Will Social Security Offices Be Closed for the Holidays?

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If you plan on visiting a Social Security Administration office, be aware of holiday schedule changes. While offices are currently closed to walk-in visits due to the coronavirus pandemic, in certain cases, you may be able to schedule an in-person visit, but make sure to check the holiday schedule.

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On March 17, 2020, the SSA suspended face-to-face service to the public in its field offices and hearings offices nationwide “until further notice,” it said on its website. “However, we are still able to provide critical services via phone, fax and online,” it added.

The SSA has announced that field offices could reopen for general walk-in service in January 2022. Under normal operation, Social Security offices are open to in-person visits on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“The Social Security Administration recently announced the next steps in navigating the safe return of employees to our new normal operations,” SSA spokesperson Nicole Tiggemann told AARP. Until then, in-person visits can be arranged by appointment in what Social Security calls “limited, critical situations” involving benefit issues that cannot be resolved by phone, mail or online, AARP reported. 

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See: Social Security — How Far in Advance Can I Apply?
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 To see if you qualify for an appointment, call your local Social Security office or check the SSA’s COVID-19 updates page, AARP recommends.

The SSA said that on the federal holidays it observes each year, scheduled visits are unavailable, as are some telephone services that require live representatives. The next such occasion is Christmas, which will be observed on Friday, Dec. 24 because Christmas Day falls on a Saturday.

The next federal holiday after that is New Year’s Day 2022, which will be observed on Friday, Dec. 31 because Jan. 1, 2022, falls on a Saturday. 

See: Are Banks Open Today? See Full List of All Bank Holidays
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To speak to a Social Security representative by phone, you can:

Call SSA’s national toll-free number, (800) 772-1213, between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays. You can also call your local office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. You can find the correct number by entering your Zip code into SSA’s office locator.

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You will not be able to speak to a live agent on federal holidays, as Social Security personnel get the day off, but you can access some services using the SSA’s automated phone system. For example, you can ask for a benefit verification letter, which can serve as proof of Social Security income if you are applying for a loan or for aid from a government program; request a new Medicare card; or check on the status of a pending claim or appeal for benefits.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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