Social Security Administration to offer relief during wait times at peak heat times in Houston

Tom Abrahams Image
Thursday, June 16, 2022
People wait outside social security offices in near-record heat
Countless people are standing outside in near-record heat for hours, waiting to get help with essential benefits from Social Security Administration offices.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Relief is imminent for those waiting in the long lines at the Social Security offices as the Social Security Administration is gearing up to help make the process a little easier while waiting, ABC13 has learned.

This video is from a previous report.

In an email sent to Eyewtiness News, the Social Security Administration stated that it would be taking action to mitigate the wait times at various Houston area offices.

It's temporarily assigning additional employees to help organize the lines. There will also be boxes for dropping off documents and evidence in all offices located in Houston.

Those who opt to wait in line in person will receive access to restrooms and water.

According to the email, a canopy will be installed underneath the shade at the northwest Houston office. There is a possibility that this will be feasible at other locations soon.


Those waiting outside in long lines will have access to water fountains and restrooms, there will also be a canopy installed at the NW Houston office.

Ronnie Pierre was among the dozens of Houstonians we met on Monday outside the Social Security Administration office off Dillard Road. They were standing, sitting, and even lying down as they waited to get their turn inside to get assistance with essential benefits.

"It's going up. It's hot," Pierre said after standing in the nearly 100-degree temperatures for more than an hour.

"They should make some other arrangements. Make it better, you know, a place for someone to come in and stay cool and sit," Pierre said.

Many of those in line suffer from disabilities or illnesses. While we spoke to those in line, someone from the office came outside to speak with us.

We were told to contact the Dallas regional office. We did. Several times on the phone and by email. We also messaged the national office on the east coast. We received no solution.

Although, we found a statement from April by the acting director when offices reopened after COVID-19.

"To avoid waiting in line, I strongly encourage people who can (to) use our online services. Call us, and schedule appointments in advance rather than walking in without an appointment. Customers who walk in without appointments may encounter delays and longer waits at our offices," the director said in the statement.

Before Wednesday's developments, SSA suggested completing most businesses online or on the phone.

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