The government is trying to push Social Security to an online system that uses digital communication more than in-person appointments. For people who aren't comfortable with using the Internet for these types of tasks, this might present a problem and make getting benefits much more difficult.
In the last few years, the Social Security Administration has had to deal with budget cuts that have necessitated the closing of many offices. In fact, 553 temporary mobile offices and 64 field offices have been closed in the last few years. This can make it much more difficult for people who need in-person help to get that help that they need.
As time progresses, the number of office workers decreases, the number of offices decreases and the number of hours the centers are open decreases. Lawmakers, however, aren't all taking these changes in stride. Some lawmakers are speaking out in favor of the applicants and recipients who aren't able to use phone service or digital services.
One U.S. senator notes that the government hasn't asked the public for an opinion about the changes that the Social Security Administration is going through. She says the beneficiaries aren't being considered when it comes to the impact these closures and reduced hours have on them.
If you have applied for SSD benefits or any benefits through the Social Security Administration, you might realize that it is a very involved process that can turn complex quickly. Knowing your rights and learning about your responsibilities can help you immensely as you navigate through the system for claiming benefits.
Source: Federal Times, "Lawmakers push back against Social Security office closures" Andy Medici, Jun. 19, 2014