Social Security Administration reverses decision to cut field office services

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos
U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos

Online Staff Report

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., received word Friday, July 18, that her fight to prevent service cuts at Social Security field offices achieved its goal.

In a response to Bustos’ letter of June 20, the Social Security Administration notified Bustos that, contrary to their original plans, they would continue to provide benefit verification letters at regional field offices.

Today’s decision is a triumph for the seniors across our region of Illinois who rely on in-person service at their local Social Security office to get the benefits they have earned after a lifetime of hard work,” said Bustos. “I thank Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin for listening to my concerns and taking action to continue providing needed services to Illinois seniors.”

In a letter to Bustos, Colvin said: “I want you to know that I take your concerns about the proposed changes to our office services very seriously and have modified our proposals accordingly. After reviewing and considering your feedback, we have adjusted our plans.” Click here to read that letter.

Last month, Bustos wrote to Colvin to express her opposition to these cuts and to closures of local field offices.

The SSA had planned to no longer issue Social Security benefit verification statements in its field offices starting in October. This would have meant seniors could no longer walk into local field offices and request this service, but instead, they would have had to apply online or by phone for benefit verifications or a Social Security card, adding seven to 10 days to wait times.

Posted July 18, 2014