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Satellite Social Security office sought for Long Beach

Less than two weeks after Long Beach’s Social Security office closed, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have written to Social Security Administration Commissioner Michael Astrue asking him to open a part-time satellite location there.

In a letter sent Wednesday, the New York Democrats noted the hardship for handicapped Long Beach seniors and those without transportation to travel to the “mainland of Long Island.”

“Our office received multiple calls from local residents and city officials about the inconvenience, particularly for our seniors, who now have to travel, miles away, in order to get the services they used to get right here at home,” Schumer said in an email to Newsday.

Earlier, Long Beach city council members publicly decried closing the office that served 21,000 beneficiaries annually. Councilman Len Torres suggested in an interview earlier this month that the Social Security Administration work with the city to open a satellite center in Long Beach.

“I believe that if we can have some kind of satellite office ... maybe we can have some part of it still functioning so people who can’t get to Freeport can go there,” Torres said.

Social Security Administration regional spokesman John Shallman noted in a recent interview that beneficiaries can now do almost all of their Social Security business over the phone or online.

The Long Beach location at 25-27 East Park Ave. employed eight people before it was consolidated with the Freeport office as part of $1 billion in Social Security budget cuts nationwide. Shallman said there were no layoffs and most of the staff was absorbed by the Freeport office.

A spokeswoman for Gillibrand said Wednesday afternoon her office had not received a response from Astrue.

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