Social Sec. office in Amherst closing

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – News 4 has learned the Social Security office in Amherst is set to close, and the agency blames a shrinking budget.

The Social Security Administration says they have lost more than 10,000 employees since the beginning of 2011 and have been forced to consolidate dozens of field offices to make up for three straight years of budget reductions. The location in Amherst will be consolidated with the Buffalo office, and the 22 employees at the Sheridan Drive location will join the 31 employees at the office on Exchange Street.

The last day the Amherst location will be open is March 28. The agency says they expect this consolidation to save $4.9 million over the next 10 years.

Congressman Brian Higgins has vowed to fight to keep the Amherst location open, saying it would disenfranchise seniors who live in the suburbs. But the agency says there are three other locations, including the one in Buffalo, that are 16 miles away or less from the Amherst location.

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