Social Security Administration

Data for Customer Service Satisfaction

Last updated on May 16, 2016

Download the Overall Customer Service Satisfaction dataset

This dataset contains fiscal year data from 2007 onward and is currently available in the following formats:

CSV | XLSX

Download the Initial Disability and Hearing Level Service Satisfaction dataset

This dataset contains fiscal year data from 2008 onward and is currently available in the following formats:

CSV | XLSX

Background

The Social Security Administration offers a range of service options to our customers.  We provide in-person service through our community-based field offices, hearing offices and Social Security Card Centers.  We provide telephone service through our National 800 Number and our local field offices.   The public may also visit us online at www.socialsecurity.gov where they can transact certain types of business as well as obtain information about our programs and services.

The agency continually evaluates the quality of service we provide through these various service options by surveying people who use them.  These surveys reflect the public’s perception of the services we provide in-person in our offices, by telephone or on the Internet.  The feedback helps us identify strengths and weaknesses in our service delivery so we can make necessary improvements. 

The satisfaction surveys for each of our service options ask customers for an overall rating of the service we provided during their contact. 

Overall Customer Service Satisfaction

Overall Customer Service Satisfaction Index:

Dataset Description

This dataset provides data at the national level for overall satisfaction of customers who have used one of the main methods for conducting business with the agency:  in-person service in our field or hearing offices or at a Social Security Card Center, telephone service through our National 800 Number or in one of our field offices, or an online service at www.socialsecurity.gov.  Data from federal fiscal year (FY) 2007 onwards is included.

In this dataset, we define “satisfaction” as an overall service rating of excellent, very good or good (E/VG/G) on a six-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair, poor, or very poor.  We determine the percent “satisfied” by dividing the number of responders who rate overall service as E/VG/G by the total number of responders providing a rating.

For each fiscal year included in the dataset, we provide the satisfaction rates for the individual types of service, rounded to the nearest whole number.

From FY 2007 through FY 2013, we weighted the overall satisfaction rate for each service option to reflect the annual population of customers served through that type of service.  We display the annual populations for the different service options in the dataset for these years.  We then combined the weighted results for the individual surveys to compute the overall customer satisfaction rate reported as an agency performance indicator in the Annual Performance Report.  In FY 2014, we did not combine the individual survey results into a single satisfaction rate because the agency discontinued the performance indicator.  In FY 2015, we used the fiscal year telephone caller survey results in conjunction with surveys of office visitors to calculate a combined overall satisfaction rate to serve as a baseline measure for the FY 2016 agency priority goal, “Increase customer satisfaction with our services.”

Data Collection Description

The data displayed in the dataset are based on results of the following surveys conducted each year:

  • 800 Number Caller Survey-   Conducted by telephone with a random sample of 4,000 callers who contacted the agency’s national 800 number during a 4-week period in March.
  • Field Office Caller Survey- Conducted by telephone with a random sample of 4,000 callers who contacted one of 110 randomly selected field offices during a 4-week period in April.
  • Field and Hearing Office Visitor Surveys-  Conducted by mail with a random sample of approximately 6,000 customers who visited one of 52 field offices or 13 hearing offices (randomly selected each year) during a 4-week period in October /November.  We did not conduct the Field and Hearing Office Visitor Survey in FY 2014 due to the government furlough that occurred during our sample period.
  • Social Security Card Center Visitor Survey- Conducted by mail with a random sample of approximately 3,000 customers who visited any of the Social Security Card Centers during a 4-week period in January and February.  We introduced this survey in FY 2011.
  • Internet Benefit Applications Survey- Conducted by mail with a random sample of about 6,500 individuals who completed an online benefit application.  We introduced this survey in FY 2009 for retirement and disability claims.  We expanded it in FY 2010 to include applications for extra help with Medicare Part D prescription drug plan costs.  In FY 2011, we added a sample of Medicare-only applications.  In FY 2014, we moved the disability claim sample to the Internet Disability Report Survey segment because the agency integrated the online application for disability benefits with the Disability Report into a seamless application.  We drew the sample for the FY 2014 Internet Benefit Application Survey from a 2-week period in October. The Internet Benefit Application Survey was discontinued in FY 2015.
  • Internet Change of Address/Direct Deposit- Conducted by mail with a random sample of 4,000 individuals who requested either a change of address or direct deposit of their Social Security benefits using the agency’s online service.  In FY 2014, we drew the survey sample from a 2-week period in October.  We introduced this survey in FY 2011 and we discontinued it in FY 2015.
  • Internet Disability Reports- Conducted by mail with a random sample of about 12,800 individuals who applied for disability benefits and provided the detailed medical information online, or provided medical information online for an appeal of a denied claim.  We excluded professional third parties who completed the medical information on behalf of a client from this sample.  (Note also that the annual population figure for this survey included in the data set for FY 2007 through FY 2013 excludes professional third parties.)  In FY 2014, we drew the sample from a 2-week period in February and March.  We introduced this survey in FY 2012 and we discontinued it in FY 2015.
  • Internet Request- Conducted by mail with a random sample of about 6,600 individuals who completed online requests for a Medicare replacement card, proof of income letter or replacement 1099.  In FY 2014, we drew the sample from a 2-week period in February and March. The Internet Request Survey was discontinued in FY 2015.

