Social Security Administration (SSA) acting commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin spoke recently in a town hall meeting at a field office in Montgomery, Alabama where she discussed the current state of the agency.
According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Colvin talked about solvency issues facing the agency, and how it is trying to lower operating costs by closing some offices.
“What we are trying to do is stop having all of our resources in real estate,” Colvin said, according to the Advertiser. Colvin mentioned how offices have stopped offering two services to cut costs: benefit verification letters and printouts of Social Security numbers.
Colvin told the Advertiser that the agency receives about 4 million requests for benefit verification a year and that the local offices do not have the staffing to handle those requests.
To reduce the burden of work at service centers, the agency is also asking more people to access services online. She said the agency has begun to add video to its online content to make things easier for people who have questions. “Even though we are not there in person, we are still face-to-face. It is like watching TV,” Colvin said, according to the Advertiser.
Colvin said one of the biggest obstacles the agency faces is providing services to people in rural areas. She also said that it is facing solvency issues—based on current projections, the Social Security Disability insurance trust fund will be depleted by 2016, according to the Advertiser.
However, Colvin did not seem too pressed about the issue, saying bipartisan solutions from politicians are needed to solve the problem.
How Can Social Security Disability Insurance Help Me?
While it is unfortunate that the agency may be reducing customer service options, people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits should not give up hope if they need immediate services. These benefits can help you make ends meet if you are disabled and unable to work.
We always suggest visiting the SSA website before going to the office if you have questions. If you are experiencing problems applying for benefits, do not hesitate to contact our Tulsa Social Security Disability lawyers for a free evaluation of your case. You may also reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security Disability lawyers
Troutman Touts: If you perform “substantial gainful activities”, the SSA will not consider you disabled.