For the first time since 2019, the Social Security Administration (SSA) expects to have all of its customer service offices open year-round in 2023. The agency was forced to close its offices in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, and did not reopen them until the spring of 2022.
A lot has changed with the SSA since the pandemic first hit. The biggest is that the agency has revamped its website in an effort to make it easier to use and to encourage Social Security recipients and applicants to use online services (rather than call or visit field offices).
The SSA strongly recommends creating and using a my Social Security account to conduct business. Among the things you can do online are review your statements, earnings history and estimated retirement benefits. You also can apply for benefits, check your application status, and change your address and bank information for direct deposits.
If you do need to visit a Social Security office, more than 1,400 are available around the country, according to the SSA website. These include regional offices, field offices, card centers, teleservice centers, processing centers, hearing offices, Appeals Council offices, and offices of territorial and state partners.
To find a field office near you, use the SSA’s online locator tool — or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday. You can also call those numbers to make, reschedule or cancel appointments. If you think an office might be closed because of an emergency, check the agency’s Office Closings and Emergencies page.
In terms of customer service, offices are typically broken down into the following:
- Field Offices: These offer the full range of SSA services. You can apply for Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicare benefits. You also can get replacement cards, make changes to your benefits information, and apply for extra help with the cost of their prescription drugs under the Medicare Prescription Drug Program. Hours vary by field office, so call ahead to your local office to find out its hours.
- Resident Stations: These are described by the SSA as “very small” facilities in remote areas, such as at community centers and nursing homes. Resident Stations have more limited services and hours of operation than field offices, and are staffed by a small number of employees. Resident stations provide face-to-face service for communities distant from or not easily accessible to the field office. These are typically located in sparsely populated areas.
Another thing to keep in mind is that most U.S. government offices, including Social Security offices, are closed during federal holidays. Here’s the federal holiday schedule for 2023:
|Monday, Jan. 2
|New Year’s Day
|Monday, Jan. 16
|Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
|Monday, Feb. 20
|Monday, May 29
|Monday, June 19
|Juneteenth National Independence Day
|Tuesday, July 4
|Monday, Sept. 4
|Monday, Oct. 9
|Friday, Nov. 10
|Thursday, Nov. 23
|Monday, Dec. 25
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