Welcome

Thank you for visiting Paducahsun.com, online home of The Paducah Sun.

Calendar
June 2012
S M T W T F S
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

Social Security closing offices as boomers age

BY STEPHEN OHLEMACHER Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Budget cuts have forced the Social Security Administration to close dozens of field offices even as millions of baby boomers approach retirement, swamping the agency with applications for benefits, a senior agency official told Congress Wednesday.

Better Internet access and more online services are easing the transition, said Nancy Berryhill, the agency's deputy commissioner for operations.

"We are fully committed - now and in the future - to sustaining a field office structure that provides face-to-face service for those customers who need or prefer such service," Berryhill told the Senate Special Committee on Aging. "We also understand, however, that customer expectations are evolving due to changes in technology, demographics and other factors."

Senators appeared unconvinced.

"The fact of the matter is, millions of seniors and disabled Americans are not accustomed to doing business online," said Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the top Republican on the Aging Committee. "Even as computer and broadband technologies become more widespread, the idea that the Social Security Administration can serve beneficiaries primarily online ignores the very real needs of the senior and disabled populations."

The committee held a hearing Wednesday after issuing a bipartisan report showing that Social Security has closed 64 field offices since 2010, the largest number of closures in a five-year period in the agency's history.

In addition, the agency has closed 533 temporary mobile offices that often serve remote areas. Hours have been reduced in the 1,245 field offices that are still open, the report said.

As a result, seniors seeking information and help from the agency are facing increasingly long waits, in person and on the phone, the report said.

"They don't do any kind of analysis on what would happen to a community when their field office closes, including figuring out how the most vulnerable populations would make their way to the next-closest office," said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., chairman of the Aging Committee.

The closings come as applications for retirement and disability benefits are soaring, a trend that will continue as aging baby boomers approach retirement.

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha d1f024deb5cd49f8aa95711fa31df2c2
Top Classifieds
  • Labrador Pups $500 839-1198 Details
  • MINI Aust. Shepherd pups, $170. 270-9 ... Details
  • HAVANESE PUPS AKC Home Raised, Best H ... Details
  • SEEING is believing! Don't buy p ... Details
  • Details
  • Beautifully &Totally Renovated Co ... Details
  • House for SaleAurora, KY2 Bdr, Liv RM ... Details
  • Lower town Condo w/ garage, Leslie He ... Details
  • AUTOMOVER SPECIAL6 lines - 14 dayson ... Details
  • Red 2013Ford Taurus Loaded30,000 + mi ... Details
  • 2007 NissanAltima Hybrid147,000 miles ... Details
  • 2002 HARLEY DAVIDSON "BAD BOY&qu ... Details

Most Popular
  1. Cutlines for decor spread
  2. Home Away from Home Southern Grace Assisted Living
  3. Southern Style in the Summertime
  1. Gander Mountain store will reopen
  2. Joe Ford Jr. found dead in wreck off I-24
  3. New Paducah ice cream shop a fresh, family affair
  1. Cutlines for decor spread
  2. Home Away from Home Southern Grace Assisted Living
  3. Southern Style in the Summertime
Discussion

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...