Considering how many residents of the Rock River Valley benefit from Social Security, I am surprised by what little attention has been given to an impending cut to it.
Today, anyone can walk into one of their field offices (such as the one at 502 E. Jefferson) and request a copy of their number or benefit verification statements. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) plans to no longer honor these in-person requests by October. [This decision was reversed July 18.] In their time of need, Americans will have to resort to navigating an untested SSA website or call center, even those who do not have convenient computer or phone access.
Thankfully, U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., was attentive to the situation here and wrote to the acting commissioner of the SSA, Carolyn Colvin, to oppose this change last month. She received my gratitude for refusing to saddle her constituents and the SSA with the additional cost of having to send millions of copies every year. More importantly, she recognized that it is simply unacceptable for Americans to wait by the mailbox for their Social Security.
From the July 23-29, 2014, issue