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Social Security offices to scale back accessibility

Over recent years, getting adequate access to Social Security payments has proven more and more difficult for Americans in need. A myriad of factors including economic downturn, the large retiring population of baby boomers, and a lack of adequate government funding has made Social Security payments, Disability checks, and Supplemental Security Income harder to attain for those who need it.

Now in Houston and all around Texas, the situation is about to get even more difficult. Announcements made earlier this month reveal that Texas Social Security offices offer fewer open hours each week, operating on a Monday through Friday schedule of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The lessened hours will go one step further after the New Year, when offices will begin closing each Wednesday at noon.

The reduction in open hours is a solution to problems of significantly reduced Congressional funding and a Social Security workforce that is scrambling to complete the face-to-face interviews and claims work that dependents go through in order to begin receiving payments.

Specifically for this week, offices in Texas will be closed the day after Thanksgiving. Employees, however, will still be at work, attempting to reduce a workload that has become heavily backlogged.

While the schedule logistics of a Social Security office visit will undoubtedly become more difficult in light of these new hours, the legal hurdles caught up in the process can be potentially even more frustrating. From appeals to improper monthly allotments, hard-working citizens who have paid into the Social Security system can often find themselves denied the support they come to need. In these instances, contacting a lawyer conversant in Social Security and disability law may be a necessary course of action.

Source: Your Houston News, "Texas Social Security offices to shorten hours open to public," Nov. 10, 2012

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