Democratic Caucus Seniors Task Force Co-Chairs Issue Statement on Social Security Office Lockouts
WASHINGTON – Today, House Democratic Caucus Seniors Task Force co-chairs Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) released the following statement in response to the fact that starting this week, Social Security field offices have begun closing to the public early due to significant cuts in its operating budget:
“The decision to begin closing Social Security offices early is a signal of things to come as House Republicans insist on slashing federal spending that helps seniors,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky. “This is proof that contrary to their promises, Republican proposals are already hurting current Social Security beneficiaries. Social Security benefits and the operations of the Social Security Administration have nothing to do with our deficit and yet our seniors and the disabled will have to pay the price for Republicans’ insistence on protecting tax cuts for billionaires and millionaires. This decision is a glimpse of what effect the Republicans’ push for severe spending cuts will have on the day-to-day experience of all Americans seeking access to government offices and federal benefits they have earned.”
“It is unconscionable that America's seniors are made to suffer as a result of the cuts to the Social Security Administration forced by House Republicans,” said Rep. Doris Matsui. “Social Security has not added a dime to the deficit, yet its beneficiaries are seeing limited services – and could soon see limited benefits – as a result of ideological posturing from Republican leaders. America’s seniors deserve better and I will continue to stand up and oppose such cuts to Social Security.”
Spending cuts pushed by Republicans have resulted in $1 billion less in appropriations than the Social Security Administration (SSA) requested and needed for Fiscal Year 2011. In response, SSA is forced to begin requiring field offices nationwide to close to the public 30 minutes early each day. For example, a field office that is usually open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. will close daily at 3:30 p.m.
Beneficiaries should know that most Social Security services are also available online or via telephone. Anyone wishing to apply for benefits, sign up for direct deposit or replace a Medicare card can do so at www.socialsecurity.gov or by dialing the toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).