Will the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact Your Social Security Benefits in Florida?
The Social Security Administration closed all of its local offices to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic, but will the virus outbreak affect your Social Security benefits?
The SSA’s decision is motivated by the agency’s intent to protect older people and those with underlying medical conditions, according to USA Today. These are the categories of people who visit the agency’s offices more often than others.
However, the SSA’s local offices remain available by phone and prioritize “critical services,” including:
- Providing benefit payments for recipients who did not receive checks;
- Reinstating benefit payments;
- Cases with severe blindness;
- Cases involving disability or terminal illnesses; and
- Eligibility decisions required for Medicaid approval in urgent cases.
How the Coronavirus Affects Your Social Security Payments
If you are concerned about the potential impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on your Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in Florida, the SSA explains how the coronavirus will affect your SSI and SSDI benefits.
Will You Continue to Receive Social Security Benefits via Direct Deposit and Mail?
Yes, you will continue to receive your monthly Social Security benefits, including SSI, if you use Direct Deposit. As for payments via mail, please visit the United States Postal Service’s website to check whether their operation or services have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Will the SSA Provide In-Person Services?
No, the SSA has suspended its in-person services during the COVID-19 pandemic and does not allow recipients and other visitors to come into their local offices. On March 17, 2020, the SSA canceled all face-to-face service in their field offices and hearings offices across the nation.
Did the SSA Extend Deadlines to Provide Documentation?
The SSA decided to extend its deadlines to provide documentation and other information due to the coronavirus outbreak.
If you are required to provide documentation to the SSA or the agency asked you to reach out by a certain date, refrain from coming to their office. The SSA advises to mail your documents or wait until the agency reopens its offices to the public. The SSA will follow up with your request once the pandemic subsides.
The SSA is committed to providing “maximum flexibility” in applying its good cause policy, which allows the agency to extend the deadline for submitting requests, appeals, and taking other actions during the coronavirus outbreak.
Has the SSA Suspend Any of Its Services?
Yes, the SSA suspended various workloads during the pandemic until further notice:
- Initiating or completing any current or pending medical continuing disability reviews. Those whose medical continuing disability review is pending should refrain from requesting information from their doctors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The SSA will follow up with you for any additional information once the public health emergency subsides.
- Processing and collection of overpayments.
- Conducting organization or individual representative payee accountings.
- Processing third-party requests for information, unless they were sent by an appointed representative and representative payee.
- Processing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
If you worry that your Social Security payments could be affected by the coronavirus public health emergency, consult with a Tampa Social Security disability attorney. Our team of knowledgeable lawyers at Kobal Law might be able to help. Call at 813-873-2440 to discuss your situation.