Social Security Administration

  www.ssa.gov
  www.ssa.gov
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Disability Examiner, Arizona

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Disability Examiner in Tucson, AZ
Current Employee - Disability Examiner in Tucson, AZ

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

Pros

--pay & benefits are good for the region
--quiet, physically comfortable environment
--co-workers are decent people
--you can work fairly independently
--the organization has an important mission; you are helping people
--it's stable and fairly predictable
--they make an effort to train you
--great job is you are smart but have only a HS degree

Cons

--senior managers have few management skills and spend 75% of their time managing up
--promotion is largely based on seniority, favoritism, and nepotism
--it's fine for 2-3 years then the lack of mobility becomes apparent...and, when combined with the favoritism, it becomes obvious it may take 10 years to get promoted
--it's difficult to do quality work because this is a white-collar factory environment - the emphasis is on numbers & once you figure out the best (only?) way to meet those, you have to sell your soul to meet your quota....in rare instances you may deny claims you think could be allowances because taking the risk of an allowance may result in an "error" for you (you can only have two such "errors" per year). Doing high quality work takes more time and after awhile it's a losing game
--among all positions in the agency (management, IT, medical & psych consultants, and clerical staff) the DE job is the most stressful and the most mission-critical; however, you are treated like you are completely expendable and are not rewarded for measurably good performance
--you have lots of time off but good luck taking more than 1 week of vacation at a time, and always two months or more apart, because you will come back to a huge, ugly pile of work (it is impossible to avoid this no matter how much extra work you do beforehand) - whereas managers routinely take multiple weeks off at a time
--unless you started out with few skills, you will gain virtually no transferable skills in this position - the work is complex but it is a closed system and the knowledge you gain is only about adjudicating disability claims (again, few opportunities)
--high attrition, for all the reasons stated above
--due to current economic times, this agency is stagnant at a time when people desperately need services; therefore, you have a relentless caseload and claimants who've waited a long time for their claims to be processed

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Management requires actual skills. If you have never received mentoring, education, or some type of training in these skills, please go find mentoring, training or education. Don't assume that because someone liked you, then you got promoted, that you instantly and magically understand how to manage people. It's a small agency, get a clue about what word on the street is....don't just talk to your friends, spouses, family members....

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Approves of CEO

227 Other Employee Reviews for Social Security Administration (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1.  

    Lacking to say the least

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

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

    Pros

    Depending where you're placed there can be a good family atmosphere within the office

    Cons

    Administering Federal benefits is mentally draining

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do your best to make your offices work together

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

    Beginning to look for new opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Case Technician, GS-9 in Omaha, NE
    Current Employee - Lead Case Technician, GS-9 in Omaha, NE

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

    Pros

    -federal pension
    -past military time counts toward retirement
    -good pay
    -generous leave and credit hours are usually available

    Cons

    -extreme distrust of employees by management
    -promotions can be hard to come by
    -work can be tedious, little control for employees over how work is accomplished
    -overwhelming workload
    -no tuition assistance

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow more of your employees to telework. It is incredible to me that legal assistants are only able to work from home with paper records, not electronic records. Attorney and judges in ODAR are able to work from home on laptops. Try to build more of a team atmosphere. Set realistic goals. Conduct monthly training to update employees on regulations are rules that are constantly changing. Pitch in to help when it is the end of the month and the office is trying to reach the dispositions goal!!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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