Despite public outcry, SSA to close Belltown and ID offices

From Real Change

Social Security Administration (SSA) offices in Belltown and the International District will be consolidated into a new location downtown, set to open June 12.

The former locations on Lenora and South Lane streets will close at noon June 8.

The new SSA office will sit inside the Jackson Federal Building, a Level IV security building with metal detectors, where those entering are required to show state or federal picture identification and have their bags searched.

Social Security Works Washington, a coalition of organizations, fought the move into the Jackson building. (“Groups rally to stop closure of Social Security building,” Real Change, Jan. 11, 2012.) They argued that the high-security building adds an extra barrier to disabled or mentally ill clients who do not have the resources to access lower-security offices in Kent, Burien, Bellevue and North Seattle.

Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Seattle, opposed consolidation in letters to Michael Astrue, SSA’s national commissioner, dated June 20, 2011, and May 7, 2012.

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