Fighting to Keep Social Security Office Open for Bristol Seniors

October 15, 2013

Hartford, CT – State Senator Jason Welch (R-Bristol) has filed a Freedom of Information request with the Principal Public FOIA Liaison to find out why the Bristol Social Security Administration Office (SSA) on Main Street was put on a closure list.

“Bristol’s elderly and disabled population rely on social security to make ends meet and are often the least able to navigate the worldwide web or travel to other towns. Closing this office is a bad idea,” said Senator Welch.

Senator Welch was notified on September 30 via letter from the SSA regional director that the office was on the chopping block. After several constituent calls and a bit of investigation Senator Welch decided to ask the obvious: Why here? Why wasn’t the public asked? How much does the administration anticipate in savings? How many other SSA offices are being closed?

In a letter to the FOIA Liaison Sen. Welch requests a copy of all documents and records related to the decision to close the Bristol office: research, data, analysis, reports, notes, memoranda and correspondence whether in handwritten, typed, electronic or any other form.

“I understand the Social Security Administration has tried to close the Bristol office in the past but back then the community stood up and for good reason. While I support efforts to consolidate government services and save taxpayer dollars, I am concerned that closing the Bristol SSA office will disproportionately impact a vulnerable population for what may be little savings,” added Sen. Welch.

In 2011, the Bristol SSA office pared back its hours of operation from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Wednesday. The Social Security office is located in Room 400 of the old New Departure administration building at 225 N. Main St.

The law requires an answer to the Freedom of Information request within 20 workdays.

The Bristol SSA Office is scheduled to close in January.

(Attached: Letters to FOIA liaison and district manager.)