The Agency Has Unveiled A New ‘express Interview’ Process To Help People Apply For Original Or Replacement Social Security Cards And Submit Necessary Proof Of Identity In Person But It Encourages The Public To Continue To Submit Applications Online
- May 31, 2021
The Social Security Administration closed its field offices to the public in March 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic to protect its employees and the vulnerable elderly and disabled population they serve. Fourteen months later, the agency has unveiled a new express interview process to help individuals apply for original or replacement Social Security cards and submit necessary proof of identity in person.
But the majority of the public must continue to rely on the agencys revamped and expanded online services to apply for Social Security and Medicare benefits and to access related critical information, such as estimates of future benefits.
Social Security is a massive federal program that touches nearly every Americans life, whether its paying FICA taxes during their working years to fund benefits for current recipients or collecting disability, retirement or survivor benefits on their own earnings record or that of a spouse or parent.
Through the end of 2020, nearly 65 million people received disability, retirement, and survivor benefits. As of Dec. 31, approximately 88% of the population age 65 and older were receiving benefits.
In its emergency message last Thursday, the Social Security Administration said, This process was established to address the challenges the public has faced providing enumeration and documentary proofs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
How Will Ssa Process My Notice Of Appointment While Emergency Procedures Are In Place
Date: March 11, 2021
Beginning March 11, 2021, we have revised our temporary procedures to allow you to use different methods to sign the notice of appointment of a representative and fee agreement, if the fee agreement is submitted with the new notice of appointment, during the current COVID-19 health emergency. During this time, if we receive an appointment document such as the Form SSA-1696, on its own or along with an SSA-8000, SSA-8001, SSA-L2, SSA-820, SSA-821, SSA-827, or SSA-455 form, and your signature appears to be an electronic or digital signature, we will make three attempts to contact you to verify your identity and confirm the signature. If we verify your identity and signature, we will process the appointment as usual. If the first attempt to reach you by telephone is unsuccessful, we also will send a call-in letter to you and the representative you requested. If we cannot reach you and you do not return our call, or do not verify the signature, we will return the paperwork to the person who submitted it without recognizing the appointment.
We also have temporary procedures in place permitting you to verbally appoint a representative during a remote telephone hearing with an administrative law judge, if you submit a written notice of appointment afterwards. In this case, we will accept an electronic signature on the written appointment notice, without needing to call you again.
What Can I Do Online
Date: October 19, 2020
You can conduct most business online with our secure and convenient . Our online services are available from anywhere and from any of your devices. You can:
We also have information to answer most of your Social Security questions online, without having to speak with a Social Security representative. Please visit our .
Also Check: How Much Can I Earn If I Collect Social Security
When Will Social Security Reopen To The Public
The Social Security Administration has not called employees back to their offices en masse, nor has the agency indicated when it might do so. Although other agencies have released their reopening plans, neither employees nor the unions that represent the SSA workforce have seen any kind of reopening plan from the agency, though they acknowledged it didnt mean SSA doesnt have one. The agency states that all Social Security facilities remain restricted to very limited, authorized personnel performing non-portable mission critical work. Read their article here
Notice: The first link provided above connects readers to the full content of the posted article. The URL for this link is valid on the posted date socialsecurityreport.org cannot guarantee the duration of the links validity. Also, the opinions expressed in these postings are the viewpoints of the original source and are not explicitly endorsed by AMAC, Inc. the AMAC Foundation, Inc. or socialsecurityreport.org.
How Can A Representative Help Me With My Social Security Claim
Date: March 26, 2021
You may appoint a qualified person to represent you when doing business with Social Security. Use Form SSA-1696-U4, Appointment of Representative to tell us in writing about the person you appoint. You can send the completed, signed, and dated document to your local Social Security office, but for faster service ask your representative to initiate an e1696. Your representative must give us a valid email address for you. With this service, you can complete, sign, and submit your appointment of a representative online, safely and quickly.
A representative generally cannot charge or collect a fee for these services without written approval from us.
See Your Right To Representationfor more information.
Don’t Miss: Will I Have Social Security
Half A Million Poor And Disabled Americans Left Behind By Social Security
The Social Security Administration’s 1,200 field offices have been closed for the last 20 months, with devastating effects for disabled Americans. Pre-pandemic, more than 43 million Americans were served at SSA field offices the people most in need of walk-in, on-demand services included people with low- or zero-incomes, housing instability, limited English proficiency, or significant physical or mental disabilities that were themselves barriers to access. With office closures, their inability to file applications and appeals and to correct bureaucratic errors has led to historically unprecedented declines in people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income disability benefits.
