Like many things affected during the COVID-19 pandemic, the process to get approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) has become even more difficult for disabled individuals seeking critical financial support.
SSDI approvals can take months (or even years) during the best of times. However, there are still many options available to help you navigate the SSDI application process as quickly as possible during this global pandemic.
I keep trying to call Social Security, but I can’t get through. What should I do?
Social Security has closed all field offices, hearing offices, and remote hearing sites to the public in order to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. However, Social Security employees are still answering the national toll-free line at 800-772-1213.
Unfortunately, this 800 number is overwhelmed with calls so you may have challenges getting through to an agent. We recommend you contact your local office directly for more immediate support. You can search the Social Security Office Locator here to find the office closest to you.
Keep in mind that If you are only looking to check the status of your application or appeal, you can do so on the Social Security Administration's website.
I had a hearing scheduled with Social Security about my SSDI benefits. Will this still happen?
During COVID-19, all hearings scheduled with Social Security will be done over the telephone. If you already had an in-person hearing scheduled, you should expect to receive a phone call from the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) to reschedule a phone hearing.
You are not required to accept this phone hearing appointment, but if you would prefer to have an in-person hearing it could take several months or longer depending on the status of the global pandemic.
Important Note: As most OHO agents are working from home, their call may come from a private phone number.
I have a severe disability and I need support immediately. What can I do?
The application process for individuals with a severe disability during COVID-19 is relatively the same, however the SSA is prioritizing the most severe disabilities; including:
- Individuals with a terminal illness
- Military service members (Wounded Warriors)
- Individuals who qualify for Compassionate Allowance or Quick Disability Determination
What else can I do to get help with my SSDI application?
We recommend contacting a disability lawyer to assist with your application, as well as to potentially help shorten the time it takes for approval.
A disability lawyer or advocate can help by:
- Collecting and submitting detailed information required by the SSA
- Communicating with the SSA on your behalf
- Monitoring the status of your claim and appeals
- Discuss quicker paths to approval
- Advising on whether to accept a telephone hearing
- Assist with appeals if your application is declined
To start the process of getting approved for benefits, or speak to someone that can help you with your application, click here to complete a quick 30 second form now to see if you qualify.
Important: If you receive SSDI benefits you are eligible for the federal stimulus payment of $1,200. For more information, see our article on how SSDI recipients can get the stimulus check.