Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and 14 of her Senate colleagues urged the Social Security Administration (SSA) to immediately reopen their field offices to the public after being closed for nearly 21 months. Last month, Senator Collins joined 42 of her colleagues in sending a letter to the heads of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to request immediate action to transition federal workers back to in-person operations.
“Social Security is a bedrock of our nation’s social safety net, especially for our nation’s seniors aged 62 or older who comprise more than four-fifths of all Social Security beneficiaries,” wrote the Senators. “On March 17, 2020, the Social Security Administration (SSA) suspended in-person services because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This suspension created a disruption to the millions of new applicants and beneficiaries receiving Social Security benefits.”
“On behalf of the nearly 70 million Americans who receive benefits from SSA, we reiterate the need to reopen the field offices as quickly as possible. Our nation’s seniors and beneficiaries of SSA programs deserve no less,” the Senators continued.
In early 2020, the SSA suspended in-person services because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the SSA reportedly submitted its reentry plan to the Office of Management and Budget in July of 2021, it has still failed to fully reopen its offices to the public. This has resulted in disruptions to the millions of applicants and beneficiaries receiving Social Security benefits, including:
In addition to Senator Collins, the letter was co-signed by Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tim Scott (R-SC), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Todd Young (R-IN), Richard Burr (R-NC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Braun (R-IN), Rick Scott (R-FL), John Barrasso (R-WY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), James Lankford (R-OK), Rob Portman (R-OH), John Thune (R-SD), and Pat Toomey (R-PA).
Click HERE to read the full letter.