The Social Security Administration plans a Video Service Delivery (VSD) terminal on Martha’s Vineyard, to fill a gap created when the agency eliminated monthly visits to the Island in January, 2011. The date of the installation, seen as a cost-saving move, is not set, according to Stephen Richardson, deputy regional communications director. “We are working out the details, the logistics, as quickly as we can,” he said in a call from his Boston office.
Individuals using the VSD will be able to speak to and conduct Social Security business with an agency employee on the mainland, live, in real time, eliminating the need to travel to the Falmouth, the nearest office for visits.
Acting on a request from the Dukes County Commissioners in December, Island selectmen signed a letter to Representative Bill Keating requesting that the Social Security Administrative provide services on the Vineyard.
He said it is difficult to determine the number of people who will use the service and noted that there are very few situations in which an individual must visit an office for a face-to-face interview. “Our telephone and online services offer easy access to our programs. In fact, the public can apply for all benefits by calling 800-772-1213 or by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov.” he said.