Lawmakers Aim to Keep Social Security Field Offices Open
Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) are taking concrete action to reduce the number of Social Security field office closures around the country. They have introduced legislation to make it harder for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to summarily shutter these crucial customer service centers without Congressional oversight and input from local communities.
SSA has closed more than 60 field offices since 2011, inflicting hardship on lower income claimants who can’t easily access the nearest alternate locations. These closings have taken place largely – but not exclusively – in urban areas with minority populations. When an office in Congresswoman Moore’s Milwaukee district serving poor and mostly Hispanic residents was summarily shut down in 2017, she and Senator Baldwin said enough is enough.
“Social Security Administration (SSA) office closures do nothing but create hardship for seniors and other beneficiaries who may struggle to travel long distances or have medical, work, and childcare obligations that make long wait times and overcrowding prohibitive.” – Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI)
The “Maintain Access to Vital Social Security Services Act,” which Moore originally introduced in the previous Congress and is now paired with Baldwin’s Senate bill, calls for stricter oversight of SSA in the realm of field office closures.