"Maybe I arrived on the wrong day, or at the wrong time of day, but...\n\nThe Good:\nI spent an hour watching one of the staff dealing with clients. He seemed good natured and helpful. When it came my turn, the representative I talked to was also amiable and helpful. I got everything done that I came for. The personnel added one or two stars to my rating.\n\nThe Bad:\nPretty much everything else.\n\n1) I had to wait somewhat over an hour to ask some fairly simple questions. This compares poorly with the hold time, had I called the 800- number (yes, I've done that, too). I probably could have had the same results, more quickly, over the phone...but didn't know that in advance. There is apparently some kind of make-an-appointment possibility...but I have no idea how to go about doing that.\n\n2) I had kind of expected to find a physical setup similar to Tompkins County's Motor Vehicle office (which, incidentally, is run by the County Clerk, not the State, and is a pleasure to visit). Wrong. After passing the modern and appealing building lobby, you get to an industrial-looking door for Social Security. Inside, a small room serves as waiting area (barely big enough for the 15 people who were ahead of me) AND the primary area for interviews. Yes, you conduct your interview IN PUBLIC! The staff are behind (bulletproof?) glass and their voices are broadcast for all to hear via a mic, amplifier, and speaker. Needless to say, no privacy of spoken word.\n\n2a) FWIW, I estimated that each client [interview] took about 10 minutes. I estimated that the 15-odd people grouped into 6-8 units and, yes, those were handy estimates. I waited about 70 minutes.\n\n3) And, yes, there are additional staff to meet with the public, behind the security door. During the time I waited, nobody was invited back there. I only found out about it when someone missed their appointment and (15 minutes later, who knows why the delay) my turn came...and I was invited inside. It's not perfect in there, but much more private. And there were several staff people inside....five more interview booths, and NONE were in use when I entered.\n\n4) There's really nobody in there to ask for simple help. Stupid things, like, 'Where do I check in?' or, 'Why does that screen show 'now serving number 57' for five clients plus a vaguely labeled 'now and past' client number?' After a while, the info screen showed a message, 'Do not ask the guard any questions about Social Security,' message (as if anyone would). So I asked the guard (also a friendly sort) a NON-Social Security question: What do those client numbers mean up there on the screen? His answer: well, nothing, really. One of them is the most recent number called. The others might relate to some other SocSec office.\n\n5) FYI, nearby parking is 'on the meter'. I was lucky, the meters were broken on the day I visited, so feeding the meter was not a problem. Otherwise, you'd be well advised to park several blocks away, where there are no meters.\n\nConclusion:\nIf you think your question might --possibly-- be answered by a telephone call, call the Soc Sec Admin's toll-free number. You might be on hold for 45 minutes before a live voice answers, but you might get your answer in the comfort and privacy of your own home."
Ted Crane - December, 2019
"Their Fast! They get you in oand out quick! Love it"
Keith Humphrey - November, 2019
"They do not go in order or it is just the white bald guy at desk 3 or whatever desk number it is when you first walk in horrible service wait time is a hour or more"
Wendy Stilson - December, 2019
"Beware! This office is untruthful and will terminate your SSI benefits without cause. The District Manager violated my rights."
Nigel Harrison - January, 2020
"One of the best government offices I have visited -- quick service, knowledgeable staff and to-the-point facility. If you know what you need and how to get it, you can be in and out in less than 20 minutes. From the other reviews here it seems like people either didn't know what they need or didn't bring the right paperwork or didn't have a form filled out correctly. Just put in the work ahead of time and save yourself problems by figuring out what it is you need and what you need to show to get it. \n\nDon't blame the staff if you didn't prepare and get your stuff together before coming in!"
Anton Ochoa - September, 2017