“Thank you for calling Social Security. Please hold, someone will assist you shortly. Your call is important to us.”
We’ve all been there. Several hours spent on hold with Social Security can tax the mental patient’s quotient of even the most seasoned among us. From single parents to workers who were injured on the job, Social Security and its programs are invaluable for getting back on our financial feet.
From hardworking single parents to individuals whose lives were affected by workplace injuries, Social Security and its programs provide crucial support for getting back on our financial feet. Yet, navigating the system can be overwhelming and stressful. Even with our paperwork in order and questions prepared, visits to local Social Security offices can leave us feeling anxious. Expressing our opinions on service improvements or advocating for ourselves when policies aren’t being followed often leads to scripted explanations that fail to make sense or even encounters with rudeness.
Recognizing the need for change, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has taken a commendable step toward improvement by offering those who use their services an avenue to express their opinions and they’ll even pay us for it!
This initiative is made possible through a partnership with Mathematica, a reputable non-partisan research company specializing in conducting surveys and gathering data to enhance processes for various organizations.
One such opportunity is the National Beneficiary Survey, a comprehensive questionnaire designed to gather valuable insights from Social Security recipients. This survey, which typically takes around 60 minutes to complete, allows participants to pause and resume at their convenience, accommodating even the busiest of schedules. To take part in the survey, you can contact Mathematica at 1-844-684-9433 or visit their website at https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.ssa.gov/disabilityresearch/NBS_2023.html__;!!KaT0UFWULQ!vitGlnoNUGIG11ArtzgtbwmJYJZtEkx8JzcoASaRMQDzoe0ITu9Uj_roMOrqdipCtv0Sa1dL9S9e7iWc5_yTJg$ for more information.
My experience with this survey was seamless. I contacted them while on lunch break at work and spoke with an agent who clearly explained the nature of the survey. Questions ranged from my feelings on Social Security’s options, to my opinions on the improvements SSA should make to my income. When I was not comfortable with a question, I told the agent that I would rather not answer, and they moved onto the next one. I also had to stop halfway through and the agent informed me that they were open till 8:00 Pacific time, which accommodates for busy schedules. It felt like a safe avenue to express my opinions and let’s be honest, we could all use an extra $40!
While this survey is most-definitely a step toward smoother waters for future users of SSA’s myriad of options, notices for taking these surveys are sent out via the usual print, braille, or CD. This means that while you may have received your notice in the mail, it may still be in your to-scan list, or you may not even have the means to access it. Their webpage does say that the survey is for “select participants”, so if you have not received your survey yet it might be worth a call regardless to check if you can contribute.
Your participation in this survey empowers you to contribute directly to the improvement of Social Security services. By sharing your experiences, opinions, and suggestions, you can help shape a system that truly meets the needs of its recipients. Together, we can foster a more responsive and efficient Social Security Administration, ensuring a smoother journey towards financial well-being for all.