WASHINGTON —U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) announced today that the Morgantown Social Security Administration Office of Hearing and Appeals will now be a permanent office. It had been a temporary office for the past two years.
Rockefeller said, "This is great news for the people of northern West Virginia who need this office for their Social Security cases to be heard. Before this office was opened, even as a temporary office, West Virginians had to travel long distances for their cases to be heard. This office has been effective in helping to ease the backlog of Social Security cases waiting on appeal."
In 1998, Rockefeller fought to have this office placed in Morgantown after hearing that the Social Security Administration (SSA) intended to locate one of their eight new offices in Pennsylvania. He wrote to then-Acting Social Security Commissioner John Callahan, noting that Pennsylvania already had six offices, while West Virginia only had two.
The office has 34 employees and serves eleven West Virginia counties that include: Ohio, Marshall, Tyler, Doddridge, Harrison, Barbour, Tucker, Taylor, Preston, Marion and Monongalia. In addition, the office serves several Pennsylvania counties.
"Making the Morgantown office a permanent location it is a testament to the extraordinary work the employees and judges have done for West Virginians. I commend their efforts and am confident their good work will continue," said Rockefeller.
The Morgantown Social Security Office of Hearings and Appeals is on the third level of the Social Security appeals process. The office handles the increasing workloads resulting from changes in the eligibility rules for Supplemental Security Income benefits for children and noncitizens and Social Security Disability benefits.
Rockefeller is a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee which has oversight over Social Security.