People all over the globe are feeling especially uneasy and stressed these days, as the coronavirus outbreak impacts every aspect of our daily lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented some new challenges for the millions of Americans who rely on Social Security benefits to support their families, and here at Silver & Silver, our Philadelphia-based Social Security Disability attorneys are closely monitoring developments in this area.
On March 17, 2020, the United States Social Security Administration announced the closure of its public offices in an effort to protect employees and benefit recipients from COVID-19. The shutdown of person-to-person service is temporary, but there’s no way to know how long it will last, as health and government officials scramble to control the spread of the disease while they work to develop a vaccine.
What should Social Security benefits recipients do when they need help or have unresolved issues regarding their case? The Social Security Administration made the following recommendations in their news release:
- Go online and visit https://www.ssa.gov/onlineservices/. Through this portal, you have the ability to apply for disability benefits, check the status of your application or appeal, request a replacement for a lost Social Security card, print out a verification letter for your benefits, and more.
- If you can’t resolve your specific issue online, you can seek service over the phone. Social Security offers a national hotline (1-800-772-1213) with representatives standing by between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. To cut down on wait times due to high call volume, or to handle business at another time of day/day of the week, you can also utilize the 24-hour automated phone system.
- Another alternative is to try calling your local field office. You can find contact information for the office nearest to you through the online directory.
If you already had an in-office appointment scheduled for the coming weeks, you should be contacted by a Social Security representative who will handle your appointment over the phone. The Social Security Administration has said to expect a call from a private number, not from an official agency line.
Silver & Silver will continue to keep an eye on developments regarding COVID-19 and how it impacts our clients. As leading Social Security lawyers in Montgomery County and throughout the Philadelphia area, we understand that resolving issues with disability benefits can be frustrating — even without a global pandemic forcing the shutdown of public offices. If you’re struggling to collect the benefits you need to live, contact our team to discuss your case. We’ll be happy to help in any way we can!