Seniors Facing Inconvenience with Increased Social Security Office Closures
Baby boomers may be most in need of Social Security payments. However, seniors are likely to find it more and more difficult to apply for disability benefits, or appeal rejected disability claims, because many Social Security offices around the country are facing closure.
The Social Security Administration blames budget crunches and shortage of resources for this increased number of closures. The agency has been closing down a record number of offices. As a result, more and more seniors are being forced to go online to get help for their Social Security benefits claims, instead of walking into an office.
Since 2010, the Social Security Administration has closed down 64 field offices across the country. That is the largest number of such office closures over a five-year period in the agency’s history. The agency has also decided to close down 533 temporary mobile offices that were specifically situated to serve claimants in remote areas.
There are only approximately 1,235 field offices that are still open, but in many of them, hours have been reduced, so that the agency can continue to maintain these offices while maintaining control over its finances.
A congressional report criticizes the agency’s position, and specifically calls into question the criteria for making the decision to close down field offices. It recognizes that these closures have the hardest impact on seniors because less are likely to use online services.