...and you helped make it happen.
Remember two weeks ago when I told you about a new requirement at the Social Security website? Here it is as explained in an email from that federal agency [emphasis is mine]:
“When you sign in at ssa.gov/myaccount with your username and password, we will ask you to add your text-enabled cell phone number."
Because only 27 percent of people 65 and older own cell phones, this was idiotic; it locked millions of people out of their own information. I gave you a couple of email addresses where you could send your objections, including the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging.
Now look at what has happened.
Yesterday, a press release arrived from that Committee. Let me quote some of it to you – again, the emphasis is mine:
”Following efforts from U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Claire McCaskill, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee, seniors will once again be able to access their Social Security accounts online without needing to have a cell phone.
“Senators Collins and McCaskill sent a letter to the Social Security Administration (SSA) last week urging immediate action to roll back a new policy that required text message authentication for seniors to access their “my Social Security” account online.
“While noting the need for enhanced security, Senators Collins and McCaskill were concerned that using text message authentication as the only means of guaranteeing an individual’s access to their account put an undue burden on seniors, many of whom do not own a cell phone.
“Following the letter from Collins and McCaskill, as well as feedback from customers around the country, the SSA announced it is rolling back the policy that would have limited access for some users."
Just two weeks from implementation of a bureaucratic folly to resolution. When was the last time, I wonder, the federal government worked this quickly.
If you are one of the people who wrote letters, take a bow. Sometimes, now and then, occasionally and once in awhile speaking up works.
It matters not that this was an easy one for the Committee. Far less goes undone in Washington for years at a time. Hurray for us.