As we have been reporting in our blog over the last couple of months, Social Security office closures have led to increased wait times and frustrations among people seeking assistance.
Recently, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported that the Social Security Administration has closed more than 60 field offices and 500 mobile offices across the country over the last five years.
This has led to unrest among people in areas where offices have been closed. In New Albany, Ohio, government workers have protested outside of field offices—many of whom have been affected by the closures.
When the SSA began closing down the offices, it was hoping that more people would shift to using online systems. However, some people have said that the elderly and disabled are not connected to the internet or knowledgeable enough to adapt to the systems.
The SSA has indicated that the closures are occurring due to a stagnant budget. Acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn Colvin said the agency’s strategic plan for Fiscal Years 2014-2018 was hoping people would utilize online systems more.
“We will continue to provide convenient, cost-effective, secure and quality customer service to meet the needs of the public we serve,” Colvin said, according to the Associated Press.
How Can I Collect Social Security Disability?
The news over closures comes after a study conducted by SocialSecurityWorks.org found that 59 percent of people want to be able to call or visit a local office to get Social Security information. It is troubling that so many people are being affected by these closures.
The closures affect both people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
We suggest visiting our Social Security FAQ page if you have questions about qualifying for benefits. The fact that there have been office closures will play no role in the final determination of your application. For further assistance, you can work with our attorneys. Disability law is all we do.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security Disability lawyers
Troutman Touts: In a poll, 86 percent of Americans said they want more or the same number of local Social Security field offices in the future.