Social Security field offices will be open an extra hour on most days starting March 16, says the agency that runs the program. The field offices, normally open from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., will stay open until 4 p.m. every weekday but Wednesday.

The expanded hours should be welcome news for recipients and their advisors who prefer doing business in person, the Social Security Administration said. Still, most activities, including applications for retirement, disability and Medicare benefits, can be done online at

In recent years, the administration has closed numerous offices and reduced hours because of funding cuts and the growing popularity of the web.

But with a recent budget increase from Congress, the agency is expanding its in-person availability.