The recent outbreak of Covid-19 is creating serious disruptions for the Social Security Administration disability program. The SSA is responding to an unprecedented pandemic, and as such, actively working through different options and ideas in order to maintain operations. The agency is in flux right now and developing plans that will likely be rolled out over the next weeks and months. Although SSA employees are still diligently working, SSA has closed all local and hearing offices to the public, and all services must be via the phone.
Disability hearings are postponed until further notice. This includes social security disability insurance (SSDI), and supplemental security income (SSI). There is discussion of conducting hearings via phone, but uncertainty remains if this is technically possibly with all judges, experts, and court reporters working from home. Viner Disability Law would be agreeable to phone hearings if presented with the option.
We fear the ongoing (and understandable) postponements will create a bottleneck of hearings that must be rescheduled in future months, which will cause a cascading impact on the already lengthy backlog. Prior to Covid-19, a postponed case would be reset about four to six months after the originally scheduled hearing date. I anticipate a lengthy rescheduling time frame due to Covid-19, as the SSA was already extremely backlogged.
If you need assistance from the local SSA office (SSN card, name change, request for information, etc) you must call your local office. You can find your local office and the number at this website: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp
Please note, monthly benefits will continue, and we do not anticipate any impact on receipt of disability payments.
We are carefully reviewing all information about the progression of Covid-19 and impact on the social security disability program, and will provide updated information ASAP.
For more information, the Social Security Administration created a COVID-19 website with a FAQ section explaining the impact on benefit payments, and operations moving forward. https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/
As always, feel free to reach out to Viner Disability Law at 720-515-9012, or firstname.lastname@example.org