During states of emergency that are being declared across the country, many offices are closing. These offices include Social Security Administration (SSA) offices. These closures are for the safety of the general public as well as the employees of the SSA. If you have a disability, you will want to get your disability claim underway. However, you should know that you cannot receive disability benefits because you have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
What Do Closures Mean For Social Security Disability Applicants?
If SSA offices are closed, it affects those who are applying for disability benefits. While you may be affected because you cannot visit the local office in person and sit down with a representative, you can still get help, and your claim can still proceed. While offices are closed, those who have a critical need, such as a severe disability or terminal illness, are still able to get assistance over the phone.
If you have a telephone appointment scheduled with the SSA, those calls will continue as scheduled and your phone appointment will take place. If you had a physical in-office appointment scheduled, you will need to call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 and speak with a representative to either reschedule your appointment for later when the office reopens or to have it switched to a phone interview.
How Can I Still Apply For Disability Benefits During Closings?
You can still get your claim underway for disability benefits. To do so, you can visit the SSA website, which is at www.ssa.gov, and start the claims process by completing the application. You will need to complete a form that includes a detailed list of all medical providers, their contact details, and the dates of service. If you have applied and receive a denial notice, you can appeal the decision online.
Your denial will tell you how long you have to file an appeal. If you miss that deadline, you will have to start the claims process all over instead of it continuing on to the next level. Make sure you keep all correspondence, read over it carefully, and adhere to the rules and guidelines that are indicated. Remember, documentation is essential to a successful disability claim.
If your claim is denied again on the appeal, which is called the request for reconsideration, you will once again appeal the decision and this time you will ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge. While the paperwork can be processed, the hearing will most likely not be set until the SSA offices and facilities are open and functioning as normal.
Getting Help Applying
A disability lawyer may be able to help you navigate the disability application process during this time. Again, you cannot qualify for disability benefits because of coronavirus, but if you have a condition that is listed in the SSA medical guide, which is called the Blue Book, you may qualify for monthly benefits. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page today to share the details of your disability case with an attorney that takes cases in your area.