West Hawai`i Residents to Get Social Security Videoconferencing Services
by Nate Gaddis
Months after the Social Security Administration ended it’s Kona office hours due to budget constraints, a solution has been found to allow West Hawai`i residents access to SSA representatives without having to make the four-hour roundtrip drive to Hilo.
Beginning on Aug. 22, residents will be able to make use of videoconferencing services at the West Hawai`i Civic Center on the second and fourth Thursday of every month, from 9 a.m. till 1 p.m.
According to AARP Hawai`i State Director Barbara Kim Stanton, “Nearly a third of older Hawai`i residents rely on Social Security for 50% or more of their family income.” Stanton described the new service, which is a joint effort between the county and Hawaiian Telcom, as an economic lifeline for older citizens in west Hawai`i.
The videoconferencing program was arranged through efforts by Sen. Mazie Hirono, the mayor’s office, AARP, and Hawai`i Island librarians, among others.