To save money, Social Security offices to close earlier to public, starting Monday

Social Security offices to close half hour earlier (Sun Sentinel, file)

On Monday, Social Security field offices will start closing a half hour early to the public, including seven in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

The South Florida offices will be open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Those with appointments will be able to meet after those hours with Social Security staff. Appointment hours will not change.

Administrators blamed the shorter time open to the public on $1 billion in budget cuts.The agency was forced to cut back on overtime, said Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security.

The affected offices include the Fort Lauderdale East Office, 3201 W. Commercial Blvd.; Fort Lauderdale West Office, 3511 N. Pine Island Rd.; North Broward Office, 5195 Coconut Creek Pkwy, Margate; South Broward Office, 500 N. Hiatus Rd., Pembroke Pines; Belle Glade Office, 925 SE First St.; Delray Beach Office, 14548 S. Military Trail; and West Palm Beach Office, 1645 N. Congress Ave.

Most Social Security services do not require a visit to an office. For example, people who want to apply for benefits, sign up for direct deposit, replace a Medicare card, obtain a proof of income letter or change an address or telephone number can do so at socialsecurity.gov or call, toll-free, 800-772-1213.

dgehrke@tribune.come, 954-356-4205