Senators, watchdog hit Social Security over closed offices and poor service

 

Source: Joe Davidson, Washington Post ( Paid Registration )

Bipartisan leaders of a special Senate committee want Social Security to explain why so many facilities have been shuttered, while a new internal watchdog report documents long processing times at hearing offices.

In letters to SSA and the General Services Administration (GSA) on Monday, Sens. Susan M. Collins (R-Maine) and Robert P. Casey Jr. (Pa.), the chairwoman and ranking Democrat, respectively, of the Senate Special Committee on Aging said, “as some 10,000 seniors turn 65 each day and file for Social Security and Medicare, we should be expanding access to services, not reducing access.” Instead, Social Security has closed about 125 field offices since 2000 and, the senators said, “service hours at field-office locations have also been cut while wait times have risen and hearing backlogs have grown.”

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