Social Security office closing

PLAQUEMINE — The Social Security Administration is shutting down its satellite office in Plaquemine on Dec. 14 after 37 years of operation, a spokeswoman said.

Sarah Schultz-Lackey, regional communications director for the agency, said Tuesday the field office’s closure would save taxpayers about $4 million during the next decade.

The Plaquemine Social Security Office, 24655 Plaza Drive, received “very light foot traffic,” Schultz-Lackey said, not enough to justify keeping it open as the agency deals with budget constraints.

“We’re doing it to save money,” she said. “Anytime a lease comes up for renewal at one of our small offices, we look at it and ask: Does it make the best business sense to try and keep the office open?”

The Plaquemine location was established in 1975, she said.

Schultz-Lackey said maintaining local field offices across the nation is the agency’s biggest expense.

The Plaquemine office has nine employees. Schultz-Lackey said the workers would be given an option to transfer
to one of the agency’s two satellite locations in Baton Rouge.

Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso said he had no idea the office was shutting down and added that the announcement “disappointed” him.

“Times are tough right now; (the nation) is in debt,” Ourso said. “But this is a huge surprise. Where will our people go now?”

According to a news release, most Social Security business can be conducted online by visiting the agency’s website at http://www.socialsecurity.gov or by calling (800) 772-1213.

Plaquemine residents who prefer to conduct business at a Social Security office in person after Dec. 14 may do so by visiting the Baton Rouge field offices at 5455 Bankers Ave., and 4332 Harding Blvd., the release states.