SSA Office Closings Intensify Public Concerns
Recently-announced plans to close Social Security Administration field offices in Arlington and Baltimore have shed new light on a wave of discontent among the elderly and those in need of on-site service from the agency. Washington Post reporter Patricia Sullivan, in a post on washingtonpost.com, observes that “(t)he agency has closed about 125 of its approximately 1,250 offices since 2000 — a 10 percent reduction, part of what officials describe as a shift to greater use of online services in an era of budget constraints and a growing population of senior citizens.” Exacerbating the problem, Ms. Sullivan’s post reports, is the drop in staffing that SSA has experienced–and is projected to continue to experience in the future–despite funding increases.
Sullivan’s post cites comments form Max Richtman, chief executive of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, who reports that “in town meetings his group has organized throughout the country, Social Security beneficiaries routinely complain about understaffing at offices and long waits for service.” The lack of access experienced by the public adds concern to the already-documented problems uncovered by recent reports by Social Security’s Inspector General concerning deficiencies in the handling of specific types of benefit claims (see our earlier post titled Survivors being short-changed by Social Security mistakes).
The AMAC Foundation has long recognized these concerns, and has responded by establishing its Social Security Advisory Service, a free-to-the-public available on-demand. If you have any questions about your individual situation under Social Security you can access the service by contacting the Foundation, where several trained and certified Advisors are available to discuss your situation and clarify your options. Learn more about this service here…