Social Security Administration Reviews | Glassdoor

Social Security Administration Reviews

Updated April 21, 2017
582 reviews

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582 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • My advice to you if you have a private sector job that is paying you more to think twice before taking this job (in 13 reviews)

  • Micromanagement, no room for growth unless you're in a clique (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Partially disabled"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Partially Disabled in Conway, AR
    Current Employee - Partially Disabled in Conway, AR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I'm able and willing to work part time, about 20 hours per week.

    Cons

    I don't know of any downside.

    Advice to Management

    I have always been dependable, honest with all my former employers.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "No growth in legal without JD"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Administrative Assistant in San Antonio, TX
    Former Employee - Legal Administrative Assistant in San Antonio, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Social Security Administration full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Hours and flexible schedules offered; pay and benefits are adequate; it's monotonous, if you like that sort of thing. Predictable

    Cons

    If you are here as a Case Technician or Senior Case Technician, you will never rise beyond a GS 8. Ever. Case opinions could be written by properly trained CT/SCTs who could be paralegals, but they stopped those career tracks. Now, only way to get above GS 8 is by having a JD. Not very likely if you in mid career, in which case you can be a paralegal at a law firm and likely do much better.

    Advice to Management

    Return to a model of career progression for your legal assistants. Case opinions are not that legally dense so that they need to be written by attorneys. Also, judges could be required to do a minimum percentage of on the record and bench decisions to reduce case opinion/decision writing. There are also administrative law changes that need to be enacted to seal off some of the obvious abuse by some members of the public upon this agency.


  3. "Great Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Claims Representative in Chattanooga, TN
    Former Employee - Claims Representative in Chattanooga, TN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Social Security Administration full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Opportunity to develop different skills such as multi tasking, managing different cases, traiining available

    Cons

    opportunity to advance are slim


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Do not risk your future (ambition/growth/learning)."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fremont, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fremont, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Federal holidays, 8 hour work day,

    Cons

    This is for all the young and ambitious individuals: Do not risk your time and future at SSA. Do not apply to this agency because you will waste your time if you deem your time important. I worked with this agency for three years plus meanwhile seeking opportunities elsewhere. Now that I found another opportunity right now, I left. The manager that hired few employees along me lied to retain us in this agency, promising us as many things as many that you will meet in this agency telling you flowery stories but lie in reality. The nature of work from the top down is extremely stressful and extremely boring. Secondly, this agency lacks proper leadership and management that understands leadership. While an employees' effort is supposed to be recognized, this agency does the opposite. The managers and supervisors keep their employees stuck in one position and do not let their employees grow as they use their employees to produce the statistics they need to answer above. The office I worked in had all employees stuck in one position for over 20 years or so. Each employee, I spoke to in the office complained of not having the opportunity to move on despite their continuous effort. I also faced prejudice and discrimination in this agency. The union proved to be useless as it was unable to resolve any of my matters. The branch I worked in had a manager who made/would make sexual remarks to the female employees, which is why he was pushed to resign to avoid legal action against him. Gladly, the women to whom he made sexual remarks still took him to the court. Many people complained to union for the management not having them promote to next GS level or step for no reasons. The major issues with the agency has been boring work, incompetent management, and gossiping females (majority work force-all elderly women). I also worked under a racist supervisor. She showed extreme prejudice. You will meet many people in this agency who will tell you that they have been “playing this game” for the longest time to be where they are at. This agency also plays another tactful game. They name it as “detail,” which means they will give you a false sense of promotion for few months and bring you right back to the position. My humble suggestion to all of you who want to apply in this agency is to seek employment elsewhere where you are around great people who can nurture you as a professional and those who see your skill set as their strength. Do not waste time here as my time has been wasted dealing with incompetent and prejudiced management that’s extremely horrible. Make a wise move. This agency also lacks proper equipment, means old telephones, old computers, old software, broken equipment. i do not recall a single month where phones worked properly, printers worked properly or had a smooth day. I won't ever waste my time with federal government again.

    Advice to Management

    Do not use your field office employees to look good for yourself and run them like animals. They work hard and deserve to be promoted. While you as managers and supervisors are scared that you won't get new employees, do not ruin your employees' life by keeping them under your foot.

    To the upper management: Have an evaluation team for branch managers and supervisors who play dirty tricks on their employees yet go by undetected. Promote employees on time to the next GS level.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Fair Assessment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Disability Specialist in Phila, PA
    Current Employee - Disability Specialist in Phila, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Social Security Administration full-time

    Pros

    Excellent flex time, good benefits, decent salary, and job security. Can really make a difference in people's lives as a public servant.

    Cons

    Rampant incompetence and no accountability for lazy workers. They are virtually impossible to terminate, let alone reprimand, they go running to the union (also equally worthless if you are a good worker). This creates a toxic environment where a competent, diligent worker will feel taken advantage of and become resentful and seek opportunities elsewhere, where their efforts are better appreciated and rewarded.

