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Open Data Customer Feedback

Open Data Themes

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At Social Security, we foster and embrace an environment that values ideas from wherever and whoever that can help us make open data work better. That is why we reached out to our internal and external stakeholders to help us decide which specific data we should be making more available, and what else we should be doing to support open and transparent access to our data assets.

Through our Customer Feedback Process we received and continue to collect ideas on data at the Social Security Administration. We have also reached out to our data users to get their feedback. We received ideas on the data that would help you the most, and how you would like to use it. The list below represents the most common emerging themes about everyone’s data availability needs. We wanted to share this collection with you now, and plan to periodically report the progress of these and future ideas we receive.

Theme 1: Modernize Communications

Update: August 29, 2017

We continue to provide information to the public and offer a forum for discussion and feedback about important issues through our Social Security Matters blog.

Last year, we launched our new Social Security Matters blog. This blog is a platform for Social Security to share our goals, programs, and online services with the American public and stakeholders, while providing a forum for readers to share their feedback. The interactive nature of this communications outlet provides the public with one more avenue of participation, and enhances our commitment to two-way, new media communications.

Update: October 31, 2016

Modernizing how we communicate with the public continues to be a top priority for us. On July 23, 2016, we launched a new feature on my Social Security, a secure Message Center. When a new message is added to the user’s secure Message Center, a notification is sent via email or text message to the users’ personal email or text-ready phone, based on user preference.

Theme 2: More Online Services

Update: August 29, 2017

We are rolling out a new online service: applying online for a replacement Social Security Number card. In 2018, all states will be included in this service. You can use a my Social Security account to apply for a replacement Social Security card online if you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen age 18 or older with a U.S. mailing address (this includes APO, FPO, and DPO addresses);
  • Are not requesting a name change or any other change to your card; and
  • Have a driver's license or a state-issued identification card from one of the states already rolled out.

See Social Security Number and Card for more information and for a current list of states where you can apply online for a replacement Social Security card

Update: December 7, 2016

In December 2016, we launched a new service for my Social Security account holders where the public can check on the status of an application for benefits or an appeal filed with us. Users will now have access to detailed information about retirement, disability, survivors, Medicare, and Supplemental Security Income claims and appeals filed either online, on the SSA Website, or with a Social Security employee. For more information on this new feature in my Social Security, read our post in the Social Security Matters blog.

In July 2016, we are scheduled to launch a new application that will allow my Social Security customers to review the detailed status of both internet and in-office initial Social Security and Supplemental Security Income claims, and Medicare Only claims and appeals.

Other plans for late fiscal year 2016 include plans to develop an online service to allow for the electronic reporting of Disability wages electronically. Under this initiative, we will also review all current processes to ensure consistency in the collection of the wage information.

Update: May 25, 2016

In July 2016, we are scheduled to launch a new application that will allow my Social Security customers to review the detailed status of both internet and in-office initial Social Security and Supplemental Security Income claims, and Medicare Only claims and appeals.

Other plans for late fiscal year 2016 include plans to develop an online service to allow for the electronic reporting of Disability wages electronically. Under this initiative, we will also review all current processes to ensure consistency in the collection of the wage information.

Update: May 28, 2015

In March 2015 we updated the online appeal process, making it more flexible and streamlined, providing easier navigation and eliminating requests for the same information. The new online appeal process allows the user to submit both the appeal form and the medical report in just one online session. Users can electronically submit supporting documents with the appeal request. The screen messages and application language are clear and concise, and the navigation and on-screen help has been improved. Users living outside the United States are now able to file appeals online. For more information on our new online service, see What You Can Do Online.

Update: February 20, 2015

In 2015, we expanded our online services so that Social Security beneficiaries can now access their SSA-1099 from their my Social Security account. With this new online service the public can now view, download, and print a copy of their SSA-1099. This replaces the old process to have a replacement paper statement mailed to you. For more information on our new online service, see my Social Security.

Theme 3: Provide Online Real-Time, Field Office Wait-Times

Update: May 24, 2016

In FY 2015, we began to plan and analyze information for development of a possible field office wait-time application. However, due to resource limitations, we have stopped work on this project.

Theme 4: Publish Public-Facing Geospatial Mapping

Update: August 29, 2017

We continue to update our geospatial maps with more recent data. Go to our Map Gallery to view all of our geospatial maps. The links to the accessible map data files can be found on our Accessiblity page.

Update December 7, 2016

In November 2016, we launched our newest geospatial map, the American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) map! The interactive AIAN map allows users to find the local Social Security Video Service Delivery (VSD), Field Office, or Resident Station locations closest to their tribe or reservation locations. Update: new information was added in August 2017.

In February 2018, we updated the AIAN map. A new Video Service Delivery (VSD) site has been added in Taos, New Mexico.

Update: October 31, 2016

We continue to improve our GeoMaps initiative at the SSA! We recently added 2015 and 2013 geospatial data on our Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Benefits by State collection. We also added three new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to query the OASDI data. These maps provide Social Security information on the distribution of Social Security beneficiaries and benefit dollars by state, and renders the complex data in a way that is easy to understand.

Our first set of maps laid the groundwork for our establishing a presence on GeoPlatform.gov, a federal platform to collaborate and share geospatial datasets. SSA is now one of many organizations (e.g. federal, state, local, universities) participating in GeoPlatform, a site managed by the Federal Geographic Data Community, chaired by the Department of the Interior.

Our goal is to deepen the public’s understanding of our programs through geographic representations, increasing the transparency of our agency data. If you have ideas on the types of maps you would like published, visit our Open Data Customer Feedback page. As more geospatial maps become available, we will add them to the Open Government Map Gallery!

Update: May 24, 2016

In May 2016, we launched our first public-facing geospatial map, utilizing public Social Security data. You can access this new map by clicking the following link: OASDI Beneficiaries and Benefits by State 2014. We expect to publish more maps throughout 2016.

Give us your ideas on data that we currently release, or could release, that would benefit from geospatial representation.

Our Customer Feedback Process

Update: August 29, 2017

Our feedback channel is still open and available for your comments, suggestions, and requests. We invite you to comment on ideas already posted or to submit new ideas for the community’s reaction. Visit Open Data Project Customer Feedback to read what has already been posted and to join the community.