CORONAVIRUS AND DISABILITY BENEFITS
UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS AND DISABILITY BENEFITS
The Coronavirus is not stopping your disability benefits from being paid. Nor, is it stopping the SSA from deciding disability cases. This is good news for those who are receiving disability benefits. It is also good news for those who are patiently waiting for the SSA to decide their case.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU NEED TO APPLY FOR BENEFITS TODAY
If you have a case at the initial level, meaning you just applied for benefits, the SSA will make a decision. The SSA’s local offices are open and are accepting applications. You can also apply for disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefits online at www. ssa.gov. Applying online is the simplest way to apply for benefits. It is what we recommend that you do. Even if you do not have all of the information that you need to apply online at you fingertips, you can still start the application.
If you know your address, Social Security number, birthdate, and other general information, you can start your application. Approximately three pages into the application, even if you don’t know more information, the SSA will give you a re-entry number. This number allows you to come back into the application at a later time. Therefore, you can finish the rest of the application when you have all of the information you need, like your doctor’s addresses. Why should you start the application if you don’t have everything you need? Because every day you wait to begin your application is a day you lose money. You are only entitled to benefits based upon the day that you apply for them.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU NEED TO APPEAL A DENIAL OF BENEFITS FROM THE SSA
During the Coronavirus, you can still appeal a denial of disability benefits. This is also done online at www.ssa.gov.
If you receive an initial or reconsideration denial, Disability Determination Services will review your appeal. You have 60 days to appeal a denial. We can help you appeal a denial. Just contact us on this website. We will call you back.
What if you already appealed and you are awaiting an SSA decision. Here is where you might experience some delay. The only reason there is a delay is that the SSA may want to send you to a Consultative Examination with one of their doctors. During the Coronavirus, they cannot do that. They are requesting that claimant’s understand this delay. Hopefully, you will receive an appointment as soon as the virus recedes. Rest assured that the SSA is still working on your case.
CORONAVIRUS AND HEARING FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS
Right now, the SSA is holding disability hearings over the phone. Considering the situation, this is actually working well. The SSA has the remote capability to hold hearings by allowing judges to work from home. A central clerk calls the judge, the claimant, the attorney, and any witnesses and puts everyone on a conference call. This allows the hearing to proceed and the claimant to answer questions. Cases that were scheduled before the coronavirus are going forward. The SSA is currently scheduling cases into August 2020. Depending on the safety of SSA’s employees and the claimants, they will determine when court will resume in person.
In order for court to proceed over the phone, the claimant must agree to the telephone hearing. We are recommending that you agree to the telephone hearing, unless you want to wait an additional 4 to 8 months for the SSA to schedule a new hearing. Most of our clients have already waited a very long time to obtain their hearing date. Postponing the hearing is usually not a good idea. There are exceptions and you may want to have your hearing in person. However, for most people, the telephone hearing is a good option right now.
CALL CANNON DISABILITY LAW FOR HELP WITH DISABILITY BENEFITS
If you need help with an application, an appeal, or a hearing, contact us today. Cannon Disability has been in business for 30 years. During that time we have won thousands of cases and millions of dollars in benefits for our clients. We are accepting cases from Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. If you are from one of these states and need help, contact us.
If you are already our client, know that we are still working on your case and proceeding toward winning you benefits. This is a difficult time for many people. We hope to help you with your case in any way that we can. Contact Cannon Disability if you have questions.