Thanks to a recent executive order, Americans won’t have to wait as long to get their Social Security and other government benefits.
On Monday, President Joe Biden signed an order that will affect the wait times of 36 federal services.
Biden stated that the efforts will “ensure that the federal government puts you, the American people, at the front of the line and are first in anything we do.”
People over 65 will notice some of the biggest impacts of the order. In an effort to cut trips to government offices, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will soon release a new tool that will allow Social Security recipients to skip phone calls altogether.
The government will also develop a website to give Medicare claimants access to money-saving resources.
“You should be able to apply for Social Security benefits without needing to go to a Social Security office and have Medicare proactively reach out to you with the tools you need to manage your health and save money,” Biden said before signing the order.
President Biden’s Time-Saving Executive Order Will Affect the Social Security Administration and 36 More Federal Offices
But the order won’t stop with senior citizens. Aside from the upcoming SSA site, travelers will be able to renew their passports digitally. Former service members will have access to all of their VA benefits on one portal. Natural disaster victims will be able to use online forms to make damage claims with smartphones. And those who receive food stamp benefits will have easier access to their necessary forms.
And Americans who need guidance from the Internal Revenue Service will no longer have to spend hours on the phone. A portion of the order requires employees of the IRS to give people a callback—instead of placing them on an endless hold.
“Oftentimes there’s a time tax. It takes a long time to fill out a form, or go through a line or access a benefit. And our focus is really ensuring that we’re minimizing those frictions,” staff secretary Neera Tanden said during a briefing.
People will also see changes at the airport in the upcoming months. The White House plans on cutting security lines with new advanced screening procedures.
“You’ll see better technology to speed security lines and wait times at our national airports; make filings and refunds to the IRS more — more rapid; and for disaster aid,” President Biden continued.
But while the changes will inevitably make the lives of millions of Americans less frustrating, the White House did not specify when the order will go into effect. And we likely won’t find out until government employees come back from their holiday breaks.