When American workers contribute to Social Security with every paycheck, they aren’t just earning future benefits. They’re also paying for high quality customer service at Social Security field offices around the country.
For decades, that’s exactly what Social Security beneficiaries received. But in recent years, congressional Republicans have gotten in the way, starving the Social Security Administration (SSA) of the funding it needs to properly administer the program. Among its many harms, the underfunding and other efforts to undermine service have resulted in office closures around the country, including right here in Baltimore.
North Baltimore’s Social Security office is scheduled to close Friday, and there apparently will be no replacement. The agency claims that they are not motivated by funding or the directive of the Office of Management and Budget to “reduce” the federal “footprint,” but no other explanation makes sense.
The closing will force North Baltimore Social Security beneficiaries, many of whom have limited mobility and rely on public transportation, to travel miles away to offices in downtown Baltimore or Towson. When they get there, wait times are likely to be very long since there are now fewer offices to cover a large and growing population of beneficiaries.