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Friday, August 5, 2011

Social Security to Close Field Offices 30 Minutes Early Every Day to Save Money

In one of his "Commissioner's Broadcasts," Commissioner of Social Security, Michael Astrue announced on July 22, 2011 that the Social Security Administration will begin closing offices early due to its strained budget and loss of staff. Offices will close 30 minutes early every day starting August 15, 2011. The full text of the Commissioner's Broadcast follows:

A Message To All SSA and DDS Employees

Subject: New Social Security Field Office Hours

Given the tight budget situation, we must continue to make tough choices. The latest decision is that, beginning August 15, 2011, we will close Social Security field offices to the public 30 minutes early each day. For example, a field office that is usually open to the public Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm will now close daily at 3:30 pm.

Reducing hours will allow field office employees, who will continue to work their regular hours, to complete interviews without using overtime. That's essential because Congress provided us with nearly $1 billion less than the President requested for our budget this fiscal year, which makes it very hard to provide the amount of overtime that our usual business process requires.

Field offices have lost nearly 1,600 workers over the past nine months, and we cannot afford to replace that staff. As a small measure to help deal with those losses, we will close field offices to the public on Friday, November 25, 2011. Field office employees who work on that day will use the day for backlog reduction. As we try to adapt to these difficult fiscal times, we need to remind the public that they can find many services and get up-to-date information online or via our 800 number.

Soon I will be announcing policy changes that will allow us to work more efficiently. Please know that we are doing what we can to help you during these difficult times.

Michael J. Astrue


Copyright (c) 2011 by John V. Tucker and Tucker & Ludin, P.A. All rights reserved. If you need help from a Florida Social Security Disability attorney, particularly if you live in the Clearwater, St. Petersburg or Tampa areas, call Disability Lawyer John Tucker at (866) 282-5260. Offices: Clearwater and Tampa.

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