U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) joined Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.), ranking member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, in sending a letter urging Acting Social Security Administration (SSA) Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi to immediately reopen the SSA’s field offices to the public.
Senator Young’s office has received numerous complaints from constituents unable to schedule in-person appointments in a timely manner and from Hoosiers – often elderly – who have had difficulty navigating the online options.
“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. … 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,” the senators wrote.
“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.”
Nearly 21 months ago, 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, the SSA still has 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:
- Challenges for individuals, especially seniors in rural areas, who do not have reliable telephone or internet access;
- A reduction in Supplemental Security Income awards and disability benefit approvals; and
- Mail backlogs and delays in providing benefit payments.
Click here to view the full letter.