Some changes are coming to your Arkansas Social Security offices right away, while others will take effect in January 2013.

Arkansas Social Security offices will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – a reduction of 30 minutes each weekday. In addition, beginning January 2, 2013, offices will close to the public at noon every Wednesday.

While agency employees will continue to work their regular hours, this shorter public window will allow them to complete face-to-face interviews and process claims work without incurring the cost of overtime. The significantly reduced funding provided by Congress under the continuing resolution for the first six months of the fiscal year makes it impossible for the agency to provide the overtime needed to handle service to the public as it has done in the past.

In addition, on Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving, all Social Security field offices will be closed to the public. Same as last year, employees working that day will focus on reducing backlogged workloads.

Most Social Security services do not require a visit to a local office. Many services, including applying for retirement, disability or Medicare benefits, signing up for direct deposit, replacing a Medicare card, obtaining a proof of income letter or informing them of a change of address or telephone number are conveniently available at socialsecurity.gov or by calling toll-free at 1-800-772-1213. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call  the TTY number, 1-800-325-0778. Many of their online services are also available in Spanish at segurosocial.gov.