The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that it is closing its offices to the public in response to the coronavirus outbreak. While it will still have online and phone assistance available, it will not be possible to have in-person communications with staff for the duration of the closures. These measures, while important, will nevertheless likely cause a delay for anyone waiting for an evaluation for disability benefits.
The 2019 novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 or simply the coronavirus, is a contagious disease known for causing flu-like symptoms, including a fever, cough and difficult or labored breathing. It is known for being incredibly infectious, with people able to spread the disease even when they do not outwardly display any symptoms. The coronavirus is known for being particularly dangerous to those who are elderly and those with certain chronic health problems, which also happens to describe the same people most likely to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
Typically, to get SSDI or SSI benefits, an applicant would need to be examined by a medical professional at a designated Disability Determination Services center. However, that will not be possible during these closures, meaning that many applications will need to be put on hold for the duration of the pandemic. While officials are working to figure out ways around this problem, including offering online or phone screenings, it is likely that many people currently waiting for their applications to be processed will need to wait several months before they can move forward with the process.
If you or a loved one need assistance applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyer. The lawyers at Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience between its attorneys and are available to you or your loved one in obtaining Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. To schedule a consultation with our New York Social Security Disability benefits lawyers, call (631) 823-7155.