Hiring freeze will add to delays.

The Social Security Administration has imposed a hiring freeze on its headquarters in Woodlawn, Md., and in regional offices, while generally exempting positions involving direct service to the public.

The freeze is one of the first actions by newly confirmed SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul and reflects the approach that President Trump took in imposing a general government-wide freeze on taking office, a freeze that was lifted four months later.

“The Commissioner has stated that his highest priority and commitment would be to improve service to the public,” the agency said in a notice posted on an internal computer network. “His priorities include improving 800-number, hearing