April 06, 2022

4 Ways to Avoid Frustrations in Calling Social Security

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With more and more people reaching the age where they can claim Social Security benefits, phone calls to the Social Security Administration to field questions have gotten a bit overwhelming over the past decade.

In 2010, the average wait time to get a live agent when calling the Social Security Administration was fewer than five minutes. In 2018, that number jumped to nearly 25 minutes. Since field offices were closed and representatives started working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, that number has skyrocketed for some.

Fortunately, field offices are beginning to reopen across the country, but you can also take matters into your own hands to improve your experience.

Centers Health Care has four ways to avoid frustrations when calling Social Security.

  1. Call During Non-Peak Days and Hours

Benefit changes take place at the first of the month, so try and avoid calling in the final week or first week of a month, if you can. In addition, payments are generally made on Wednesdays, so avoid calling on that day as well.

  1. Try Online Help First

Before calling, navigate the Social Security website first to see if you can find an answer to your question there. And if you don’t find your answers online, the research you do can help you when you do talk to a representative.

  1. Search Elsewhere on the Internet

There are a number of websites that are dedicated to helping demystify Social Security, including online calculators, tools, and other articles. While you shouldn’t give any website you’re not familiar with your personal information in order to remain safe, many of these sites are a wealth of information.

  1. Seek In-Person Help

There are likely nonprofit organizations in your community that can help, and alternatively, you can also hire a money manager or someone from an advisory service to help you make the best decisions possible. Remember, when you do talk to a Social Security agent, they can process claims and handle other changes of information, but they cannot offer advice to your situation.

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