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Is Coronavirus a threat to your Social Security paycheck?

Is Coronavirus a threat to your Social Security paycheck?

Coronavirus is an advanced version of the previously lesser damaging SARS virus. The Covid-19, named after 2019 as the first year in which it appeared amongst people, is only recent among the US. Yet, it has caused vast damages and thousands of deaths of Americans in a few weeks.

The Covid-19, generally develops signs and symptoms which may include mild to severe respiratory problems, pneumonia, breathing difficulties and fever. Although not airborne, the covid-19 is highly contagious through human-to-human contacts or near interactions with a carrier or an infected person.

Since people almost all ages are at risk regardless of their genders or medical history, the Covid-19 guidelines introduced by the WHO have made it very difficult for humans to maintain the previously carefree levels of interaction amongst themselves. The Coronavirus is therefore the only disorder that has closed majority of the Social Security Administration's Offices country wide.

The SSA which is composed of 1200 country and field offices spread across various states has switched mostly to remote working on preferential basis. This means that the most pressing and urgent disability cases will be dealt through the limited staffed Offices. The rest of the disability cases will be handled online or through telephone calls.

Will Coronavirus be a threat to your disability paycheck?

Many people are worried, including the elderly on the receiving end of the Social Security benefits be it the SSDI benefits, the Social Security Income (SSI) or the Medicare. The SSA takes full responsibility of the elderly, hence here is the good news. The SSA has announced that regardless of the current situation and closure of the offices, the disabled elderly, veterans or dependents will not be discriminated due to the Coronavirus.

Although visits to the SSA Offices will not be permitted due to the Coronavirus public health crisis, the 69 million Social Security beneficiaries will receive their disability paychecks on time and on their address. Furthermore, the beneficiaries can choose to get their disability payments online by changing their preferences by calling in or emailing the SSA via the agency's toll-free line, (800) 772-1213, and its website.

Will Coronavirus affect your disability claims process?

With most of the employees working remotely, the routine services such as handling the benefit claims, checking the status of your disability benefits claims or the appeals process will be handled remotely by the SSA officers.

However, there may be some exceptions requiring an in-person visit to the SSA Offices if:

  • -You are due for a reinstatement of disability benefits;
  • -You require assistance in disability claims for the severely disabled;
  • -You are in dire need of the SSDI, SSI or Medicare claims;
  • -Blindness or terminal illnesses requiring immediate SSDI assistance;

You may be required to inform in advance by calling your disability advocate or the SSA officer to schedule an in-person meeting at the SSA Office.

The SSA has issued further guidelines on the suspension of a few services. These include:

  • Suspension of any current medical continuing disability reviews. If you have a medical continuing disability review pending, please do not request medical information from your doctors at this time. We will follow up with you for any medical evidence once the COVID-19 public health emergency subsides.
  • Suspension of the processing and collection of overpayments.
  • Suspension of conducting organization or individual representative payee accountings.
  • Suspension of third party requests for information, except from appointed representatives and representative payees
  • Suspension of processing of any Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

How to get Social Security help?

If you need an in-person visit: Call the toll-free helpline for the SSA Office. You can find the closest office using an office locator tool on the Social Security website.

If you need help for SSDI benefits: You can consult our disability advocates through telephone or email address to request information or assistance related to your Social Security Disability Insurance.

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Friday, 14 August 2020