After years of cutbacks, Social Security to open field offices for an extra hour most days

The Social Security Administration says a budget increase this year will allow it to keep field offices open an extra hour on most weekdays, starting in March.

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After years of cutbacks, the agency said Thursday it will restore service hours nationwide on March 16. A field office that is usually open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. will stay open until 4 p.m. on every weekday except Wednesday.

Field offices will continue to close at noon on Wednesdays.

Members of Congress complained last year after learning that Social Security had closed dozens of field offices even as millions of baby boomers were approaching retirement. The agency has more than 1,200 offices.

Social Security says most business can be done online, including applying for retirement, disability and Medicare benefits.