Social Security opens Wednesday, May 2, in City Hall

The Rome Social Security Office, which will be located at City Hall on a temporary basis, will be open weekly beginning Wednesday, May 2.

Office hours will be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday at 198 N. Washington St., for a three-month period. Friday will be the final day of service at the Rosen Building.

Last week, Rep. Richard L. Hanna, R-24, Barneveld, and Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-NY, held a joint press conference at City Hall announcing the temporary location of the Social Security Administration office, which is being offered rent-free by the city.

But Schumer and Hanna have said one day a week for three months is not enough for the SSA to monitor the foot traffic and quality of work done in Rome. Both stated they are pushing for the Rome office to remain a permanent location, and one that is cost-effective for the SSA compared to leasing its office at its North George Street location for $6,000 a month.

SSA officials had previously cited cost-savings measures as reasons for closing the Rome location and moving its nine employees to the Alexander Pirnie Federal Building in Utica. Originally, the SSA said the Rome office would close by April 27.

"I’m pleased that more than 20,000 individuals in the greater Rome area will continue to have access to Social Security staff to assist with their needs," Hanna said in a statement. "Right now the service will be weekly, but I urge everyone to continue to use the facility so federal officials realize the need for a permanent location in Rome."

Hanna said he and Schumer "have urged" the SSA to keep the office at City Hall open for longer than the approved three months. Not only does the Rome office serve approximately 22,000 customers from Rome and western Oneida County, but has been rated among the most efficient SSA offices in the country, officials have said.

The concern from Schumer and other elected officials is that the elderly and disabled from Rome and the surrounding area will have a more difficult time getting service via the Internet or making the trek to Utica.

The temporary office will be located within the Parks and Recreation Department at City Hall. It is located adjacent to the elevator and is handicap accessible.

For more information, contact the Social Security Office at 1-877-405-4876.