How will COVID-19 affect my Social Security Disability hearing or appeal?

I hope everyone is staying protected from the current and ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

We have gotten quite a few questions about how the current COVID-19 crisis affects Social Security cases.

We understand that you are rightly concerned about how this pandemic and its related shutdowns will affect your case.  The disability application process is very long and every extra delay is a delay in much-needed benefit payments.

We are not currently meeting clients in person, but everyone on our staff is continuing to diligently work on all of our cases so you can qualify for benefits in as timely a manner as possible.

We have reviewed numerous resources including SSA’s own press releases and information and wanted to pass along what we have learned:

How will COVID-19 affect Social Security Disability Initial Applications and Reconsiderations?

If you recently filed an initial application or reconsideration, SSA has not released any specific information on these processes, but we expect your claim will continue being processed. 

We expect some additional delays from SSA/DDS due to work-from-home instituted in many places including SSA, DDS, medical records providers, etc.

We also expect delays related to the scheduling of medical exams by SSA due to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's social distancing and other governmental guidelines on non-emergency medical procedures.

How Will COVID-19 Affect Social Security Disability Claims at the Hearing Stage?

How will COVID-19 Affect Social Security Disability Claims?If your claim is at the hearing stage and you have a hearing scheduled, your hearing may occur by telephone instead of video or in-person. 

If your claim is at the hearing stage and you do not have a hearing scheduled yet, we anticipate the SSA either 

  1. Delaying scheduling until the crisis is under control or
  2. Scheduling hearings for telephone conference.

How Will COVID-19 Affect Appeals Council and Federal Reviews?

SSA has not indicated how or if these matters are proceeding or not. Based on other information, we anticipate additional delays due to SSA employees working-from-home and other general delays in the national economy.

How Will COVID-19 Affect Continuing Disability Reviews?

Continuing Disability Reviews have been suspended and are not being processed according to SSA. 

Processing of these cases will resume once the crisis is over.

SSA has indicated if you are currently in the process of a CDR, you should not request medical evidence from your providers at this time.  The SSA will follow up with you in due course.

Will COVID-19 Affect my Social Security Benefit Payments?

If you receive Social Security Disability benefits, you should see no interruption or change in receiving benefits due to the crisis.

I receive SSDI benefits and am typically not required to file a tax return. 
Can I still receive the Coronavirus Economic Impact Payment?

Yes.

*UPDATED 04/02/2020*

The IRS has reversed course on their statements that a simple tax return would need to be filed to receive the stimulus payment. 

The IRS will now use information from Social Security beneficiaries' 1099 documents (Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099) for individuals who do not have 2018 or 2019 tax returns on record.‚Äč

The treasury department will either mail you a check or direct deposit the money into the bank account that you use for benefit deposits.

All local Social Security Administration offices are currently closed to the public

For more information directly from SSA, please check out their Coronavirus FAQs and press releases.

Our team is committed to helping you as best we can during this crisis.

We have been updating our clients on their claim status and will update this post as more or new information becomes available. 

If you have questions about your specific Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) case, please give us a call at 985-441-3448.

 
Loyd J. Bourgeois
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Disability, Personal Injury, and Divorce Attorney
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