Social Security (SSA) Temporarily Closed
Social Security (SSA) offices are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as of March 17. For now, the closure has been extended through April 30. See Trump Administration’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America for more info about the quarantine timeline. The decision to close came in an effort to protect older Americans and people with underlying medical conditions who are especially vulnerable to this virus. Despite the office closures, Social Security is still able to provide many critical services by phone and online.
SSA services your clients can do online and by phone
If your client’s local Social Security office is closed, they can still do business with Social Security over the phone by calling 1-800-772-1213. They can also perform many of these same services at www.ssa.gov/onlineservices/
For example, they can:
- File a claim for retirement, disability, or Medicare benefits;
- Apply for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drugs;
- Check your application status;
- File an appeal if you were recently denied disability benefits;
- Request a replacement Social Security card (in most areas);
- Print proof of your benefits;
- Explore all of the benefits you may be eligible for at Benefits.gov;
- Request a replacement Medicare card, although your healthcare provider can verify coverage if you know your Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) number;
- Print a SSA-1099;
- Change your address, if you receive benefits;
- Set up or change your direct deposit; and
- Much more
Social Security FAQ
The following Frequently Asked Questions are from www.ssa.gov/coronavirus
1. Will I continue to receive my Social Security benefit or Supplemental Security Income payment if I use Direct Deposit?
Yes. You will continue to receive your monthly benefit amount if you use Direct Deposit.
2. Will I still receive my Social Security benefit or Supplemental Security Income payment by mail?
3. How do I get my COVID-19 economic impact payment?
The Treasury Department has launched a new web tool allowing quick registrations for Economic Impact Payments. Treasury, not Social Security, will make these payments.
4. What scams should I know about?
Unfortunately, there are scammers who will take advantage of the current situation and try to trick you out of your money and personal information. Don’t be fooled!
If you receive calls, emails, or other communications claiming to be from the U.S. Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, or another government agency offering COVID-19 related grants or economic impact payments in exchange for personal financial information, or an advance fee, or charge of any kind, including the purchase of gift cards, please do not respond. These are scams. Visit Treasury’s website if you suspect economic impact payment fraud. Report Social Security scams about COVID-19.
Below are some of the scams we know about, but there can be many variations:
The Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning the public about fraudulent letters threatening suspension of Social Security benefits due to COVID-19-related office closures. We will not suspend or discontinue benefits because our offices are closed to the public for in-person service. Read this and other fraud advisories.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General is alerting the public about fraud schemes related to COVID-19. For example, scammers are offering COVID-19 tests to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. However, the services are unapproved and illegitimate. Learn about this and other COVID-19 fraud from HHS.
We hope these tips will help you with your Social Security questions. As we continue on this coronavirus journey, remember to keep your health and your clients’ health, at the forefront.
Empower Brokerage is dedicated to helping you educate your clients on the insurance they need to get the most out of life. Whether it’s through webinar training, one-on-one calls, seminars, or marketing plans. We want you to be successful. Give us a call if you have any questions 888-539-1633.