Coronavirus and Social Security

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted the country and globe with many people being severely sick and not able to work. This pandemic can be tough for older and disabled Americans who are trying to file for Social Security disability. Even people who are able to work in their job even though they may have qualified for SS disability may not be able to find work moving forward due to the virus.  People who want to file for Social Security Disability should know the proper actions to take in order to receive benefits they need.

 

When there is threat of a national shutdown, it is common for local Social Security offices to close. Here is what to expect when your local Social Security office closes.  Social Security benefits will continue to get paid out without disruption. Online services, including all the information on the Social Security website and the various tools for looking at your own specific Social Security record, are still available. This situation is much better than what people have experienced in the past during government shutdowns. This is due to local Social Security offices not being entirely shut down. Even though that these offices are closed to the public, the staffers are still available on site and online handling people’s needs.

How Can You Apply for Benefits Online?

Go to SocialSecurity.gov/onlineservices. There, you can apply for benefits, check the status of applications or appeals, request a replacement card and obtain other services.

 

 

Can You Talk to Anyone on the Phone?

You may be able to get someone from your local office on the phone if you can’t conduct your business online. Call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to get started.

 

What if You Have an in-office Appointment Already Scheduled?

The administration says it will call you to handle your appointment by phone instead. The call may come from a private number and not from a federal line.

 

Substantial Gainful Activity Level

 

It is important to know that if you get sick from the virus and are unable to work, or it complicates underlying conditions, they can qualify under the 5-step process for not being able to work at the Substantial Gainful Activity level. Many people who want to file for Social Security disability might not know the Substantial Gainful Activity level. If you are working, and your earnings are more than $1,260 a month in 2020, that is considered Substantial Gainful Activity, and Social Security probably will not consider you to be disabled. Social Security Regulations explain “substantial gainful activity” and whether work activity is not gainful activity, or is done under special conditions or is an unsuccessful work attempt. The “Substantial Gainful Activity” Monthly Earnings Amount for 2020 is $1,260.

 

Everyone should know that the Coronavirus can impact your ability to qualify for SS benefits. It is being treated like any other infection, in that it will take into account with all your other medical conditions, but you must not be able to work for at least a year due to your conditions, or resulting limitations.