AFGE members have helped save Benefit Verification Forms, an essential service at Social Security Field Offices that is used by millions of senior, disabled and middle class Americans across the country.
The Social Security Administration has reversed its decision to discontinue the service at field offices because of the efforts of AFGE members who lobbied their members of Congress and the support of Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ) and other congressional cosigners of a letter to Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin.
“AFGE members should be proud of the work they’ve done to save this critical service,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox. “We are thankful that Council 220 and its members have shown time and again that they will fight for the type of service Americans deserve from the Social Security Administration.”
Benefit Verification Forms are often used to apply for jobs, rent apartments and apply for mortgages or other government assistance programs. This is a huge victory in AFGE’s fight to keep essential services that Americans rely on at field offices in local communities. But the fight isn't over.
The elimination of these services is part of SSA’s “Vision 2025” plan, which was designed to eliminate face-to-face customer service by closing field offices and eliminating crucial services in favor of the agency’s website My Social Security.
The other essential service at risk, Social Security Number Printouts, is still slated to be cut on Aug. 1.
But Rep. Bruce Braley (IA) has sponsored the bipartisan Seniors Access to Social Security Act of 2014 (H.R. 4964) to stop this cut and continue these essential services.
The more than 40 million working Americans who visit SSA field offices deserve whatever method of customer service they choose, whether in-person, on the phone or via the web.