Social Security Administration

  www.ssa.gov
  www.ssa.gov
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Social Security Administration Reviews

Updated September 8, 2014
Updated September 8, 2014
206 Reviews
3.1
206 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Carolyn W. Colvin
28 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance is great if you don't care about salary (in 16 reviews)

  • Benefits were great and flexible work schedule (in 15 reviews)


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

  • Promotions are hard to come by because of budget issues (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

57 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Most People I Know Are Looking To Leave

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

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

    Pros

    For attorneys in the current atmosphere (dime a dozen/no jobs/under employed), this place seems like a dream. Most Attorney Advisors here work only 40 hours per week with no pressure to stay late or take work home. If you work overtime, they are paid time and a half for it. The pay isn't awful. You can work from home three days per week if you choose to. The new building on Wabash Avenue looks nice (if that's where you're stationed).

    Cons

    It's hit or miss with your supervisor. Some are truly amazing, wonderful, kind, generous, encouraging people. Some are pure wretchedness - the devil incarnate. Each Branch Chief (direct supervisor to the Attorney Advisors in the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review/Office of Appellate Operations) runs their branch like their own personal fiefdom with their own rules, their own unforgivable sins, and their own punishment structure. There is very little oversight from the Directors (the supervisors above Branch Chiefs) and what the Branch Chiefs say goes. Those Branch Chiefs your friends work under may be laid back, do things to raise morale, and raise the branch's productivity while your Branch Chief may be the exact polar opposite. The branches almost never "shake up," so if your boss is one of the evil ones, they often have to die or retire before you get another shot at someone who isn't possessed by the devil. This is particularly important to the ALMIGHTY PRODUCTION NUMBER (all bow). Attorney Advisors in ODAR/OAO have "production" they have to meet to keep their jobs. Each case an Attorney Advisor closes has some numerical value attached to it that allows a simple algorithm to calculate your "production number" at the end of each month. That number is everything. You lose your job or keep your job based on it. You are promoted or rot in your cube based on it. You have your transfers approved or denied based on it. You are granted monetary bonuses or denied monetary bonuses based on it. It is everything. It is what you think about in the morning when you wake up the thing you think about at night before you go to sleep. You dream about it. You pray to it. And, here the most important thing I can say: it is all that matters to management, because your production makes them look good or bad. They will say other things matter for promotions, but it's not true, and even some Directors will admit it. Now, if you have a good Branch Chief, they do things to "help" your production. If you have a bad Branch Chief, they do things that "hurt" your production. That seems counter intuitive, but it's true. These bad Branch Chiefs make it twice as difficult for you to make a good production as the good Branch Chiefs, but they just expect that you'll work twice as hard to make your numbers. You can imagine what the team spirit is like in those branches.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Morale has been horribly, horribly low for a while now. Upper management released an anonymous Rate-Your-Direct-Supervisor Review and many of us were honest about the abuses that regularly occur in our branch, but nothing was ever done about it. It's like we clicked "submit" and it went off into outer space. That didn't boost morale. I think it lowered it further. All Branch Chiefs should be forced to follow one set of rules. It's ludicrous that each Branch Chief treats their branch like a kingdom and the Attorney Advisors as their surfs. Employees don't leave companies, they leave bad supervisors. Everyone I know, with the exception of maybe three attorneys, is on USA Jobs daily looking to escape the horror. If you have a good Branch Chief, the job is boring but doable. If you have a bad Branch Chief, everyone is banging down the doors in between praying to God to save them and get them into a new position in SSA or another agency entirely.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Hard to beat their pay and benefits at entry level

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Benefit Authorizer  in  Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Benefit Authorizer in Kansas City, MO

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

    Pros

    When starting a career out of college, it's hard to beat what's offered at Social Security. After a year, I was making over $50k, which in Kansas City, was quite a bit for a 23 year old. I had optional overtime, which pushed my salary to nearly $60k. I had great benefits, smart coworkers, and it greatly expanded my knowledge set, which allows me to pursue other jobs outside the agency.

    Cons

    Promotion can be difficult. The hiring process is quiz based, to protect workers from favoritism, but in reality is promotes lying on applications. Not knowing that I HAD to lie, it's been years since I've been promoted, despite having stellar performance reviews and details that most others in my position have not had.

    Work can be tedious, and part of my job was on the phones, which were a brutal part of the job.

    The work can also be subject to budget and congress. Overtime may disappear for years on end if congress cuts funding, bonuses may go away, and a government shutdown means you don't get paid until it ends.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change your promotion practices. You aren't getting good people in your jobs because they aren't performanced based promotions. They are quiz based, which anyone can just make up answers on. And a lot do. I've had managers tell me that I need to lie to get promoted for god's sake.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Service representative

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

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

    Pros

    Decent career starting position out of undergrad

    Cons

    Did not like office culture, or working with public

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

    Good overtime poor work environment

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

    I worked at Social Security Administration full-time

    Pros

    Easy to work overtime on weekends and also can have credit hours when you don't have enough leave for time off

    Cons

    Dealing with career government employees can be frustrating. Fixing their mistakes. also had abestos in the building

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the people who do the work

    Doesn't Recommend
  6.  

    Working for the Govenrment is not all it's cracked up to ber

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

    I worked at Social Security Administration full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Stable, great benefits, easy work

    Cons

    Boring, unfullfilling work, can be very political

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7.  

    Just ok

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Case Technician  in  New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Case Technician in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    A good place to start a government career. Ssa is a big agency with many departments. Some jobs are better than others so be selective. The senior case technician position can be a demanding job at an average pay grade. My advice is to learn the job and within a year or two look for better opportunities.

    Cons

    Promotion politics
    Old computer systems
    Demanding judges

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Appreciate your staff. Train management better in how to adapt to employee needs. Be more consistent in you promotion practices.

  8.  

    Great co-workers but stressful dealing with the public

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

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, flexible schedule, decent pay and room for advancement

    Cons

    The stress of dealing with the public and having to deal with looking over your shoulder when you leave the building. It's not a job for everyone and if you don't have the patience or desire to deal with difficult customers you will not make it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more supportive of your team. Make better decisions and accept feedback from your employees. Spend less time in your office and more time getting to know your personnel.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Very flexible hours and schedule, I work with great people, HUGE work loads, limited promotion opportunity bc of budget.

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

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

    Pros

    LOTS OF FOOD, vacation and great benefits

    Cons

    angry public, huge work loads, pay isn't wonderful

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    new mgr is wonderful

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Benefit Authorizer  in  Birmingham, AL
    Current Employee - Benefit Authorizer in Birmingham, AL

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

    Pros

    Flex time, leave, overtime pay

    Cons

    Prefer not to say at this time

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No advice

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Claims Representative is one of the most challenging jobs you can have in Social Security.

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

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

    Pros

    Dealing with the public is rewarding.

    Cons

    Dealing with the public is frustrating.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your people like adults and they will respond to it like adults. Treat your people like children and you will get children.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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