GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — It took less than 10 minutes Tuesday morning before a half-dozen people were standing outside the front doors of the Georgetown Social Security Administration building.
We went to the office after someone wrote KXAN asking why the federal office building on Parkview Drive was closed. The tipster said they’d noticed the building closed around June 19, but have never seen any work trucks parked there.
We went to find out. So did Don Allen.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Allen said as he walked up to find out the Georgetown office was closed. Allen just made the hour-long drive from Kingsland to find out why his wife’s SSA benefits had stopped.
“We didn’t want to drive in here,” Allen said. “We just found out this morning my wife’s benefits had been stopped and nobody seems to know why. They say you need to go in to see them at the office.”
Allen said he first called the Georgetown office to check the office hours. A recorded message tells the public the office is still open for business under normal business hours.
We had Allen call the number again. The message was exactly as he heard it Tuesday morning, “The office is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday,” the woman’s voice in the recording says.
Allen, angry about the wasted trip, said, “That’s government at its worst.”
“I came in a month ago. It’s closed, but I don’t know how long,” Brenda Gonzalez said as she made her third trip to the office in a month. Gonzalez is trying to get information on her husband’s benefits, something she said she cannot do online.
The sign on the office door states, “This office is currently closed for needed repairs. We will reopen as soon as possible.” The sign also directs the public to call 1-800-772-1213 to reach someone in the office.
The agency also directs people to the next two closest offices: one in Temple, the other in Austin. “Now you go and get to sit for two days,” another woman who found the office closed said about the suggestion to visit the Austin SSA office.
SSA spokeswoman Sarah Shultz-Lackey said the office closed May 26. A public release from May did not tell the public the reason for the closing, other than, “The office will remain closed while repairs are completed.” A staffer at the building on Tuesday told a woman who’d stopped by that the repairs were for “mold remediation.”
The offices will reopen sometime by early September, the SSA spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail to KXAN.
Shultz-Lackey did not respond to questions of whether the agency will change the recorded message with the incorrect office hours for the Georgetown location.
The addresses for the two closest offices: 511 N. Main Street, Temple and 1029 Camino La Costa, Austin. To check for office closings, click here.