The spread of COVID-19, the Coronavirus, has greatly impacted individuals and businesses across the United States. In an effort to slow and ultimately stop the spread of the virus, businesses, including the Social Security Administration’s field office network, have been forced to temporarily shut down.
Despite office closures, SSA will continue to offer its services which are accessible via the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 as well as online.
Most services, such as assistance with replacing a Social Security card, checking on appeals statuses and helping with claims, will still be conducted, but not in person. Only a small amount of services will be available in person and require an individual to call ahead. These services include:
- Helping those with severe disabilities, blindness, or terminal illness;
- Reinstating benefits for those in dire circumstances; and
- Assisting those in serious need of eligibility decisions pertaining to Social Security Income or Medicaid.
The decision to close the Social Security Administration’s field offices and help most beneficiaries over the phone was made in the interest of public health as well as in the interest of the health of the agency’s many employees.
So How Can You Receive Help With Social Security?
For help with Social Security, here are some options:
- If you need to visit your local office in-person: Call and request an appointment.
- If you need to enroll in Medicare: Obtain free counseling from the national network of State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP).
- If you had a scheduled office appointment/appeal: Wait for Social Security to contact you via phone in order to reschedule.
Since most Social Security employees do not have government-issued numbers, they will be using their personal lines. Therefore, if you receive a call from a private number it could be from one of them.
Be aware that the agency will generally only call you if you have requested to be called back or if you have recently applied for benefits. Therefore, if you receive a call when you have not recently applied or requested a callback, there is a good chance it could be a scammer.
To stay up-to-date on the status of SSA office closures, you can visit the Social Security Administration’s website.
At Henson Fuerst we remain fully dedicated to our clients and will be available to help you in any way that we can. You can reach us at 919-781-1107. Our team hopes that you and your loved ones remain healthy and safe during this trying time.