Open Government Initiative
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Social Security Administration (SSA) Quarterly Data for
Incoming, Pending, and Completed Public Inquiries
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The goal of the Social Security Administration (SSA) is to improve core services provided to the public and provide alternative methods for conducting business with the agency. The Office of Public Inquiries (OPI) is the receipt, control, response, and referral point for public inquiries addressed to the Commissioner and OPI. This dataset reflects the number of new incoming inquiries, pending and completed inquiries from the public.
Agency Program Description
In carrying out its responsibilities, OPI does the following:
- Responds to public high-priority inquiries.
- Identifies the most sensitive inquiries in order to be brought to the attention of the Office of the Commissioner.
- Provides ombudsman services for telephone inquiries referred from the Office of the Commissioner.
- Develops and issues online agency-approved guide language (over 900 paragraphs) for use in answering inquiries throughout SSA.
- Provides statistical information to the Office of the Commissioner and the Office of Communications on current trending issues.
- Handles complimentary letters sent to the Commissioner regarding service provided by SSA employees or offices.
- Prepares SSA employees’ retirement letters for the entire agency.
Information about sending mail inquiries to Social Security is found at: Contact Social Security By Mail
This dataset provides data on the number of new incoming, pending, and completed inquiries by quarter. The data source is the Electronic Management of Assignments and Correspondence system (EMAC). The table columns reflect the steps in processing the inquiries.
The “Incoming” column provides the total number of incoming inquiries, whether they are electronic, paper, or telephone. The “Opening Pending” column shows the number of inquiries pending at the beginning of the period. These inquiries can be in the mailroom, screening process, scanning, or data entry phase. From this initial stage, inquiries proceed to writing staff for the analysis, development, and preparation of a final response, and from there, finally to a review by the reviewing staff before final release and an entry of "Completion" into OPI’s record control system. On any given day, this number would be in a continuing state of update as new inquiries enter or leave the workflow process. The “Completions” column represents all inquiries completed to final action and the updating of the system to reflect that the case is no longer pending.
Field A: Fiscal Year – Federal fiscal year (FY) which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. For example, FY 2015 begins on October 1, 2014 and ends on September 30, 2015.
Field B: Quarter/Total – Timeframe shown by quarter of the fiscal year.
Field C: Open Pending – Number of inquiries pending at beginning of the period.
Field D: Incoming – Number of inquiries received for the period.
Field E: Completion – Number of inquiries completed during the period.
Field F: Closing Pending – Number of inquiries pending at the the end of the period.