Are Post Offices, Social Security Closed on Christmas Eve?

On Christmas Eve, many businesses and federal offices, including the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and the offices for the Social Security Administration (SSA), are either closed or will operate on a modified schedule.

"Christmas Eve is not a regularly scheduled holiday. While the president has the authority to grant leave it is usually announced just before the Christmas holiday," the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) explains.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on December 11 declaring Christmas Eve a federal holiday this year.

"All executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall be closed and their employees excused from duty on Thursday, December 24, 2020, the day before Christmas Day.

"The heads of executive departments and agencies may determine that certain offices and installations of their organizations, or parts thereof, must remain open and that certain employees must report for duty on December 24, 2020, for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need," the order noted.

Here we look at the Christmas Eve hours of operation at the USPS and social security offices.

Post offices

Mail is delivered per usual on Christmas Eve but some USPS offices may close early on the day. Contact your local branch to confirm exact hours. Business customers are advised to check with their bulk mail entry unit for hours of operation.

The USPS said: "Blue collection boxes with final collection times before 12 p.m. (noon) will not be affected by early closing on December 24.

"If a box has a final collection time after 12 p.m., its mail may be picked up earlier. For mail pickup on December 24, please put your mail into blue collection boxes by noon regardless of the final collection times posted on the box.

"Customers who need later mail pickups on December 24 should visit their local Post Office," the USPS adds.

Social security offices

According to the SSA website, all social security offices are open on Christmas Eve. However, all in-person services have been closed from March 17 amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

The SSA explains: "This decision protects the population we serve—older Americans and people with underlying medical conditions—and our employees during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, we are still able to provide critical services.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are asking the public to first try to use our online services before calling us. If you cannot use these online services, you can find the phone number for your local office by using our Field Office Locator and looking under Additional Office Information.

"If you already had a scheduled appointment with your local office, an employee from that office will attempt to call you at your scheduled appointment time," the SSA added.

See the COVID-19 section of the SSA website for more information on how to access SSA services by phone and online amid the ongoing pandemic.

U.S. Postal Service USPS logo August 2020
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) logo seen on the side of a truck outside a post office on August 17 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Many federal offices, including the USPS and social security offices, are closed or on a reduced schedule on Christmas Eve. Gary Hershorn/Getty Images