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Larson, Reed Ask SSA Inspector General to Analyze Customer Service During COVID-19 Pandemic

July 22, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) and Republican Leader Tom Reed (NY-23) sent two letters to the Social Security Administration (SSA) Inspector General Gail S. Ennis asking for a review of SSA’s telephone service during the COVID-19 pandemic and SSA’s process for obtaining medical evidence for disability claims.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, beneficiaries are relying on their Social Security now more than ever. Except in dire need, beneficiaries are unable to access in-person services and are relying instead on telephone services.

In addition, SSA requests millions of medical records each year from healthcare facilities and health professionals across the country to obtain evidence of an individual’s medical condition.  The medical records request is an important part of the disability process, but the most recent report on this topic from the OIG is from 2001 and does not reflect changes to the process over the past nearly 20 years.

“Social Security benefits are earned by hard-working Americans and we must do everything we can to ensure people are receiving the quality customer service they deserve.  These reports will provide important information to make sure Americans are receiving the service they expect and deserve from SSA,” said Larson and Reed.

The letter on telephone service can be found here.

The letter on medical evidence of record can be found here.