We’re hearing stories from alarmed seniors that coronavirus will affect Social Security. As if seniors didn’t have enough to worry about with the coronavirus pandemic. Most seniors are heavily reliant on Social Security to make ends meet.
Here’s some vital information you need to keep yourself safe and well-informed.
Coronavirus Social Security Scammers
Apparently, scammers are contacting seniors via bogus letters and phone calls. They’re telling seniors that their Social Security is going to be suspended because of the spread of coronavirus. The Inspector General of the Social Security Office has already released details on how to avoid these scams. Seniors should watch out for any letters that request that you call a number to have their benefits reinstated. These scammers are asking for personal information and requesting callers to send cash.
If you get anything like this, please report it via the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General website.
The Social Security Administration will never threaten you or demand some form of payment to keep your benefits. They will also never demand personal information via the Internet, email, or letter.
The Commissioner of the SSA released a COVID-10 Update to assure benefit recipients and to discuss this topic.
Be aware that scammers may try to trick you into thinking the pandemic is stopping your Social Security payments but that is not true. Don’t be fooled.
How Do Seniors Get Social Security Support?
The Covid-19 outbreak practically closed everything already. Your local Social Security office is no exception. Most social security recipients are older adults and people with underlying medical conditions, so this was prudent.
However, you can still attempt to call for assistance or use their “Online Services” to find the answers yourself. Their offices are requesting seniors to first try and find their answers on their website before calling them.
If you had a scheduled hearing, the SSA will contact you to offer a hearing over the phone.
As you can imagine, they’re receiving an already higher call volume due to offices being closed. You can expect wait times to be 90 minutes or longer.
SSA is currently prioritizing the following requests for benefits:
- Requests for missed payments
- Homeless or risk of becoming homeless assistance
- Reinstating suspended benefits
- Critical claims for disability
- Critical Medicare and Medicaid applications
Will Seniors Still Receive Benefit Checks?
Just to make sure everyone is clear, the government IS NOT terminating social security benefits because of the coronavirus outbreak.
If you have been receiving Social Security benefits, you will continue to do so. The SSA has also extended deadlines because of the coronavirus outbreak. You can either wait until your local office reopens or mail your documents to them.
The SSA has also postponed the following until further notice:
- Current medical continuing disability reviews
- Processing and collection of overpayments
- Organization or individual representative payee accountings
- 3rd party request for information
- Freedom of Information Act requests
The SSA also has its own Social Security & Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) page that you can check to stay informed.
Finally, you can always check your benefits online via the Social Security secure website for additional reassurance.