ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Anyone who drives by the Lead Ave. Social Security office every day, sees long lines that wrap around the building. KRQE News 13 spoke to people in line today who told us they wait in line for hours and sometimes never get seen.
“I got here 15 minutes after it opened and the line was wrapped around the building and thankfully it’s a little bit cooler today but I can imagine that when the temperatures are warmer, the elderly and people who are disabled are having some problems in the heat,” said Callie Rizzo, a woman waiting in line.
When KRQE News 13 first got to the office this morning people in line were positive and said the line was moving quickly. However, after 2 hours, the line barely moved and only a few people could be seen leaving the building after being helped.
A woman told KRQE News 13 she was in line yesterday for 4 hours and went home with a sunburn and dehydration. Some of those in line said they tried making an appointment but never reached anyone.
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“I made an appointment but then they called me back and said that they had to cancel my appointment that I needed just to come in,” said Carol Johnson, another woman waiting in line.
The Social Security Administration told KRQE News 13, that people can not make appointments on their website, only by phone. They also said most services do not require people to go into their offices. People can apply for benefits and more online and over the phone. Of course, that’s if people can get through to them.
“I do feel that they were organized inside but I think that there might be a disconnect between what they tell the public on their website and how to do things to try to do those quicker,” said Stephanie Wood, another waiting in line.
The Social Security Administration told us they are working to get more space available in the downtown office and to get more staff to help. Some in line said this was not their first day waiting in line. They left after a few hours due to the heat or because of their medical issues. The building does allow those waiting in line to use the restrooms and water fountains.