Social Security Administration (SSA)
The Social Security Administration (SSA) headquarters are located in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition, the SSA has ten regional offices and 1,300 local offices nationwide. The administration pays retirement, disability, and survivor benefits to workers and their families and administers the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. It also issues Social Security numbers.
Public Contact Workers
Public contact workers deal with the general public. They are “the voice of Social Security.” Opportunities exist throughout the country in field offices, program service centers, teleservice centers, and the headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland.
A public contact representative's daily duties include the following:
Speaking with beneficiaries about their rights under Social Security laws
Gathering facts and evidence to establish eligibility for benefits
Making critical decisions to determine the amount of benefits paid to individuals
Using state-of-the-art computer technology to access and update information about claims
Opportunities also exist for claims representative, claims authorizer, benefit authorizer, service representative, and teleservice representative positions. Public contact representatives receive thorough training in Social Security programs and state laws. Bilingual individuals have an advantage in the hiring process. Many of Social Security's executives and managers began as public contact representatives and moved on to technical, analytical, and supervisory positions.
Information Technology (IT) Jobs
Social Security has one of the world's largest computer installations in its Baltimore headquarters. Its database management and telecommunications systems are among the best in the world. The operation of the administration's computer systems affects nearly all Americans. Information technology (IT) professionals who work for the SSA keep the systems up to date with the constantly changing Social Security programs. Career opportunities in the IT field exist in the following areas:
SSA computer specialists have experience in fields such as cli-ent/ server development, mainframe development, and telecommuni-cations/ networking technologies. Training is available for entry-level positions.
Special salary rates are available for most IT positions. Translation:the job market in this field is competitive, and the government has to compete with the private sector. Many of the government's computer specialists move on up to become managers.
Office of Hearings and Appeals
Social Security pays benefits to more than 40 million people each year. Those who disagree with the agency's decisions regarding their claims for benefits may appeal through the Office of Hearings and Appeals. Staff attorneys and administrative law judges work nationwide to provide the public with a fair appeal process for Social Security benefits. In their headquarters, attorney-advisers and attorney- examiners review and act upon the decisions of their administrative law judges.
Opportunities exist for staff attorneys, attorney-advisers, administrative law judges, and attorney-examiners. All attorneys must be in good standing with their state bar association. Entry-level attorneys begin with admittance to the bar, and administrative law judges should be practicing attorneys for at least seven years, of which two have been spent preparing and trying cases.
Criminal investigators work nationwide fighting fraud and abuse. Social Security's law enforcement professionals work with the Office of the Inspector General to investigate abuses of Social Security's operations and programs.
A criminal investigator's day might include the following tasks:
Planning and conducting surveillance of a suspect
Serving search warrants and subpoenas
Interviewing suspects, witnesses, and informants
Testifying before grand juries or courts
Researching to determine whether violations of law have occurred
Experience as a criminal investigator may lead to higher-level positions in the Office of the Inspector General.
More career opportunities for administrators include management analysts, budget analysts, human resource specialists, and staff assistants. If your talents are more specialized and technical, the SSA has the following positions as well: actuaries, auditors, economists, social science research analysts, and statisticians. Visit