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Old 05-31-2014, 05:10 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 11,363,247 times
Reputation: 4909

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Social Security Threatens to Close All Field Offices


Need to figure out whether it makes sense to retire at 62 or 65? Wondering how much your monthly Social Security benefit will be? Been married three times and wondering what that means for your benefit?

Answers have never been farther than your local Social Security office, where employees are extensively trained to give you accurate and helpful answers. There’s a reason Social Security is the most popular of all government programs.

But that will change if the Social Security Administration’s “Vision 2025” comes to pass. Bureaucrats are mulling closure of most of SSA’s more than 1,000 community field offices in the U.S., where 43 million people sought services last year.

Even as the number of visitors continues to grow, Vision 2025 would virtually eliminate face-to-face service, replacing it with Internet services and an 800 phone number.




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Social Security Threatens to Close All Field Offices
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Old 05-31-2014, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Miraflores
787 posts, read 896,585 times
Reputation: 1531
Expats have been dealing with this for years. We used to have a social security rep in our embassy in Lima, now he is gone and we have to go to Costa Rica for a face to face. It has forced me to get an account online and read online through all the rules. In retrospect, it was a very good thing and applaud the change as it will make people more proactive and save the system a ton of money.
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Old 05-31-2014, 05:39 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,130 posts, read 17,167,980 times
Reputation: 9982
I'm actually OK with it.

As long as the people in there call center are As good or Better qualified as the Brick & Mortar offices. But they need to set up a Call in Appointment time, So you don't sit on hold for hours, and don't send you into IVR Loops, when you want to talk to a person.
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Old 05-31-2014, 05:47 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 11,363,247 times
Reputation: 4909
For anyone wishing to retire outside the US, many countries require Social Security pension income to be notarized and often apostilled, which is exceedingly difficult to achieve now. If they close their physical offices, it could become all but impossible to do.

Last edited by azoria; 05-31-2014 at 05:56 PM..
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Old 05-31-2014, 05:52 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,864 posts, read 54,568,102 times
Reputation: 31238
I never have a problem with reducing the cost of government. I'd never go anyway, I just prefer doing everything online. Hopefully they find someone better than the guys that did the healthcare site and have it running smoothly by the time I need it in 7-8 years.
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,545 posts, read 44,077,984 times
Reputation: 15160
No, no, no.

There is nothing like face-to-face with an experienced SS worker. My benefit is higher because of it. Correspondence to SS in DC got me nowhere. Couple of years later, I went to a local office, career SS person there said I was given wrong info - in a letter from DC no less. When I returned w/tax returns and same info I had mailed to DC, the issue was corrected on the spot.

Routine things can be done online. Complex problem-solving, not so much.

I HATE, absolutely HATE the online world we've become. In many cases, only local, face-to-face will do. That option should NEVER be eliminated.
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,575,594 times
Reputation: 27566
Our luck they'll offshore it and the person only knows to read from a script in broken English.
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:36 PM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,196 posts, read 2,863,927 times
Reputation: 4901
Their phone services leaves alot to be desired.

They basically told me to go to their website and figure it out. I have a complex issue in that I had all my points - then I went to work for a government agency that does not pay into Social Security.

I want an appointment, dammit.
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Seattle Area
1,716 posts, read 1,590,934 times
Reputation: 4125
This is fine as long as there is good call center and online support. the people that will need support in 2025 will have grown up with computers and the Internet their whole lives. It will be expected that their answers can be found online. WHo wants to go and wait to meet someone anyway
? Thats too old school for me.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:46 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,893 posts, read 18,900,996 times
Reputation: 33816
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakscsd View Post
This is fine as long as there is good call center and online support. the people that will need support in 2025 will have grown up with computers and the Internet their whole lives. It will be expected that their answers can be found online. WHo wants to go and wait to meet someone anyway
? Thats too old school for me.
Like most older people, I've had internet since around 1997 or so (many had it much sooner) but I still want to speak to a human being in person. I've had bad experiences with SS when talking to them on the phone. If I called the local office I got one answer, if I called the national office I got another answer. Finally I made an appointment and went there in person. I was given plenty of time to explain and they listened and asked questions. It made a huge difference and I don't care if I had to wait 15 minutes for my name to be called (or number or whatever) it was well worth it. There's something to be said for actual face to face human contact.
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