Has the Coronavirus Pandemic Disrupted Social Security Applications?

May 13, 2020

The coronavirus and COVID-19 outbreak have impacted everyone in the U.S. However, people who are seeking financial benefits through the Social Security system may be more vulnerable because many are on a limited income. Older Americans who were about to file for Social Security or disabled individuals who are seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) may have to face additional hurdles because of the epidemic and related restrictions.

Social Security Administration Offices Temporarily Closed

Beginning March 17, 2020, all local Social Security offices were closed to in-person services. The administration took this step to protect older Americans, people with underlying conditions, and government employees. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is still providing critical services.

Social Security Disruptions During Coronavirus Pandemic

The SSA has suspended certain processes and workloads during the COVID-19 pandemic, until further notice. This includes the temporary suspension of:

  • The SSA will not start or complete any current medical continuing disability reviews. However, if you are waiting for a hearing on your continuing disability review decision but you are not currently receiving benefits, the SSA will proceed with your hearing.

  • The SSA will not conduct any non-disability hearings.

  • Where possible, the SSA will suspend processing and collection of overpayments.

  • The SSA is not conducting organization or individual representative payee accountings.

  • The SSA will not process third-party requests for information, except from appointed representatives and representative payees.

  • The SSA will not process any Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Limited Social Security Services Under Covid-19 Outbreak

Some hearings that would normally be held in person may be postponed until after the restrictions are lifted. Other hearings may take place by phone or by video call. If you have a scheduled hearing or appointment, the SSA may try and contact you by phone to reschedule the appointment.

Be on the lookout for scammers claiming to be from Social Security. You can call your local hearing office directly for any questions about a hearing, including:

  • Confirming your availability for a telephone hearing,

  • Requests for a postponement if you would prefer to wait until an in-person or video hearing is available,

  • Updating your contact information, and

  • Providing status for your pending hearing.

Applying for Social Security During Coronavirus

According to the SSA, if you need help with filing your Social Security claim, you should first try and use the online services. This includes applying for retirement benefits or disability benefits using the online application.

If you want to pursue Social Security Disability because you are unable to work, you can call the Lloyd King Law Firm, PLLC, or contact us online.

Contact Lloyd King Law Firm for Help with Your Disability Benefits Case in North Carolina

Lloyd King can help you get disability benefits and provides a free case review to answer your questions. Lloyd King has more than 40 years of legal experience, including almost ten years as a Social Security Administrative Law Judge in Raleigh, North Carolina. Another one-fourth of his legal experience has been at his own disability benefits practice, with offices located in Raleigh and Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. Contact Lloyd King Law Firm PLLC today.