The spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus, has led to the closure of many businesses and offices across the U.S. including the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) field office network.
The closure of the field offices, which began on Tuesday, March 24th, is set to continue until further notice. For those that depend on SSA for disability, retirement, or Medicare benefits it’s important they know these office closures will not affect their benefits and if they have any questions, there is still help available. SSA can be reached via the toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213.
Common Services Remain Available
With most of Social Security’s 61,000 employees working from home, common services will continue to be offered, however, they will be handled over the phone rather than in person. This includes things such as checking on someone’s appeal status or replacing a Social Security card.
There are only a few particular services that will continue to be offered in person, although an appointment must be made in advance by calling the office ahead of time. These services include:
- Helping individuals with severe disabilities, blindness, or terminal illness;
- Reinstating benefits in dire circumstances; and
- Assisting those in serious need of eligibility decisions regarding Social Security Income or Medicaid.
What to Do if You Need Help From SSA
- If you require an in-person visit to your local office: Call ahead 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 already scheduled an office appointment or appeal: Social Security will call you in order to handle the appointment or to reschedule.
If you require help with Medicare, for no cost you can also call the nonprofit, Medicare Rights Center at 1-800-333-4114.
Don’t forget that because many SSA employees are working from home, you may receive a call from a private number. But do keep in mind that the agency will usually only call you if you have requested a callback or if you have recently applied for benefits. Be aware of scammers.
To remain up-to-date on information regarding the Coronavirus and its impact on the Social Security Administration, visit their website.
Freeburn Hamilton is Here to Help
During this time of uncertainty and growing apprehension, Freeburn Hamilton is here for you. If we can answer any questions or help in any way, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team at 717-777-7777 today. Wishing you and your loved ones continued health and safety during these trying times.