Social Security Administration Public Inquiry Data

Report on Incoming, Pending and Completed Inquiries

Last updated on March 31, 2014

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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, 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 inquiries to Social Security is found here.

Dataset Description

This dataset provides data on the number of incoming, pending, and completed inquiries by quarter and for the Fiscal Year. 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 "Pending" column shows the number of cases as the inquiries move through the OPI pipeline. These cases can be at the initial stage of "Pending" in OPI’s mailroom, screening process, scanning, or data entry. 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 cases enter or leave the workflow process. The "Completed" column represents all inquiries completed to final action and the updating of the system to reflect that the case is no longer pending.

Data Dictionary

Field A: Fiscal Year - Federal fiscal year (FY) which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. For example, FY 2014 begins on October 1, 2013 and ends on September 30, 2014.

Field B: Quarter/Total - Timeframe shown by quarter of the fiscal year. Total is year to date for the FY through the quarter shown.

Field C: Incoming - Number of new inquiries received for the period.

Field D: Pending - Number of inquiries pending (not yet answered) at the close of the period.

Field E: Completed - Number of inquiries completed during the period.