The Social Security employees at the Freeport, Illinois office are making their voices heard. Two at a time, they picketed on the corner outside their local Social Security Administration office, handing out information to people passing by to gain support against cuts proposed by Congress to the Social Security Act budget for 2012. The hope is that people will contact members of Congress and make them aware of the importance of the agency and the work it does.
Their small rally was one of the many held around Illinois and across the country. The goal is to draw attention to possible budget cuts to SSA, which would likely lead to unpaid time off for employees and even the possibility of closing offices.
Congress has proposed cuts of up to $882 million to next year’s budget. Those proposed cuts and the adjustments to the 2011 budget have already forced the agency to begin downsizing.
In Freeport, Illinois, the office hours have been reduced by a half hour every day. With just four full-time employees, it is the lowest staff numbers employees can remember. Despite the low employment numbers, the number of people the office serves continues to grow.
The cuts in the SSA budgets could adversely affect those applying for benefits under the program. With fewer resources, claims could take longer to process.
Illinois residents who are seeking to apply for Social Security or Social Security Disability benefits may want to contact an Illinois lawyer devoted to helping individuals apply for and claim benefits. The lawyer can answer important questions and work to ensure all benefits are received.
Source: Journal Standard, “Social Security workers rally to inform public of budget cuts,” Dave Manley, Oct. 27, 2011