Social Security Disability Offices Are Closing at an Alarming Rate
There’s no doubt that modern technology makes everyday life easier and more convenient. However, though children learn how to use the latest gadgets incredibly quickly, older people often struggle. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration has been closing field offices around the country, even as millions of Baby Boomers age and retire.
According to YWV, dozens of closures have forced seniors to seek help online, as opposed to in person. The SSA is blaming the closures on budget constraints. Though virtual help can be incredibly convenient, it’s not fair to force seniors to interact with a screen instead of an actual employee if they prefer the latter.
The closures have caused significant confusion for many, resulting in longer waits at field offices that haven’t closed yet, as well as excessive wait times when calling in for help to speak with a representative. Understanding social security disability benefits can seem overwhelming at first, but we can help. At HowDoIApplyForSSDI.com, we have a ton of resources in an easy-to-navigate website for you to browse, whether you’re seeking information in Arizona for yourself or for a disabled loved one.
Complaints Abound With the Current System Regarding Disability Benefits and Closures
The SSA has closed 64 field offices in total since 2010, which is the largest number of closures in a five-year period since the agency was established. Administrators have also closed 533 mobile, temporary offices, which they had used to service clients in more remote areas of the country. Officials are not planning to close any offices in Arizona at this time, but there’s still a chance closures in the state could occur down the road.
The Senate Special Committee on Aging recently released a report on the dispersal of SSD benefits, as well as on past office closings and retirement benefits, in which it questioned the SSA’s criteria for issuing these closings. The committee does not believe the SSA takes the impact on small communities into account when determining field office closures. By closing offices in a manner that seems somewhat arbitrary, seniors and the disabled are losing what little access they had to an actual individual working for the agency.
Closures Are Neither Transparent Nor Fair
Officials on the Aging Committee are vehemently in opposition to the closures, which appear neither fair nor transparent. The SSA issued a response to the report that expressed appreciation for its thoroughness. The SSA also acknowledged that it has had to make some tough decisions in the past regarding closures because of budget restraints. It plans to submit a more detailed response after reviewing and analyzing the report in its entirety.
One of the reasons the closings have been so poorly received is that they’re occurring at a time when the number of applicants for disability benefits and retirement pensions is soaring. Baby Boomers are aging, and nearly 11 million Americans currently receive SSD benefits, which is a 38 percent increase from just one decade ago.
If you or a family member is struggling to understand the SSDI application process in Arizona, be sure to look through our website. At HowDoIApplyForSSDI.com, you’ll find a wealth of resources that can help make the process so much easier.