Budget Shortfalls Force Field Office Service Cuts
Budget shortages and security concerns have forced the Social Security Administration (SSA) to discontinue two field office services. As of April 1, 2014 (although a delayed start date is also being discussed), SSA field offices will no longer issue (1) benefit verification letters, which contain data that can be used to help people obtain everything from mortgages to food stamps, or (2) Social Security Number (SSN) printouts (for people who do not have their original Social Security card).
The SSA estimates that up to 40% of walk-in visitors to field offices come specifically for one or both of the documents being phased out. The good news, however, is that people can still obtain benefit verification letters online through their my Social Security accounts, or over the telephone by calling the SSA’s toll-free line at 1-800-772-1213.
The SSA has specified that field offices will still provide benefit verification letters and SSN printouts to those in “dire need”, but has yet to stipulate to what circumstances the “dire need” exception will apply.