The Social Security Administration has opened its new office in Lewes.
The office, in the Vineyards at Nassau Valley, off U.S. Route 9, offers services such as applying for retirement, survivors' benefits, disability benefits, Medicare or Supplemental Security Income benefits, requesting an original or replacement Social Security card, requesting a replacement Medicare card, reporting a change of address or starting direct deposit of Social Security checks.
Although the office has been open for only a few weeks, Social Security Administration Regional Communications Director Terri Lewis says visitor traffic the week after the office moved was nearly 100 per day, compared to quarterly reports from June 2013, when traffic averaged 92 visitors per day at the Georgetown office.
Statewide statistics suggest the move to Lewes may not be such a bad idea: Citydata.com shows in 2012, the median age of a Lewes resident was about 63 years old, compared to the median age of Delaware residents, about 45 years old.
“More than 55 percent of Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income recipients live closer to the new office in Lewes than the office in Georgetown,” said Social Security Administration Spokeswoman Terri Edwards.
Earlier this year, elected officials, including Sussex County Council, were surprised by the move; some opposed it because Georgetown is more centrally located for Sussex residents than Lewes.
One issue raised was added travel time for western Sussex County residents. Officials point out other Social Security offices may be be closer for some of those residents, such as the Salisbury, Md., office at 2414 Northgate Drive or Cambridge, Md., at 828 Airpax Road.
The Lewes office, 12001 Old Vine Blvd., Suite 101, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., except Wednesday, when it closes at noon. The office is closed Saturday and Sunday. Free parking is available. Public transportation is available via DART bus 206, which has a stop near the entrance. For any questions or more information, call the new Lewes office at 866-864-1803.