Sen. Schumer calling for more funding for Social Security offices to alleviate wait times

Apr 15, 2019

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer was in town Monday to demand more federal funding and resources be sent to Social Security field offices.

The Democrat said when it comes to the longest wait times at a Social Security office, Rochester’s office ranked first in New York state and second in the country.

Speaking at the Henrietta Senior Center, Schumer said the number of baby boomers retiring is increasing every day.

"They haven’t kept up with the backlog, and one other reason -- this is a good reason -- we're living longer,” Schumer said. “So there are more and more people on Social Security."

Leanne Rorick is the Director of New York Connects at Lifespan, and says they hear from many of their clients that wait times are over an hour.

"While some are able to visit a local office," she said, "Many of the folks that we talk to are not able to stand in long lines due to disability or frailty." 

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

When it comes to phone calls, Rochester's office received over 5,000 calls but it was only able to answer 41%, the lowest rate of all 28 social security offices in New York. 

The senator is now pushing to secure $100 million to reduce the backlogs and to improve office operations and wait times in field offices.