Effective Nov. 19, Social Security Administration offices, including the office in Towson at 28 Allegheny Ave., will reduce hours to the public, and will be open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — a reduction of 30 minutes each weekday.

In addition, beginning Jan. 2, the office will close to the public at noon every Wednesday.

In a release, officials said agency employees will continue to work their regular hours, but the shorter public window will allow them to complete face-to-face interviews and process claims work without incurring the cost of overtime. The changes are needed, officials said, based on reduced funding from Congress.

In addition, on November 23, the day after Thanksgiving, all Social Security field offices will be closed to the public. Employees working that day will focus on reducing backlogged workloads.

Officials remind residents that most Social Security services do not require a visit to a local office. Many services, including applying for retirement, disability or Medicare benefits, signing up for direct deposit, replacing a Medicare card, obtaining a proof of income letter or informing the office of a change of address or telephone number are available at http://www.socialsecurity.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213; or the TTY number, 1-800-325-0778. Services also are available in Spanish at http://www.segurosocial.gov.