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While the SSA’s Offices Are Closed, You Can Still Apply for Disability Benefits. Here’s How?

By early spring of 2020, as the COVID-19 epidemic became widespread, the Social Security Administration (SSA), along with a slew of other enterprises, had been forced to close about 1,200 field offices and shift thousands of employees to remote work status almost overnight.

Over the course of more than a year, it was unknown when or how the offices would reopen while the globe waited and watched the path of the virus.

The Social Security Administration’s offices have remained largely closed to the general public, however they do provide limited in-person services to those in “dire” need.

Because of this, millions of Americans with disabilities who rely on the responsiveness of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and its employees to apply for and receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits after suffering a work-disrupting disability have faced difficulties applying for and receiving benefits.

Recent negotiations have resulted in a revised, but still tentative, reopening date of March 30, 2022, which is more than two years after the field offices were closed for the first time.

If you are one among the millions of people who have been waiting for information on the progress of their application or acceptance, here are some suggestions to help you increase your chances of success.

Make an application for SSDI as soon as possible.

When it comes to applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, there is no time to waste. The administration is experiencing a considerable backlog as a result of the closure of the field offices.

The initial application can take anywhere from three to six months to be reviewed, and only around one in every three applications is approved on average.

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It will only harm your financial status, and maybe your savings and retirement fund, if you put off applying until the Social Security Administration field offices reopen. This is especially true if you have no other source of regular income.

If you are considering filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), examine the list of eligible disabilities on the website to see if you are eligible to get the benefits you deserve and have worked hard to earn.

Make use of a representative to receive assistance as soon as possible.

Applying for SSDI is a multistage procedure that may be immensely complex and time-consuming, as well as being physically and mentally taxing at times. It is common for applications to be denied approval merely because the applicant did not submit all of the needed documentation on time.

In order to get your application and claims authorized in a timely way, it is critical that you have an experienced, devoted agent advocating on your behalf.

In particular, because the Social Security Administration’s operational processes have become increasingly convoluted on a state-by-state basis, with different state Disability Determination Services (DDS) offices employing a variety of ways to manage workloads, this is the case.

An effective representative should be familiar with the Social Security Administration’s policies and procedures, be able to advocate for you and your particular disability, and be able to assist you in ensuring that all necessary forms and documents are in order, properly completed, and submitted electronically to the federal agency.

Make a spending plan and make adjustments to your spending habits based on it.

As previously stated, it is anticipated that it will take some time for the Social Security Administration’s offices and staff to come back up to speed once they reopen. It is possible that you will have to go without receiving benefits for a longer period of time than anticipated.

Examining your money and developing a budget may enable you to live within your means and be financially secure throughout the time it takes for the Social Security Administration to process your paperwork.

If you still find yourself in a financial bind, look into community and social service groups as well as faith-based organizations that may be willing to provide temporary support, such as food or funding to cover housing, utilities, and other living expenses.

Maintain your health insurance coverage.

With the likelihood of delays, it may be tempting to forego health insurance coverage. Having medical evidence, on the other hand, is crucial in supporting your allegations. It is possible that your application will be declined due to a lack of medical documentation.

As a result, you should think about your health insurance options, which may include COBRA, Health Insurance Marketplace plans, or Medicaid coverage.

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