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Social Security office to close earlier
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The Covington Social Security office is closing to the public half an hour earlier these days because of federal budget cuts.

The office, located at 9180 Covington ByPass Road in Covington, will now be open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. All Social Security offices around the nation are reducing public hours by 30 minutes. Employees will continue to work the same hours but will devote 30 fewer minutes to the public.

Social Security spokeswoman Patti Patterson said the reduction of public hours will reduce overtime costs.

"Congress provided Social Security with nearly $1 billion less than the president requested for our budget this fiscal year, making it very hard to provide the amount of overtime needed to handle (all face-to-face activities)," Patterson said Monday by email.

Budget cuts also necessitated cutting two employees from the Covington office in the past nine months, and Georgia offices have lost a total of 36 employees during that time.

Patterson said most services should not be affected because they don’t require a visit to the office. Citizens wishing to apply for benefits, sign up for direct deposit, replace a Medicare card, obtain a proof of income letter or inform Social Security of a change of address or telephone number can do so at or by dialing 1-800-772-1213.