Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is already a lengthy and daunting process. Add a global pandemic in the mix and you could be looking at an approval process of years instead of months. If you are disabled and seeking financial support during this unprecedented time, don’t let the process deter you from claiming benefits you are entitled to.
Despite Covid-19, there are still many options available to help you navigate the SSDI application process as quickly as possible.
I keep trying to call Social Security, but I can’t get through. What should I do?
Social Security has closed all field offices, hearing offices, and remote hearing sites to the public in order to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. However, Social Security employees are still answering the national toll-free line at 1-800-772-1213.
Due to a high volume of callers, the wait time on the 1-800 line could take hours. We recommend that you contact your local office directly for more immediate support. You can search the Social Security Office Locator here to find the office nearest you.
Some services provided by the social security office are automated or available by logging into your account. If you are interested in checking the status of your application you can do so on the Social Security Administration’s website.
I had a benefits hearing scheduled with Social Security office. Will this still happen?
During COVID-19, all hearings scheduled with Social Security will be done remotely. If you have an in-person hearing scheduled, expect to receive a phone call from the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) to reschedule a remote hearing.
Although phone hearings are not required, they are the only way the Social Security Office is handling hearings at this time. An in-person hearing could take several months or longer depending on Covid-19 restrictions.
Important Note: As most OHO agents are working from home, their call may come from a private or blocked phone number.
I have a severe disability and I need support immediately. What can I do?
The SSA is prioritizing the most severe disabilities; including:
- Individuals with a terminal illness
- Military service members (Wounded Warriors)
- Individuals who qualify for Compassionate Allowance or Quick Disability Determination
The application process for individuals with a severe disability during COVID-19 is relatively the same. If you fall into one of the aforementioned categories there is a good chance you will receive expedited help.
What else can I do to get help with my SSDI application?
We recommend contacting a disability attorney to assist with your application. These attorneys have a plethora of experience working the system and may have information that will expedite your case.
A disability lawyer or advocate can help by:
- Collecting and submitting detailed information required by the SSA
- Acting as a liaison and communicating with the office on your behalf
- Monitoring claim and appeal status
- Expediting approvals
- Recommending the best hearing for your case (telephones vs. in person)
- Can help appeal declined applications
To start the process of getting approved for benefits, or speak to someone that can help you with your application, click here to complete a quick 30 second form now to see if you qualify.
Important: If you receive SSDI benefits you are eligible for the federal stimulus payment of $1,200. For more information, see our article on how SSDI recipients can get the stimulus check.