Tag: SSDI claim status

Social Security Administration Offices Close Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Social Security Administration Offices Close Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

SSA Office Closures

This week, the Social Security Administration announced widespread SSA office closures effective March 17, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 1,200 offices essentially shuttered across the country, many disabled or elderly beneficiaries have been left wondering what will happen to their benefits, case appeals, etc. 

During these uncertain times, Social Security Disability Advocates USA would like to reassure our current, past, and prospective clients that although we intend to comply with any and all mandates regarding non-essential business closures, our legal team will be available remotely to assist our most vulnerable population whenever possible. 

If you are in need of immediate assistance regarding social security, contact the Social Security Administration directly at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

How Long Will SSA Office Closures Last?

At this time, the Social Security Administration has not specified how long its offices will remain closed, citing safety concerns affecting older Americans and people with underlying medical conditions in addition to its employees. 

Updates regarding SSA office closures can be found here.

What if I Had An Appointment At My Local SSA Office?

If you had an appointment scheduled after March 17, 2020, contact your local SSA office. Although all offices are currently closed to the public, many are still staffed by SSA employees assisting patrons over the phone and online. If your local office is not accepting calls, you can call the national number listed above.

Which Social Security Services Can Be Completed Online?

The good news for those with canceled in-office appointments is that many services related to social security can be completed online at ssa.gov/onlineservices/. These services include:

  • Applying for benefits (retirement, disability, medicare)
  • Appealing a decision
  • Checking your application status
  • Estimating retirement benefits
  • Reviewing your earnings history & statements
  • Accessing your 1099
  • Setting up direct deposit
  • Viewing proof of your benefits

What Services Are Available to the Severely Disabled?

For those whose disabilities make it impossible to access services remotely, some SSA field offices will allow in-person assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. This service will only be available to those with dire circumstances, including:

  • Reinstatement of benefits due to extreme situations
  • Assistance for those who are blind, deaf, or otherwise significantly disabled
  • Those suffering from terminal illness
  • Those with critical needs for eligibility decisions regarding Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid

Those who require these crucial in-person services must call in advance. 

Will I Continue to Receive My Benefits?

In short, the more than 69-million people who receive benefits will continue to receive their monthly payments regardless of the SSA office closures. The COVID-19 pandemic has no bearing on payments at this time, whether you receive your benefits via mail or by direct deposit. 

The Social Security Administration does recommend that those receiving payments by mail set up direct deposit online, which allows payments to be received more quickly, efficiently, and securely. It also prevents any mail delivery delays that may occur within the United States Postal Service.

Should I Be Worried About Social Security Scams?

There have unfortunately been some reports of social security scams via threatening robocalls and infectious computer malware in the midst of the pandemic. The Better Business Bureau released an advisory letting Americans know which scams to watch for during this precarious time.

Keep in mind that the Social Security Administration will never send threatening letters or emails demanding immediate payment or personal information such as your social security number.

For more on the ultimate disability secrets and information about how to get the most monthly compensation for your disability, contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA. 

Where to Get Additional Help With Your SSDI Claim

We understand that SSA office closures come during a particularly troubling time for many, especially those who rely on government assistance to pay their bills and feed their families. If you need legal assistance with your disability claim, Social Security Disability Advocates USA is here to help. Call us at 602-952-3200 to speak with an experienced social security lawyer. You can also chat online with a live representative, or submit the details of your claim using our secure contact form.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.
How to Check the Status of an SSDI application

How to Check the Status of an SSDI application

Social Security Disability Status
Here are tips on checking your social security disability claim status.

Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a bit stressful, especially if you’re in need of them because your disability prevents you from earning income. Unfortunately, it can take a while to hear the status of your application. This delay occurs because of the number of applications that the Social Security Administration (SSA) receives every year and also because the SSA is understaffed. Fortunately, you can check the status of your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application or appeal throughout the process.

How to Apply for Social Security Disability Insurance

If you have experienced a disabling condition that has or will prevent you from being able to work for at least 12 months, there is a good chance that you will qualify for Social Security disability benefits. If you plan to apply, then there are several ways to do so. The following are the main ways to apply for SSDI:

Visit your local SSA office

You can apply in person at your local SSA office, where a representative will walk you through the application process and take any documentation you have supporting your claim to submit along with your application. If you don’t know where your local SSA office is, you can find the nearest SSA office by typing in your zip code at the SSA website.

Apply over the phone

If you call the SSA, a representative will walk you through the application process over the phone. You can call toll-free at 1-800-772-1213. For those who are hard of hearing, the SSA offers a TTY number — 1-800-325-0078.

Apply online

The drawback of applying in person or over the phone is that you will have to do so during the SSA’s working hours. If you choose to apply online instead, then you can do so at any time you wish. Applying for SSDI online is extremely easy. You will receive a prompt to fill out an application. You will also need to answer a set of questions concerning your disability.

Required Documentation for an Application

Whatever option you choose, keep in mind that you will not only need to fill out an application but provide documentation supporting your disability claim. If you’re applying in person at a local SSA office, then you need to bring this documentation with you.

If you apply online or over the phone, then you will receive instructions to mail your documentation to the SSA. The following are the documents and information that you will be required to submit as part of your SSDI application:

  • First, you will need to provide proof of birth, such as a copy of your birth certificate.
  • In addition, you will need to provide your Social Security number.
  • You will also need to provide proof that you are a U.S. citizen or that you have lawful alien status.
  • Then, you will need to provide copies of your W-2 forms. If you do not have W-2 forms, you’ll need to provide copies of your federal tax returns for the last year that you worked.
  • You will need to provide any evidence that you can collect proving your medical condition, such as hospital records, test results, copies of your prescriptions, doctor’s reports, an official diagnosis, and more.
  • Lastly, if you are receiving temporary or permanent workers’ compensation-type benefits, you’ll need to provide proof.

Marker checking box on paper

How to Check Your Application Status

According to the SSA, it can take anywhere from 30 days to 90 days to come to a decision on your application. However, it’s worth noting that it’s not uncommon for the application process to take as long as six months. This can happen if your case is somewhat complicated. Or, if there’s a large backlog of applications at the time that you applied. If your condition is severe, then you may qualify for a compassionate allowance, which will help to expedite the process.

Once you’ve submitted a claim, it will be forwarded to the DDS (Disability Determination Services). They will assign a claims examiner to your case. Once this occurs, you should receive a phone call as well as paperwork regarding your case. However, you’ll want to make sure to check the status of your application regularly as this will allow you to find out if the approval process has stalled for any reason; for example, you need to address the need for further documentation or evidence. By addressing any issues regarding your application as soon as possible, you can help speed up the process.

Checking your Social Security disability insurance application isn’t difficult. The following are the different ways that you can check your status:

Ask your attorney

If you are working with a Social Security attorney, then you can ask them and they will find out for you.

Call the SSA

The main SSA office is open during the week from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Call your local SSA office

If you have the number to your local SSA office, then they can find out what your status is as well.

Check online

Your application status is displayed online if you sign up with a my Social Security account. Since you can access the account 24 hours a day, seven days a week, this makes for the easiest way to check your status. If you don’t have an account, setting one up is easy. Once you log in, you can access your re-entry number for your pending online benefits application. You can also check the date that the SSA received your application. It is also possible to check the date and time of any hearings that are scheduled regarding your application, and whether a decision has been made about your claim.

What to do if Your Application is Denied

Don’t be too horrified if your initial application is denied. Believe it or not, but the majority of applications are initially denied. SSDI application rejections occur due to a myriad of reasons, including:

  • Your condition isn’t considered disabling.
  • The SSA doesn’t believe your condition will last that long.
  • The SSA decides that you can perform other jobs.
  • Information was missing from your application.
  • Information on your application was incorrect.
  • Not enough medical evidence was provided.
  • You are currently working more than 20 hours a week.
  • You are making more than the income limit.
  • The SSA couldn’t locate you to schedule an examination or discuss critical matters concerning your application.
  • You refused to seek treatment for your condition.
Why Claims for Social Security Disability Get Denied
Before you appeal, you’ll want to know why you were denied.

Appealing a Denial

Fortunately, you can appeal the decision. The first thing you’ll need to do is to request a reconsideration. This will require you to submit reconsideration request reforms. During this process, you can check the progress of your reconsideration request. You can do this by calling your local SSA office. Or, by calling the disability examiner that was assigned to your case. If you don’t know who your disability examiner is, your local SSA office should be able to find out for you.

If your reconsideration request is denied, then you can appeal the denial by requesting a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. You will want to keep track of your claim status by calling your local SSA office. Or, you can call your disability examiner.

However, once your file has been transferred to the appeals office for review and to schedule a hearing, you’ll need to contact the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). Once your hearing has been scheduled, you should receive a notice in the mail. This notice provides the relevant information you need. This will include contact information you can use if needed.

Following your hearing you will know whether your claim was approved or denied. It’s a good idea to have representation during the hearing to help strengthen your case as much as possible. Most disability claims will end at this step; however, if you are denied again, you could appeal it in Federal court.

Working With a Representative

A representative can help guide you through the SSDI application process. They can even help make sure that you have everything you need to build your case and strengthen your claim. Although many initial claims end up rejected, a representative may make the difference between an approval or denial the first time around.

Although it’s relatively easy to check the status of your claim (and important to do so), a representative can do so on your behalf. Which can help make the process much less stressful.

Make sure that you check the status of your claim regularly once you have submitted an application for Social Security disability benefits. If you’re looking for a representative who can help guide you through the application process and help address any questions or concerns you have about applying for Social Security disability benefits, then be sure to set up a free consultation with one of our representatives at SSDA USA. You can call us anytime at 602-952-3200, and don’t forget about our online LiveChat feature.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.