The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

November 19, 2012

Hours shortened at Social Security offices


— Effective Nov. 19, the Beckley and Bluefield Social Security offices will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.,  a reduction of 30 minutes each weekday.

In addition, beginning Jan. 2, the offices will close to the public at noon every Wednesday.

While agency employees will continue to work their regular hours, this shorter public window will allow them to complete face-to-face interviews and process claims work without incurring the cost of overtime. The significantly reduced funding provided by Congress under the continuing resolution for the first six months of the fiscal year makes it impossible for the agency to provide the overtime needed to handle service to the public as it has done in the past.   

In addition, on Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving, all Social Security field offices will be closed to the public. As last year, employees working that day will focus on reducing backlogged workloads.

Most Social Security services do not require a visit to a local office. Many services, including applying for retirement, disability or Medicare benefits, signing up for direct deposit, replacing a Medicare card, obtaining a proof of income letter or informing us of a change of address or telephone number are conveniently available at www.social security.gov or by dialing our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213.

People who are hearing impaired may call our TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.