Partial Hiring Freeze In Effect At SSA
Effective July 31, 2019, the Social Security Administration has implemented a full hiring freeze for “all Headquarter components and their respective regional offices”.
In a memo to senior SSA staff, new Commissioner Andrew Saul announced the hiring freeze to “ensure that the agency’s resources are directed to improving public service.” Exempt agency components include local field offices (FO), processing (payment) centers (PC), teleservice centers (TSC), and state Disability Determination Services (DDS).
New appointments for administrative law judges (ALJs), senior administrative law judges, and administrative appeals judges are also prohibited. In early July, it was widely reported the agency significantly reduced overtime for employees at the Office of Hearing Operations (OHO) who write hearing level decisions.
No timeline was given for when the freeze will be lifted.
In April, SSA offered “early out” retirement to eligible employees in an effort to reduce the size of its workforce. A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report stated 27.3% of SSA employees were eligible to retire in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017.
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