Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

November 17, 2012

Nationwide

Social Security offices across the country cutting hours

The Cumberland Social Security office’s announcement that it is reducing its hours of operation is not merely a local action — offices nationwide are doing the same.

Beginning Monday the office at 217 Glenn St. in Cumberland will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, a reduction of 30 minutes a day. On Jan. 2, the office also will close to the public at noon every Wednesday.

The announcement of the reduced hours noted that the shorter public window will allow employees to complete face-to-face interviews and process claims without incurring the cost of overtime. They will still work their regular hours. The significantly reduced funding provided by Congress makes it impossible for the agency to provide the overtime needed to handle service to the public as it has done in the past.

On Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving, all Social Security field offices will be closed to the public. Employees who work that day will focus on reducing backlogged workloads.

Times are changing, and the reality is that many people are no longer visiting the Social Security office. Instead they use the Internet to access services such as applying for retirement, disability or Medicare benefits; signing up for direct deposit; replacing a Medicare card; obtaining a proof-of-income letter; or reporting a change of address or telephone number.

Online changes can be made at www.socialsecurity.gov or via telephone at 800-772-1213. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call 800-325-0778. Many online services are available in Spanish at www.segurosocial.gov.

The Social Security Administration already requires people signing up for Social Security payments to receive their benefits through a direct deposit system. As the Internet becomes more prevalent, it will be surprising if local Social Security offices don’t dramatically reduce their hours as a move toward cost-cutting and efficiency.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Get involved Get involved

    Cumberland residents who want to make an impact on their community have an opportunity in that the city is seeking applicants for five of its boards.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • If we don’t sell it to them, somebody else will

    The front page article on coal exports by AP writer Dina Cappiello is one of the most asinine and biased “news” articles I’ve read (“Not in my backyard: U.S. sending dirty coal abroad,” July 29 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 30, 2014

  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where is it?

    Once upon a time, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce held its annual conventions at the Bedford Springs resort hotel near Bedford, which is in Pennsylvania.

    July 28, 2014

  • Korean War Korean War

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sloppy lawmaking is to blame

    July 27, 2014

  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo