WASHINGTON — The Social Security Administration has been closing a record number of field offices because of budget constraints even as the demand for services soars, according to a congressional report being released Wednesday.
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.
Social Security has closed 64 field offices since 2010, the largest number of closures in a five-year period in the agency’s history, the bipartisan staff of the Senate Aging Committee said in its report. 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. The report questions the agency’s criteria for choosing which offices to close, saying the impact on local communities is rarely taken into account.