Pleasanton Weekly

News - July 29, 2011

Social Security offices closing 30 minutes early

Budget cuts result in less public time

by Jeb Bing

Starting Aug. 15, Social Security offices in the Bay Area will close at 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, 30 minutes ahead of their current closing time.

Rob Pepper, Bay Area public affairs specialist for the agency, said Congress has trimmed the Social Security budget by nearly $1 billion more than the President requested for current fiscal year, "which makes it impossible for the agency to provide the amount of overtime needed to handle service to the public as we have in the past."

The cutback affects the Social Security office at 24301 Southland Drive in Hayward, which serves Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley.

The new operating hours of that office will be 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office is closed Saturdays and Sundays and on all federal holidays.

Pepper said agency employees will continue to work their regular hours, but the shorter "public window" will allow them to complete face-to-face service with the visiting public without incurring the cost of overtime.

Most Social Security services do not require a visit to an office, Pepper explained.

"For example, anyone wishing to apply for benefits, sign up for direct deposit, replace a Medicare card, obtain a proof of income letter or inform us of a change of address or telephone number may do so at www.socialsecurity.gov or by dialing our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213," he said.

People who are hard of hearing may call the TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.

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