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SSA announces reduced hours to public

Hours reduced by SSA

One of the most common questions on our disability forum is, “When and how can I talk to someone at the Social Security Administration office (SSA)?” The bad news is the SSA may never call you and have you come into the office if you have applied for SSDI or SSI benefits. They are simply going to review your disability application and request your medical files and contact you if they need more medical information to process your SSDI or SSI claim. Additionally, they may tell you to go to a consultative examination.

What do you need to do if you want to have a face to face meeting with a disability representative? You will have to call them at 1-800-772-1213 and request a meeting. It can be difficult to get a meeting. With an estimated 3 million disability applicants last year alone the SSA (Social Security Administration) is swamped with work and it is not likely to get any better.

The Social Security Administration announced recently that effective November 19, 2012, Social Security Administration field offices nationwide will close to the public 30 minutes early each day. Additionally, beginning January 2, 2013, SSA offices will close to the public at noon every Wednesday.

The SSA notes, however, that the Social Security Administration representatives will not work fewer hours they will simply interact with the public less and will instead be given more time to review disability claims. The goal of the new strategy is to eliminate overtime costs due to the reduced congressional funding under the continuing resolution for the first six months of the fiscal year. The SSA maintains that they are not able to continue to provide extended public assistance with these cuts.

The SSA offices will also be closed the day after Thanksgiving to the public only. The SSA employees will report to duty on Friday, but they will be focusing on completing backlogged SSI, SSA retirement and SSDI cases.

The good news is that many SSA services do not have to be done by visiting the local SSA office. In fact, you can review their website at for information about Medicare, SSDI, SSI, and retirement services. The SSA can also be reached by calling their toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call our TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.

How do I expedite my disability case?

SSDI and SSI claimants are shocked to find they may have to wait months or years to get their disability benefits. Understanding the disability process can help, but you are going to need a great deal of patience to successfully navigate the system.

The first step is to review the requirements for SSDI and SSI to ensure you meet the basic nonmedical requirements. If you do not, do not apply. You will be automatically denied for benefits, regardless of the severity of your health condition.

Many SSDI and SSI claimants find that the process is too complicated and decide to hire a disability lawyer. If you need help with your disability application or appeal, fill out a FREE evaluation form and a disability lawyer or advocate will contact you to discuss your case.