Statistical Information

Statistical Methodology: Satisfaction rates represent a mean value of the upper and lower limits of a calculated variability range. The mathematical formula used to establish these limits considers the size of the sample and the satisfaction rate found. The formula uses a mathematical calculation to produce a variability range acceptable at a 95-percent confidence level.

Weighting: All satisfaction rates are weighted to reflect the data as they would appear if all customers using the type of service had been surveyed.

Data Dictionary

Field A: Fiscal year – a 12-month period from October through September.

Field B: Type of service measured by the survey.

Field C: Annual rounded number of people Social Security served in the fiscal year through this type of service.

Field D: Survey responders providing an overall rating for this type of service.

Field E: Percent satisfied with this type of service overall.  Satisfaction defined as ratings of excellent, very good, or good (E/VG/G) on a 6-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair, poor, or very poor.  The satisfaction rate is rounded to the nearest whole number.

Field F: Percent giving the rating of excellent (on the 6-point scale shown above) for this type of service overall.  The “excellent” rate is rounded to the nearest whole number.

Change History

  • Updated on 06-08-2015 to reflect discontinued use of overall service rating for 2014.
  • Initial Disability and Hearing Level

    Service Satisfaction

    Initial Disability and Hearing Level Service Satisfaction Index:

    Dataset Description

    This dataset provides data at the national level for overall satisfaction of claimants who have either filed an initial disability application or have received a decision on an appeal at the hearing level.  For the initial disability claimants, we survey mid-process to get satisfaction ratings on ease of filing a disability application and overall opinion of the agency’s service. We also survey after an initial disability decision is made to get ratings for ease of filing disability applications and overall opinion of service, breaking out ratings separately for claimants who are awarded benefits and for those who are denied benefits. Similarly, we survey claimants after a hearing level decision is made to get ratings on the hearing experience and overall opinion of the agency’s service, breaking out ratings separately for claimants who are awarded benefits and for those who are denied benefits.

    Data from federal fiscal year 2008 onwards is included.

    In this dataset, we define “satisfaction” as an overall service rating of excellent, very good or good (E/VG/G) on a six-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair, poor, or very poor.  We determine the percent “satisfied” by dividing the number of responders who rate overall service as E/VG/G by the total number of responders providing a rating.

    For each fiscal year included in the dataset, we provide the satisfaction rate for overall service, rounded to the nearest whole number.  For initial disability claims, we also provide the rate for ease of filing the application.  For hearing level decisions, we provide the rating of the hearing experience.   

    Data Collection Description

    The data displayed in the dataset are based on results of the following surveys conducted annually through FY 2012.  Effective with FY 2013, we started conducting the initial claims and hearing surveys in alternate years, beginning with Initial Claims in FY 2013.

    • Disability initial claims mid-process survey: conducted by mail while the disability decision was still pending with a random sample  of approximately 10,000 claimants.
    • Disability award survey: conducted by mail with a random sample of approximately 10,000 awarded claimants . 
    • Disability denial survey: conducted by mail with a random sample of approximately 10,000 denied claimants.
    • Hearing award survey: conducted by mail with a random sample of approximately 15,000 claimants with a recent favorable hearing decision on their disability claim.       
    • Hearing denial survey: conducted by mail with a random sample of approximately 15,000 claimants with a recent unfavorable hearing decision on their disability claim.

    Statistical Information

    Statistical Methodology: Satisfaction rates represent a mean value of the upper and lower limits of a calculated variability range. The mathematical formula used to establish these limits considers the size of the sample and the satisfaction rate found. The formula uses a mathematical calculation to produce a variability range acceptable at a 95-percent confidence level.

    Data Dictionary

    Field A: Type of Survey.

    Field B: Aspect of Service Satisfaction (ease of filing and overall opinion of service).

    Field C and on: Percent satisfied by fiscal year with Field C representing FY 2008, Field D representing FY 2009, etc. Fiscal year is a 12-month period from October through September. Satisfaction is defined as ratings of excellent, very good, or good (E/VG/G) on a 6-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair, poor, or very poor.  The satisfaction rate is rounded to the nearest whole number.