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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

SSA Field Offices to Cut 30 Minutes from Regular Office Hours

Beginning November 19, some 1,233 field offices of the Social Security Administration (SSA) will be cutting thirty minutes from their usual office hours. Therefore, the field offices will be operating and open to public from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm, according to a newspaper for senior government managers.

Accordingly, the said office hours reduction is a part of the agency’s goal to highlight the importance of seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation for people with disabling condition. In fact, this is the second time that the agency has trimmed some 30 minutes from its regular office hours.

The first office hours cut took effect last August 15, 2011, when field offices started operating between 9:00 am and 3:30 pm. It was actually 30 minutes earlier than the previous closing time, which was 4:00 pm.

Meanwhile, in wake of the previous announcement, several organizations have expressed their disapproval of the trimmed office hours.

According them, the measure would only delay and deteriorate the quality the agency’s service to senior citizens and other Social Security recipients.

Aside from the two consecutive office hours cut, it can be remembered that the agency previously shut down nearly 50 field offices over the past couple of years and will allegedly lay off approximately 4,000 employees this year alone.

Some experts believe that the cost-cutting measures would only mean hardship to many applicants, particularly those who are suffering from chronic pain and disabling illnesses.

Consequently, a Los Angeles SSI lawyer hopes that the federal agency will eventually consider having a close examination of the pros and cons of its decisions. This way it would avoid imposing undue hardship to SSI and SSDI claimants and SSA employees.