    Advice to Management

    Please talk to liaisons in congress or the heads at headquarters to make workers more accountable. They are doing a disservice to the taxpayers and their fellow colleagues who actually care and pick up the slack for their indolence and incompetence. Please listen to suggestions to expedite service and streamline costs from those of us in the field.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Good Job Opportunities"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative Appeals Judge in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Administrative Appeals Judge in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    This is a government job with opportunities throughout the United States. I started as an attorney, moved on to management and later became a judge. There are jobs for almost any level of education (high school GED to post graduate). Once you are in the federal government program it is easy to transfer to other agencies or other locations. The vacation and holidays are unsurpassed in the private sector. The pay is good, but in some cases may be a bit lower than the private sector. I am retired now. Throughout my career, I had jobs both in and out of government. The worse day in Social Security is about equal to the best day in the private sector. It is a great job for a parent. The benefits are as good as one could get almost anywhere. I highly recommend government employment.

    Cons

    Just like anywhere, you can end up with a supervisor that seems to live to make your life miserable. Usually, after a few months, it is easy to change locations or positions, but it can be a hardship to work with someone with whom you are not compatible.
    Depending upon the position that you have, the salary may "freeze" at a level that you consider to be too low. But then it is possible to switch career paths if you have the desire to do so. Many jobs receive locality pay, which means that the position pays more in, for example, the Washington DC area than the southern states. But that cost of living can work both ways- more money may not mean a better lifestyle. It is the government, so depending upon the person in office, it can get more or less stressful or difficult to do your job. Things are cyclical-so if you don't like it, wait a bit and it will change. I worked in the Social Security Administration. I know that other government entities may be more or less demanding or difficult, so always try to check out, not only the governmental sector where you are seeking to work, but also the particular office in which you are seeking employment. The same job can differ from location to location.

    Advice to Management

    The more that you can help mentor your people, the better the department will be. I wish that the agency would learn from its mistakes and the recent mistakes of others and see that basing appraisals and rewards upon production leads to people "cutting corners" or, in some cases absolute cheating. Within reason, quality should be the first priority always, then production. No one can cheat on quality, and if someone provides a high quality product, the good production is never going to be questioned. But production first, always leads some people to produce low quality.


  8. "Review of SSA"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Haltom City, TX
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Haltom City, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Social Security Administration full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Direct access to help the public.

    Cons

    Must establish personal, non-professional relationships for advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Play the game, unfortunately.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Working at SSA"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Benefit Authorizer in Richmond, CA
    Current Employee - Benefit Authorizer in Richmond, CA
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Social Security Administration full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible, great work/life balance, growth and advancement, 401K options

    Cons

    Very tedious at first and can get repetitive however after you pass your training and review the job gets easier. Just be strong and hang in there. Benefits are not the best

    Advice to Management

    Awesome, very helpful and want to see you succeed


  10. Helpful (1)

    "A good experience. No real complaints."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Legal Assistant in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Legal Assistant in Baltimore, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Social Security Administration full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The work you do can be very rewarding when you see how much it helps people who are in need.

    Telework is a definite plus! Use it or use it (when you reach that point) is good too.

    Cons

    Merit promotion really isn't helpful if you have been there only a few years on the basis of how they choose candidates to be on the best qualified list. Seems harder to move to different components and especially when you are under grade 9.

    Advice to Management

    The employees who have worked day in and out have some very useful suggestions if management believes in them enough to implement. You build morale by allowing your employees to see that they have been heard!


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Customer Service Representative (Teleservice)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Contact Representative in Auburn, WA
    Current Employee - Contact Representative in Auburn, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The social security administration is a great place to work if you are interested in helping the general public. Management, for the most part, has your back, and as long as you follow policies, rules, and regulations, you will get along great here. There are occasionally special projects that can be done at the Teleservice Center (TSC) that allows you to gain experience in a more specialized role. Your attitude and aptitude determine your success here. As a CSR, if you need to go on leave you will never come back to a pending workload. There are career opportunities at SSA, but they are not numerous.

    Cons

    Due to the nature of the work you will be largely unappreciated by your customers, people will be nasty to you, you will have very, very, very, bad days (but not every day). The CSR position is a 4/5/6/7/8, which means you will be here for 4-5 years before you are a journeyman and can do anything else on a consistent basis. This job is stressful, there is no work to finish, and there will always be something to do. You are underpaid and underutilized because time in grade is more important than skills when it comes to advancement. This is the nature of the beast.

    Advice to Management

    CSRs need more avenues to grow, there are many spectacular individuals who leave the agency because they are underutilized and bored. Telework expansion needs to speed up. With the way the agency is currently set up you may have a hard time capturing talented younger individuals. There is a lot of waste that happens at the TSC because of stringent policy requirements that field offices do not use, which increases customer hold times and complicates the job for your employees.



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