporate Author : GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC HUMAN RESOURCES DIV

PDF Url : ADA187667

Report Date : Sep 1987

Pagination or Media Count : 13

Abstract : This report tested accessibility to the Social Security Administration (SSA) by telephone. Specifically, we measured the extent to which telephone calls to SSA's local offices and teleservice centers during a single workweek were answered directly, put on hold before being answered, got a busy signal, went unanswered, or were disconnected. As agreed with your office, we did not include miniteleservice centers or statewide answering units in our test. Nationwide, 34 teleservice centers-SSA's primary telephone service facilities-serve major metropolitan areas or entire states and provide service to about 50 percent of the nation's population. SSA has 32 other central answering units that are dedicated to answering telephone inquiries from the public-12 commonly referred to as statewide answering units and 20 miniteleservice centers-which cover areas as large as entire states or as small as a single district. They provide service to about 11 percent of the nation's population. The remaining 39 percent of the population receives telephone service directly from 627 local offices that are not supported by any of the centralized answering facilities. In summary, SSA representatives answered, during the test period, about two of every three calls from the public directly or within 2 minutes of being put on hold, by GAO estimates. As a group, local offices were more easily accessible than teleservices centers. Success in reaching SSA fluctuated by day of the week, with Monday being the most difficult day for getting calls answered.

Descriptors :   *SOCIAL SECURITY, *TELEPHONE SYSTEMS, ACCESS, NATIONS, POPULATION, URBAN AREAS

Subject Categories : Economics and Cost Analysis
      Non-radio Communications

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE