The Social Security Administration’s (“SSA”) local offices will be reopening their doors to the public beginning in April. While this is good news, the SSA expects that the local office will be inundated with people who have not been able to get any help since March 2020, when the offices shut down to the public. The local offices also expect to have even longer wait times compared to their usual long wait time, to speak to a representative. To add insult to injury, the SSA has been experiencing daily issues with their phones while they update their phone system.
The backlog in disability claims has grown exponentially since the offices shut down. The backlog is mainly at the State agencies, who review and make the initial decisions on disability claims. This backlog has left claimants, who have been unable to work and have no income, waiting for months, sometimes years, for a decision. Many of them are losing their homes, losing their health insurance, and in some cases, passing away before a decision is even made on their claim.
It is important to note that spouses and children of deceased workers, who had enough work credits before they passed away to be entitled to benefits, may be eligible to collect Survivor and/or Widow benefits under their loved one’s Social Security Number.
The National 800 number for the SSA is (800) 772-1213. You can also call your local office, whose representatives are usually more knowledgeable than the reps that answer the national number. You can find your local office’s phone number using the Social Security Office Locator tool on their website, which asks for your zip code to determine which local office would handle your questions.Previous Next
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