Social Security Administration

  www.ssa.gov
  www.ssa.gov

Social Security Administration Reviews

Updated December 9, 2014
Updated December 9, 2014
227 Reviews
3.1
227 Reviews
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Carolyn W. Colvin
32 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance is great if you don't care about salary (in 17 reviews)

  • Flexible work schedule, Great work environment, Overtime availability pending budget, Option to work credit hours (in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • Budget Issues cut my position after being informed it would continue for a year (in 7 reviews)

  • 500 (I don't understand the arguments that federal employees make out better than private sector (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

46 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Social Insurance Specialist

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Claims Authorizer in Woodlawn, MD
    Former Employee - Claims Authorizer in Woodlawn, MD

    I worked at Social Security Administration full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Flextime, Overtime, Excellent Pay, Training and development,work/life balance

    Cons

    Poor Management, Terrible Backlogs of Cases, A lot of unhappy people

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be fair to everyone, not just your favorite employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Wouldn't recommend

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Attorney Adviser in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Attorney Adviser in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Social Security Administration full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Worked in three different ODARs (hearing offices), two ok, one abysmal. Good benefits, predictable hours, some decent people work here.

    Cons

    Some really messed up people work in some ODARs in positions of control, and can make your life miserable. Other offices have people in control who are just plain incompetent. My understanding is the good offices are ok to work at, but anywhere you work the writing is dull and you're only working toward retirement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management: come visit your ODARs, talk with the writers and support staff. You'll get a much better picture of what's going on than just listening to local admin's sugar coating.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    SSA

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous
    Current Employee - Anonymous

    I have been working at Social Security Administration

    Pros

    There is generous paid time off.

    Cons

    Budget issues. No room to grow or advance anymore.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop using the excess money at the end of the fiscal year on useless items just so you claim all the money was spent and needed. The government needs to find a better way to use this money rather than going on a shopping spree on the taxpayer's dime. Employee evaluation system also needs to be updated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    High Levels of Employee Despair

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Social Insurance Specialist in Baltimore, MD
    Former Employee - Social Insurance Specialist in Baltimore, MD

    I worked at Social Security Administration full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    A good place for those without high levels of education who just want a paycheck without working too hard. Flexible work hours, guaranteed time off, high salaries for non-professionals, guaranteed employment.

    Cons

    Very disfunctional. Poor management. Culture of low expectations and achievement. Limited promotional potential. Quality work not expected or recognized. Just a very sad work environment. High levels of employee despair. Employees not empowered. Not a good option for professionals who want to satisfy thier potential. Management promotes poor performers just to get them out of that department.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employees should be promoted based on merit, not "time in grade" or who they know. Should share information and authority down the line and not ignore employee advice.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Attorney work for the Social Security Administration is not real attorney work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Attorney Advisor in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Attorney Advisor in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at Social Security Administration full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Federal benefits are great. Automatic pay increases are clearly explained. We were allowed to dress business casual every day since we never left our cubicles.

    Cons

    The work is boring and monotonous. You'll be doing the same work in year 15 as you do on your first day. It's not real attorney work so the longer you stay, the more pigeon-holed you become.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My direct supervisor stopped speaking to me after I disagreed (as did all the other writers) during a writers meeting. The management was childish, uncommunicative, and ineffective.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Not bad, for a federal agency

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Attorney Advisor in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Attorney Advisor in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Social Security Administration full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent health benefits and medical/vacation leave. Secure employment, low-stress work, freedom to slack off.

    Cons

    A crowd of low-performers, bullied by a union that facilitates the continued low performance of its employees. Management is completely oblivious to any concept of improvement and does develop talent or provide assistance to improve lower performance .

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advance full federal employment practice overhaul.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Just ok

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Decision-writer in Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - Decision-writer in Phoenix, AZ

    I worked at Social Security Administration full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    salary and benefits were generally ok; co-workers were nice

    Cons

    work VERY repetitive; not much work-life balance

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on improving morale among employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Limited upward mobility

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Claims Representative
    Current Employee - Claims Representative

    I have been working at Social Security Administration full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The job is local & excellent pay. Flexible work hours. You can start from 7-9 am and then do your 8 hrs. Small to medium size office environment. They offer "credit hours" which you can earn instead of overtime pay up to 24 hours per pay period and it can be used in lieu of your annual or sick pay.

    Cons

    Limited promotion opportunities. If there is an opening, and if you were not already asked to apply by management or is favored by management, applying is a joke. The postings are required by law to appear impartial, but management already knows who they want to promote. Promotion openings are not true opportunities, just a formality for management to select who they want to move upward. Lots of political games and favoritism. There is no short term disability pay since short term disability taxes are not taken out of our pay so if an employee does not have enough accrued annual or sick leave, it will be unpaid leave unless others donate their time to you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer promotional opportunities to other qualified candidates instead of just your "protege" or friends. The open secret promotion process is creating resentment & dissentions amongst your subordinates.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Challenging to say the least

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Title XVI Claims Representative in Balch Springs, TX
    Current Employee - Title XVI Claims Representative in Balch Springs, TX

    I have been working at Social Security Administration full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good pay, some nice co workers the ones not over medicated.

    Cons

    You get lied to on an hourly basis by the public AND your managers. Management doesn't care about anything but stats. I thought I was going to be helping people not hurting them. I also didn't expect to be lied to during my interview by the management team. But I was. I hated seeing other employees so stressed out they would sit in their cars in the parking lot before and after work and cry.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None. My office was horribly managed. But I am sure others are not that bad. If there is a possible bomb in the building and a SWAT team with dogs is next to my cube, I want a little message on my screen as to why and how to proceed. They just pretended nothing bad ever happened so they didn't have to file incident reports. He had no chance of success as new hires to this office. none.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Crazy bureaucracy, constant rule changes to keep up with, very out of date computer systems!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Service Representative in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Service Representative in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at Social Security Administration full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -Work/life balance. You will get in trouble for working more than 8 hours a day.
    -Opportunity to do fun side projects, such as training presentations, Work Group, Take as Our Kids to Work Day, Combined Federal Campaign, Coordinating Food Banks, creating fliers, etc.

    Cons

    -Dealing with a very poor, uneducated demographic who are usually angry because they did not get their check
    -Monotonous. You must ask the same questions over and over again to verify someone's identity. The same issues come up everyday.
    -Old out of date computer systems. The main program is in DOS format! There is a hodgepodge of other systems, but no integrated mainframe. They are all impossible to keep up with. We even clocked in on paper. A crazy amount of time was spent inputing time.
    -Older employees are very set in their ways and not exactly ready to welcome new talent. The environment felt very middle school with people tattling and gossiping behind your back. Older staff can be condescending.
    -Rules are constantly changing. There are so many different rules and situations that come up constantly, and it is impossible to keep up.
    -Moving up is difficult also because there are rules about which office you can transfer to and which positions. In the Service Representative position, many people will stay there for 3-5 years before getting promoted. The next up is the Claims Representative, but good luck getting to the Regional Office. We were only allowed to apply for promotions within 55 miles of the office, and there were no lateral movements, unless there was some sort of hardship.
    -Insane bureaucracy. Everything has to go through the regional office, which may or may not get back to you. Their answer might be ridiculous, but you just have to follow it.
    -Management sometimes isn't technically sound. Some have done a management program and not actually done the job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Give new employees a chance. Don't ask for suggestions and then give reasons why they won't work! Be positive.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Social Security Administration Photos

Parking lot view of the Social Security Administration headquarter office located in Woodlawn, MD (Photo by Coolcaesar - available under CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 & GFDL, v1.178)
2121 Crystal Drive

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