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Minnesota Social Security offices to close to the public early

Effective November 19, Minnesota Social Security offices will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., a reduction of 30 minutes each weekday. In addition, beginning January 2, 2013, offices will close to the public at noon every Wednesday.

While agency employees will continue to work their regular hours, this shorter public window will allow them to complete face-to-face interviews and process claims work without incurring the cost of overtime.

The significantly reduced funding provided by Congress under the continuing resolution for the first six months of the fiscal year makes it impossible for the agency to provide the overtime needed to handle service to the public as it has done in the past.

In addition, on November 23, the day after Thanksgiving, all Social Security field offices will be closed to the public. Like last year, employees working that day will focus on reducing backlogged workloads.

Most Social Security services do not require a visit to a local office. Many services, including applying for retirement, disability or Medicare benefits, signing up for direct deposit, replacing a Medicare card, obtaining a proof of income letter or informing Social Security of a change of address or telephone number are available at www.socialsecurity.gov or by dialing toll-free 1-800-772-1213. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the TTY number, 1-800-325-0778. Many online services also are available in Spanish atwww.segurosocial.gov.

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