Social Security Administration to Close More Offices

Mandi Woodruff, a reporter with Yahoo Finance, recently interviewed Patrick L Doland for an article entitled “Here’s What the Social Security Administration’s New Service Strategy Means for You.”

Doland, a Certified Financial Planner Certificant with offices in Northbrook and Naperville, Illinois assists clients in optimizing their Social Security benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has closed over 60 field offices and laid-off more than 11,000 staff since 2010 to reduce costs. Close to one-quarter of local field offices have lost 20% or more of their workers and office business hours have been reduced. By 2025 they expect to have most of their business conducted on line.

Doland was quoted in the story on how one of his client’s was recently impacted when her husband died in April. Doland knew that this was the second time his client had been widowed which created a situation where she is eligible to receive the higher of her benefits, her recently deceased husband, or her first husband’s benefit. Doland explained that since she had been married to each of her husbands for over 10 years, that it was important for her to determine which husband’s benefits would be financially better for her to claim.

When she called the SSA, they indicated they would not be able to assist her over the phone and that she needed to schedule a face-to-face meeting at one of their local offices. The earliest date they had available was over two months away. “My client called me after she had her meeting” reported Doland “and she learned that she would be receiving over $600 more in benefits from her first husband, rather than claiming benefits from her second husband.”

Doland believes that when face-to-face meetings are ultimately eliminated, that the SSA quality of service will deteriorate.

Reason Financial Advisors has two Illinois offices. One in Northbrook which serves Cook County and the other in Naperville, which serves DuPage County.