According to a press release posted on the agency’s official web page, if a certain field office usually opens on weekdays at 9 o’clock in the morning and closes at 3:30 in the afternoon, it will be closing at 3 o’clock in the afternoon starting November 19.
Moreover, on January 2 next year, offices will be closed to the public at noon every Wednesday.
It could be remembered that it was last month when rumors regarding the agency’s plan to cut 30 minutes from the usual office hours surfaced. However, nothing about the agency’s plan to close at noon on every Wednesday broke out.
Accordingly, although office hours will be reduced, employees will still continue to work their regular hours. The shortened office hours was said to allow employees to complete face-to-face interviews and process claims work without going for overtime work.
Incidentally, the agency’s employees usually extend their regular office hours to handle service to the public. However, this year’s significantly reduced funding from the Congress makes it far possible for the agency to incur some more costs on overtime pays.
Furthermore, talking about backlogs, beginning November 23, all Social Security field offices will be close to public so that employees will have the whole day to focus on reducing backlogs. Actually, the same effort was also done by the agency last year.
On the other hand, several labor groups, applicants, and recipients are quite disappointed with the agency’s idea of reducing office hours. According to them, it could probably mean lesser chances for them to apply and qualify for benefits.
Meanwhile, some Los Angeles social security claim lawyers herein reminded that the agency’s recently launched online service would play a major role in replacing the field offices’ lost office hours since it is always available for applicants and members at any given time. Also, the same is perfectly customized for everyone, including those that are mute and hearing impaired. In addition, it likewise provides a Spanish version.