Turns out I was far from the only one upset by the Social Security Administration’s decision to block access to online accounts for people without text-enabled cell phones. The Tennessean reports that the agency faced such a backlash that it’s made the extra protection optional.
“The policy impacted not only those who don’t text message, but also people who live in rural areas with limited cell phone service,” says a Congress member who represents one of those areas.
Two other Tennessee Congress members weigh in too. We can, I think, assume that SSA heard from a broader swath of members, responding to constituents’ concerns — and from other quarters too.
The agency hasn’t yet told us online account users that we don’t have to have text messaging. Presumably it will. And we’ll reportedly have another way to ensure that we’re the people accessing our accounts within six months.
So all’s well that ends well, assuming that the new option doesn’t impose other burdens. We’ll nevertheless endure long wait times when we need services only staff can provide. Nothing SSA can do about that.