Social Security Administration (SSA) Data for
Average Speed to Answer for the National 800 Number Network
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We are providing data about our performance in serving the public using SSA’s national 800 number telephone system. This service is a popular way for millions of people to ask questions and conduct business with us. In fact, on June 10, 2014, we answered our one billionth call. We use several measures to monitor our performance and the public can use the information about our performance to understand the service they are likely to receive. They can also use it to decide the best time to call us.
Agency Program Description
The SSA National 800 Number Network provides toll-free telephone service to members of the public residing in the continental United States, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, the American Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. We handle the calls in 25 answering sites and in 7 Processing Centers (PCs) located nationwide. The National 800 Number Network provides agent service five days a week from 7AM to 7PM in the caller’s time zone. Automated services are available 365 per days a year. Normally, call volumes are at their highest levels during the first week of the month and at check delivery times.
We have agents who answer calls in answering sites and in the PC locations. All agents receive extensive training in the various programmatic areas administered by SSA including Retirement, Survivor, Disability, and Medicare benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. The types of inquires handled range from the status of Social Security replacement cards applied for through the Enumeration at Birth program to questions about potential eligibility and filing claims for retirement benefits.
For a complete list of services on the National 800 Number Network and other information about our national telephone service, go to: www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/services.htm.
This data file provides information at the national level by month for federal fiscal years 2009 onward for average speed to answer calls to the National 800 Number Network.
Maintaining adequate staffing and the ability to replace losses is the largest factor affecting National 800 Number performance. For example, we saw service decline due to the National 800 Number agents we lost and could not replace during FY 2011 - 2013. We received funding in FY 2014 for a recovery effort that allowed us to replace many of the lost agents. With the new hires on board, we reduced busy rates and wait times in FY 2015.
Data Collection Descriptions
Our software routing vendor provides the data. Beginning in 2013, we moved to a new network called CARE 2020.
Field A: Fiscal Year, a 12-month period from October through September.
Field B: Month, calendar month.
Field C: Average speed to answer in seconds. We divide the total time in seconds that calls spend in queue by the number of calls answered by agents. We do not include calls abandoned in queue.