Social Security:

Little Overall Change in Telephone Accessibility Between 1985 and 1988

HRD-88-129: Published: Sep 15, 1988. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO assessed the Social Security Administration's (SSA) telephone accessibility and compared it to accessibility 3 years earlier.

GAO made 3,674 test calls to randomly selected SSA facilities at different times, and found that: (1) it had easy access for 71 percent of the test calls, compared to 73 percent in 1985; (2) overall, 15.2 percent of its initial calls received busy signals, which slightly exceeded the SSA busy-signals standards; (3) telephone accessibility in 1988, as in 1985, varied widely among SSA phone facilities, between regions, and according to the time of the call; (4) SSA teleservice centers' telephone accessibility declined by almost 7 percent since 1985; and (5) overall access to statewide units did not change.

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