The outbreak of COVID-19, also called the Coronavirus, has affected many functions and organizations across the United States and Georgia. This includes how Georgia courts and the Social Security Administration (SSA) may deal with disability benefits claims.
Local Social Security offices are currently closed to the public for in-person services to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, Social Security offices are still providing services online and over the phone for many of its functions. Given the many changes occurring at a rapid pace, you may be left with questions regarding how COVID-19 may affect Social Security benefits.
Will I Still Receive Disability Benefits?
Those currently receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will continue to receive them. Payments will still be distributed using direct deposit or through the United States Postal Service. Individuals currently receiving payments through the mail can sign up for direct deposit payments through the Social Security Administration’s website.
Can I Still Apply for Disability Benefits or File a Request for Reconsideration?
Filing an initial application for disability benefits can still be completed over the phone or online. Similarly, requests for reconsideration for both medical and non-medical determinations may be filed online. Since Social Security offices are currently closed to the public, initial applications or requests for reconsideration cannot be completed in-person.
How Will COVID-19 Affect My Scheduled Hearing?
If you had an in-person hearing scheduled, you can expect to be contacted by the SSA about alternatives. This may include options such as conducting a hearing over the phone. Administrative Law Judges may also choose to reschedule or postpone hearings at their discretion.
Conducting a hearing over the phone or online may affect the outcome of your benefits claim. If your hearing has been affected due to COVID-19, It is best to discuss potential alternatives with a knowledgeable hearing claims advocate. An experienced legal professional who has your best interests at heart can guide you through the available alternatives and determine which is best for your specific circumstances.
Contact Our Team Today
Due to the rapid developments surrounding COVID-19, changes to the SSA’s disability benefits application process may occur. We will continue to monitor the situation and update you with any major changes.
The knowledgeable hearing claims advocates at The Khaki Law Firm can guide you through the current disability benefits application process with your best interests in mind. For information and help with determaining your options, call our team today.