Will Social Security Offices Be Open on Columbus Day?

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With Columbus Day coming up on Monday, Oct. 11, many Americans will need to take care of banking or government business ahead of time to avoid the unpleasant surprise of finding out that offices are closed on Monday. The list includes Social Security Administration offices, which will not be open for business on Columbus Day.

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That shouldn’t be too inconvenient for Social Security recipients, considering that just about all SSA offices are currently closed to walk-in customers anyway because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the AARP. There are rare circumstances when you might be able to schedule an in-person visit, but most Social Security business these days is done online or by telephone.

Social Security observes 11 federal holidays each year, including Columbus Day, and closes its offices on each of them. Telephone services that require live representatives might also be unavailable on federal holidays.

Here are the remaining federal holidays for 2021, according to the SSA website:

  • Columbus Day: Monday Oct. 11
  • Veterans Day: Thursday, Nov. 11
  • Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, Nov. 25
  • Christmas Day: Friday, Dec. 24

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Normally, Social Security offices are open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. That changed in March 2020, during the early days of the pandemic. In a statement sent to FL1 News in September, the SSA said, “Each week we are increasing the number of personnel in our field offices to provide more in-office appointments. We have more than 1,200 field offices staffed with personnel who are conducting in-person appointments and other services.”

But as the AARP noted, in-person appointments typically involve “limited and critical” benefit issues that cannot be resolved by phone, mail or online. Visits might also be available to those who need to correct or update personal information attached to their Social Security numbers, such as their name or citizenship status.

The SSA has a COVID-19 updates page for those who want to know if they qualify for a personal visit to a Social Security office. Otherwise, you can call the SSA’s national toll-free number at 800-772-1213 on weekdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Another option is to visit the Social Security website at SSA.gov.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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