08/10/11 — Social Security office to close early as result of federal budget cutback

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Social Security office to close early as result of federal budget cutback

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 10, 2011 1:46 PM

Federal budget cuts are forcing local Social Security offices to close their doors to the public 30 minutes early each weekday starting Monday.

The Goldsboro office is located at 2605 Medical Office Place across Wayne Memorial Drive from the hospital.

The hours currently are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The closing time will change to 3:30 p.m. Monday.

Contacted about the change, local Social Security officials said that there was "nothing to discuss" other than what had been said in a press release about the earlier closing time.

"I cannot elaborate any more than what is on it," said Ethel N. Barnes, a public affairs specialist with the Goldsboro Social Security office.

According to the release, agency employees will continue to work their regular hours.

"This shorter public window will allow us to complete face-to-face service with the visiting public without incurring the cost of overtime for our employees," Michael J. Astrue, commissioner of Social Security, said in the release. "Congress provided our agency with nearly $1 billion less than the president requested for our budget this fiscal year, which makes it impossible for us to provide the amount of overtime needed to handle service to the public as we have in the past."

Ms. Barnes did say that public window meant the doors would close at 3:30 p.m.

According to the release, most Social Security services do not require a visit to an office.

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 the agency of a change of address or telephone number may do so at www.socialsecurity.gov or by dialing a toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). The local phone number is 866-366-9556.