Great Falls Tribune: Closure of appeal site draws criticism

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., fired off a letter to a federal official Tuesday protesting the June 1 closure of a Social Security Administration remote hearing site in Great Falls.

“The Great Falls hearing site is one of the busiest in Montana,” Tester wrote to Social Security Administration Commissioner Michael Astrue. He said attorneys representing clients believe the site is the second busiest in the state, behind one in Billings.

Tester urged Astrue to delay the closure and explore “less drastic options that will not cut critical services to my constituents.”

Gina Ramer, regional communications director for the administration office in Denver, could not be reached Wednesday for comment on why the agency closed the site.

Cameron Ferguson, a Great Falls attorney whose practice concentrates on Social Security disability cases and workers’ compensation matters, said he hopes the federal agency will reverse the decision to close the Great Falls hearing location.

Read the whole article »