On May 28, 2021, the Social Security Administration (SSA) began offering “express interviews” (EXI) at its field offices and Social Security card centers nationwide. According to the Emergency Message released on implementation of the EXI process, “EXIs are brief interviews, lasting approximately 5-7 minutes, which allow eligible individuals to apply for an original or replacement Social Security Number (SSN) card and submit necessary evidence in person.” This new procedure comes after a Senate Committee on Finance hearing in late April about how the pandemic has hampered access to Social Security benefits and services.
While this initiative is primarily intended to assist those who need a new or replacement SSN card, EXI appointments are also available for those who need to submit original documents to SSA in establishing their eligibility in a claim for benefits, as well as other purposes. Notably, EXIs are available for people who “are unable or unwilling to mail original evidence documents.” This is particularly important for those who need to show their immigration documents to SSA, as non-citizens are required to have these documents in their possession at all times, under Department of Homeland Security regulations.
EXIs will not be the primary option offered to individuals interacting with SSA, and local managers will have the discretion to determine the criteria for offering EXIs in particular offices based on staffing and other office considerations. The scope of EXI appointments will be strictly limited to submitting documents in person, and any additional questions or concerns would have to be raised separately by phone or mail. Contact Justice in Aging for more information by phone at (202) 289-6976, email at email@example.com or visit their website at justiceinaging.org.