Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins wrote to Social Security Administration (SSA) Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi to urge her to immediately reopen the SSA’s field offices that have been closed for more than two years. In January, the SSA indicated that it was planning reentry of its teleworkers on March 30 and anticipating that field offices would resume in-person services to the public in early April. However, the agency has still not provided a specific date in April that the field offices will reopen to the public.
“It has now been two full years since the SSA suspended in-person services because of the COVID-19 pandemic,”Senator Collins wrote. “While the SSA reportedly submitted its reentry plan to the Office of Management and Budget in July 2021, it has still failed to fully reopen its offices to the public. The resulting disruptions to millions of Social Security beneficiaries are especially difficult for individuals and seniors in rural areas who do not have reliable telephone or Internet access and experience mail backlogs and delays in receiving benefit payments.”
Senator Collins has repeatedly urged the Biden Administration to transition federal workers back to in-person operations to address the widespread lack of responsiveness and accessibility across the federal government. In November 2021, she joined a group of 42 Senators in sending a letter to the heads of the Office of Personnel Management, the General Services Administration, and the Office of Management and Budget, calling on them to bring federal workers back to offices. Additionally, in December 2021, she joined a group of 15 Senators in pushing the SSA to immediately reopen its field offices.
Click HERE to read Senator Collins’ letter.