September 2, 2011

YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY Davenport, Iowa Office

By Karen Cole
Social Security District Manager
Davenport, Iowa

Congressional Budget Cuts Force Reduced Public Hours

Effective August 15, 2011, the Davenport, Iowa Social Security office will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – a reduction of 30 minutes each weekday. While agency employees will continue to work their regular hours, this shorter public window will allow them to complete face-to-face service with the visiting public without incurring the cost of overtime. Congress provided Social Security with nearly $1 billion less than the President requested for the budget this fiscal year, which makes it impossible for the agency to provide the amount of overtime needed to handle service to the public as we have in the past.

Most Social Security services do not require a visit to an office. For example, anyone wishing to apply for benefits, sign up for direct deposit, replace a Medicare card, obtain a proof of income letter or inform us of a change of address or telephone number may do so at or by dialing our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call our TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.


Would you like to stay informed when there are changes to the Social Security website? More than one million people currently receive updates when we make changes to the pages they’re most interested in. Now, you can too.

You can subscribe to receive free email updates with the click of a button. Just visit, or look for the red envelope icon on your favorite Social Security web pages. A number of Social Security’s more popular pages include an icon of a red envelope followed by a link that says “Get email updates.” Clicking on that link will allow you to subscribe to updates for that particular page. If you click on the link, you’ll get a list of the available subscription pages. You may select how often you wish to be notified of changes (immediately, daily, weekly, or monthly).

We have more than 25 topic pages you can subscribe to, including such hot topics as congressional testimony and speeches, disability research, popular baby names, and press releases at Get a complete, linkable list of the pages you can subscribe to at When it comes to news and information updates from Social Security’s website, we deliver.


If you’re like most workers, you’ve labored hard throughout the year. This Labor Day weekend, it’s nice to be able to kick back and take a rest from all of your hard work. But it may also be a good time to take a look at your retirement plans.

The best starting point is to visit Social Security’s Retirement Estimator at The Retirement Estimator is an easy way to get an instant, personalized estimate of future retirement benefits. The Estimator uses your actual earnings history to compute a benefit estimate. However, for privacy purposes, we do not display your earnings. You can enter a variety of scenarios, such as different earnings amounts and retirement dates, to find out how they will change your benefit amount.

If the picture looks better than you anticipated, you might decide it’s time to punch your last time card and leave the labor force for retirement sooner than you expected. If that’s the case, the easiest way to apply for retirement is online.

It used to be a labor to apply for benefits requiring a trip to a Social Security office and then being required to fill out paperwork. Now, you can visit to find out everything you need to know about applying online for retirement benefits — and to proceed with filing the application online in as little as
15 minutes. In most cases, once you submit your online application electronically, that’s it. There are no additional forms to sign or paperwork to complete. In rare cases where we need additional information, a representative will contact you.

This Labor Day, picnics, family, and friends are all part of the fun you’ve earned on a holiday set aside to celebrate the fruit of your labor. But spend a few moments considering what your labor has earned you through Social Security protection for you and your family.

Learn more about Social Security at


During National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15, Social Security offices across the country will join in recognizing the many contributions of Hispanic Americans to the United States, and in celebrating Hispanic heritage and culture. Our website is recognized as being at the forefront for providing information and services in Spanish. Find out why by visiting The popular Spanish-language website offers a vast amount of information that is useful to people whose first language is Spanish. The website features more than 100 Spanish public information pamphlets, leaflets, and fact sheets. The website also lets visitors use benefit calculators, sign-up for direct deposit, and locate their nearest Social Security office.

But one of the best features of the site is the new Spanish-language Retirement Estimator located at The Retirement Estimator allows visitors to receive an instant, personalized estimate of future retirement benefits. And what’s better, visitors can try out different scenarios to see how they would change future benefits, like changing future wage estimates or retirement dates. It’s a great tool for planning for the future.

If you want to visit an office and speak with someone in Spanish, we do have interpreter services available in the event that there is not a Spanish-speaking representative working in the office. To learn about our interpreter services, visit

In addition, our national toll-free number (1-800-772-1213) provides automated prompts in Spanish for all callers. Toward the beginning of the call, you will be asked to continue in English or Spanish; it’s as easy as that to get service in the language you’re most comfortable with.

So whether it is via the Internet, through face-to-face office visits, or over our national 800 number, Social Security remains committed to providing quality service to an increasingly more diverse American public.