The Washington Post

Budget cuts cut Social Security service


The Social Security Administration says it will close its field offices 30 minutes earlier every day to save money. Beginning Aug. 15, offices that currently are open from from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. will close to the public at 3:30 p.m.

“While agency employees will continue to work their regular hours, this shorter public window will allow us to complete face-to-face service with the visiting public without incurring the cost of overtime for our employees,” said SSA Commissioner Michael J. Astrue. “Congress provided our agency with nearly $1 billion less than the president requested for our budget this fiscal year, which makes it impossible for us to provide the amount of overtime needed to handle service to the public as we have in the past.”

Lots of business with Social Security does not need to be done at the offices. According to a Social Security press: “Most Social Security services do not require a visit to an office. For example, anyone wishing to apply for benefits, sign up for direct deposit, replace a Medicare card, obtain a proof of income letter or inform us of a change of address or telephone number may do so at or by dialing our toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).”

Follow the Federal Diary on Twitter: @joedavidsonwp

Joe Davidson writes the Federal Diary, a column about federal government and workplace issues that celebrated its 80th birthday in November 2012. Davidson previously was an assistant city editor at The Washington Post and a Washington and foreign correspondent with The Wall Street Journal, where he covered federal agencies and political campaigns.


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