The Social Security Administration announced last week that it opened its local offices starting on April 7 for in-person meetings. You no longer have to wait forever on the phone to set up an interview sometime in the future.
The news was announced by Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security in a blog on April 4 indicating the change. This is likely greatly appreciated by retirees and others who want to come in and wait in the local offices to meet with an SSA person to discuss their issues. It's been about two years since the local offices have been open.
However, there could be a long line when you show up, as the pent-up demand for meeting with SSA personnel is likely very high. The Administrator is encouraging people to use SSA.gov to deal with their issues or to call the SSA and set up an appointment time.
He said, "Phone appointments can save you a trip to a busy office. I thank the public for your patience as we work to increase service."
The problem is many people complained about long wait times on the 800 service line. In addition, CNBC reports that government inspections have highlighted that the SSA lacks formal procedures for processing mail. This caused delays for some applications and services.
There are over 1200 SSA offices in the US. Originally they were scheduled to open in March, so this opening in early April is actually later than expected. The New York Times reported that this was a result of bargaining with SSA unions.
Some offices may continue appointment-only service or fully close due to construction, inability to allow people to wait outside, or other reasons. An updated list can be found here. The list of continued closed offices includes those in LA, Chicago, and NYC has only 5 open.
For those unable to use the website, representatives can be reached at (800) 772-1213 from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, along with several automated services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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