The current COVID-19 public health emergency stresses most people. If you receive any benefits from the Social Security Administration (“Social Security”), you may have to deal with some additional stress. Will your benefits still be deposited into your account every month? If you have questions, where can you go for answers? And what if you need to file a claim for disability benefits? In this article, we have gathered some useful information about the current state of Social Security services during the coronavirus emergency. Keep in mind that the information we provide is current at the time we wrote and published this blog in May of 2020.
Social Security Services Shutdowns
All local Social Security offices were closed as of March 17, 2020. In-person service is not available, but you can call the office for assistance, especially if you have an emergency situation.
Social Security will continue to monitor public health information to decide when to reopen offices. When that time comes, they will focus on providing a safe environment for both employees and the people they help.
As of March 25, 2020, you can do the following Social Security services online:
- File claims for retirement, disability, or Medicare;
- Apply for extra help with Medicare prescription drugs;
- Check your application status;
- File an appeal;
- Print proof of benefits;
- Request a replacement Medicare card;
- Print an SSA-1099;
- Change your address; and
- Set up or change direct deposit.
You can also request a replacement for your Social Security card in most areas of the country. Also, check out benefits.gov to see if you are eligible for any other benefits.
Social Security Benefits
Benefits will still be paid on schedule, as planned, if you use direct deposit. If you receive paper checks in the mail, check the United States Postal Service website for COVID-19 updates.
Economic Impact Payments
The government’s $1,200 economic payment will not be considered income for people who receive SSI. So, accept the check knowing that you will not lose your SSI benefits.
Unfortunately, scammers will be out in full force preying on people’s fears. Be careful not to disclose personal information to anyone who randomly calls or emails you.
Call if You Need Help with Social Security Services
You may need to file for SSDI or SSI. If so, most people can do this online. However, even online, the application process can be overly complicated and difficult to understand. Talk to an experienced California disability lawyer to make the process easier.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients resolve SSI issues. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.