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How will the Coronavirus affect Social Security Disability

Here is how Coronavirus is changing how the SSA responds to your Social Security claims

Within a matter of a few weeks, the Covid-19 has proven more deadly than earlier thought. It has impacted thousands of people till today worldwide. As the Covid-19 virus spreads across the globe, each country is acting fast to control the spread of the virus among their populations. Fortunately, however, the US has seen a better control of the situation so far.

"If all of us can take these important steps requested by the president over the next two weeks, then we can be confident that we will get through this, and we will see a better, healthier future for America.", Mike Pence quoted in an emergency session on the rapid effects of Coronavirus.

With that said, it is nonetheless ever more necessary to take precautions to limit interaction through social distancing, as much as possible. It is because of this that the Social Security Administration has announced a few degree of measures in line with the situation.

Let us discuss each of the measures taken by the Social Security Administration in detail:

  • Halting of in-person services

Due to the increased risk of exposure and unnecessary human interaction at field offices, the SSA has closed it's offices and limited the service providence to online query. This measure would make it possible that the more vulnerable population, that is also the biggest chunk of the Social Security Disability paychecks (older people above age 65) and people with other underlying disabilities are made safe. Also, in these dire times, it is necessary that the SSA service staff is not made vulnerable to a possible exposure to the Covid-19.

  • Mandatory Direct Deposit Facility

Despite the seriously spreading pandemic, here is a good news – if you are among the 61 million people already receiving the Social Security Disability Insurance, SSDI or the Supplemental Security Income, SSI paychecks, you would continue to receive the insurance benefits even if the situation moves to a complete lockdown. You may not however, get the paychecks at home – rather you are required to sign up to the Direct Deposit Facitily by the SSA for your disability benefits.

There are some exceptions to this rule, however – during the Covid-19 pandemic, you could get payments by mail in some critical situations such as:

  • a. If you did not receive your monthly payment;
  • b. If you are currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless; or
  • c. If your benefits were suspended and can now be reinstated

You would then be redirected to collect your paycheck from the SSA office in-person, or receive it directly through your mail.

  • Extension of deadlines

Due to the lockdown situation and closure of the SSA offices to the public dealings, you would no longer be required to meet the deadlines as expected before the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the SSA, you would be given new deadlines once the situation subsidies. However, if you need to make any of the following changes then you can mail the documents to the SSA:

  • a. Change of address;
  • b. Change of direct deposit;
  • c. Report of a death; and
  • d. Representative payee changes

If you are someone in process of filing an appeal, then rest assured, you will be provided a new deadline to submit your disability appeals, once the public emergency is lifted.

  • Filing for Social Security Disability Online

The fact is that the situation makes it almost impossible to respond to the in-person enquiries at the SSA offices during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is why, you would be required to enquire anything you want online. Here is how you can seek help regarding the registration, claims, delays or cancellation of your social security benefits:

  • a. Online at www.SSA.gov – You can conduct most business online without assistance
  • b. By Phone - You can call your local office's General Inquiry (GI) line
  • c. Disability Advocates – If you need further help or are simply unable to contact the SSA offices regarding your social security benefits, we are here to help. You can consult our expert disability advocates for any kind of social security disability services.
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Saturday, 06 June 2020