SSA grows Web services

A month after offering online capabilities for retirement benefit applications,

the Social Security Administration said Dec. 7 that it will expand its electronic

capabilities in 2001 to cover applications for survivor and spousal benefits

and disability compensation.

SSA also may offer online chat communications next year between its

staff and the public — a move that would eliminate thousands of mailings

each year.

Officials and an agency consultant shared their forecast during SSA's

pilot e-government presentation at the General Services Administration.

SSA launched its online retirement application process Nov. 2, and by

Dec. 6, 6,235 people had used the service. Some applicants remarked on the

efficiency of the online process, said William Halter, SSA's deputy commissioner.

"We couldn't have paid for these kinds of quotes," Halter said. One

customer asked, " "Are you guys really a government agency?' "

Even with online applications, some supporting documents, such as birth

certificates, still must be mailed. Halter said that will be eliminated

when documents can be moved and verified electronically. SSA also will conduct

a pilot digital signature program next year.

Of the proposed online chats, V. Douglas Hines of KPMG Consulting LLC

said the feature would allow an SSA staff member to "push" a hyperlink with

additional information to a customer electronically instead of sending the

information through the mail.

Featured

  • IT Modernization
    shutterstock image By enzozo; photo ID: 319763930

    OMB provides key guidance for TMF proposals amid surge in submissions

    Deputy Federal CIO Maria Roat details what makes for a winning Technology Modernization Fund proposal as agencies continue to submit major IT projects for potential funding.

  • gears and money (zaozaa19/Shutterstock.com)

    Worries from a Democrat about the Biden administration and federal procurement

    Steve Kelman is concerned that the push for more spending with small disadvantaged businesses will detract from the goal of getting the best deal for agencies and taxpayers.

Stay Connected