The deadline for Federal Employees to be vaccinated is November 22nd, unless they meet one of the limited circumstances where an accommodation is legally required. Does that mean Social Security is getting ready to reopen their doors to the public in December? My guess is no.
I have a feeling that Social Security will wait until they get through the winter months due to the fact that I suspect they will be weary to reopen during flu season with COVID-19 simultaneously taking place.
I know I have said this before, but while Social Security's hearing offices are functioning very well during the pandemic, it is near impossible to get through to the local Social Security offices when working on the lower levels of the claims. The longer that Social Security's field offices stays closed to the public, the further they fall behind.
The problem is that many of the employees who staff the field offices do not want to stop working remotely and are threatening to quit if they are forced to return to the office. I get that people prefer to work from home, but it only works if all employees work diligently. I think there are too many bad apples who take the work-from-home initiative as a paid vacation and have ruined the prospect of a more permanent work-from-home program for the SSA employees who took it seriously and did not abuse the opportunity.
This is a problem that both the Feds and the private sector have faced. Not everyone can work effectively from home and stay focused in a home environment. The million dollar question is how do you set up an employment structure that allows proactive employees to work from home, while forcing employees who struggle working from home to return to the office? I cannot even imagine the back and forth arguments that are taking place at Social Security in regards to this issue. I just keep telling my clients that Social Security will probably reopen their doors sometime in 2022, but until that happens, they need to be prepared for delays and subpar service when dealing with the local field offices.
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