Social Security Administration looks to close Bristol location - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Social Security Administration looks to close Bristol location

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The Social Security Administration said it wants to close its downtown Bristol location in a move that officials said would save money, but that isn't sitting well with seniors.

"It's a place where we can go to get help," Pat Brown said.

Brown, 74, still works, but she said the social security she collects helps to supplement her income. She said she doesn't agree with the possible closing of the North Main Street location.

"I think it would be upsetting for me or any senior citizen," she said.

In a letter announcing the move last month, social security district manager said, "The current budgetary climate has forced the agency to review its methods of delivering safe, efficient and cost effective services to the citizens of Connecticut."

The Social Security Administration said much of its business can be done online or over the phone. If customers still need to work something out face-to-face, options include offices in Torrington, Waterbury and New Britain, which is the closest, but still about 10 miles away.

"It's somewhat devastating especially for the senior population and those that utilize the services of social security," Bristol Mayor Art Ward said.

In addition to the mayor and the congressional delegation, the Chamber of Commerce is also calling on the Social Security Administration to keep its office in Bristol. Ward said they're trying to come up with other options to see if the government would be interested.

"We also gave them the suggestion that we might be able to make our senior center available, if it's not full time, at least part time," Ward said.

Ward said the city faced the same issue about six years ago, but the office stayed open. Two years ago its hours were slashed, and now if nothing changes it will be closed for good in January.

"I could come here on my day off, but that would mean a trip in the winter," Brown said. "I don't want to drive in the snow or sleet, so I think it would be a hardship for me and most senior citizens."

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