In fiscal year 2021, SSA’s awards of SSDI benefits to disabled persons and their family members were down 25 percent relative to FY 2019. SSI disability awards, granted to people without much work history, were down even more, with a 30 percent decline.
Had SSI awards continued at the pre-pandemic level, there would have been 280,000 more SSI awards over the last two fiscal years. In the pre-pandemic years of FY 2017-2019, SSDI awards were declining only modestly had that trend continued, there would have been 270,000 more SSDI awards in the last two fiscal years.
The decline in awards has continued to the present period. SSDI and SSI awards for September 2021 were down 34 and 42 percent, respectively, from the figures for September 2019.
Employees Score More Telework Days At Least For Now
In many cases, SSA employees will have access to more telework days than they did before the pandemic and before former Commissioner Andrew Saul implemented divisive cuts and cancelations to the program for portions of the agencys workforce in late 2019 and early 2020.
I was pleased to see that SSA had listened to the concerns that AFGE had raised with respect to the ability of employees, the overwhelming majority, to not just maintain productivity but also exceed prior levels of producibility while teleworking during the pandemic, Rich Couture, president of American Federation of Government Employees Council 215, said in an interview.
Council 215 represents hearings and appeals employees at SSA. Couture called the planned telework changes a very positive first step, and a leap in the right direction but said he still has several questions about the agencys reentry plan that havent been answered.
Its unclear, for example, how SSA arrived at the Jan. 3 date for employees to begin returning to the office, Couture said.
We have questions as to why the work-from-home-by-quarantine policy will be eliminated when the very circumstances that led to its creation are still in existence, he said.
SSAs reentry plan describes how it will continue to coordinate safety protocols with the workforce. Mask, vaccine and cleaning procedures will remain in place, and SSA may continue to set occupancy limits in offices depending on local guidelines, according to the plan.
Recommended Reading: How Much Will I Draw From Social Security
Florida Republicans Join Chris Jacobs In Calling On Feds To Reopen Social Security Offices
Last week, U.S. Rep. Chris Jacobs, R-NY, led more than four dozen Republicans in the U.S. House in sending a letter to the Social Security Administration and the American Federation of Government Employees, calling on them to come up with a plan to reopen more than 1,500 Social Security offices across the country.
With offices closed during the pandemic, Jacobs said that Social Security offices need to open for in-person services.
While most businesses and government agencies have resumed in-person services for Americans, the Social Security Administration has failed to provide a timeline or even a plan to reopen their 1,500 field offices, Jacobs said. Millions of Americans struggle with access to reliable internet or phone services which imperils their access to their benefits and help they need. It is time for the Social Security Administration to restore the in-person customer service our constituents deserve.
Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Kat Cammack, Brian Mast and Bill Posey signed the letter.
Bilirakis weighed in on the letter on Thursday.
It has been eighteen months since the start of the pandemic. It is unconscionable that paid employees of the Social Security Administration have yet to return to local offices that still remain closed since March 2020, said Bilirakis.
Social Security Offices Will Not Open Jan 3 As Proposed How Does This Affect You
According to a statement released on Dec. 22, the SSA said: You may have seen a proposed reentry date of January 3, 2022 in the draft reentry plan that we provided to our unions, or in the media. While some executives reentered on December 1, we have not set a reentry date for the rest of the agency.
More than 1,200 field offices have been closed since March 2020, which provided assistance on applications for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income , as well as retirement and Medicare claims, Reuters reported last month. In 2019, these offices served more than 43 million visitors. However, since the onset of the pandemic, almost all public service has only been available online, by phone and mail.
These closures have frustrated the public and Congress, saying that those from vulnerable communities now have limited access to Social Security benefits, Federal News Network reported.
More From GOBankingRates
Don’t Miss: How Much Money Do I Get From Social Security
Pembroke Pines Social Security Office 12249 Pembroke Rd Fl 33025
This page covers all relevant information about the Pembroke Pines Social Security Office at 12249 Pembroke Rd, Pembroke Pines, FL, 33025. In addition to the office phone number, we also provide driving directions, hours of operation, and answers to frequently asked questions.
For specific information about your Social Security benefits or to schedule an appointment, call the Pembroke Pines Social Security Office using the phone number listed below. The SSA representatives at the Pembroke Pines office location should be able to help with any important questions related to Social Security retirement benefits, disability benefits, SSI, or Medicare.
Many Social Security services can now be done online. Not only can utilizing online services save you a trip to the Pembroke Pines office location, it will also usually result in faster processing times. Below you can find a list of some common Social Security services that are now offered online.
Social Security Offices Have Been Closed For Most Of The Pandemic That Effort To Protect Public Health Has Wounded Some Of The Neediest Americans
NASHVILLE The first cars bearing the needy pulled into the parking lot as the lights went on in the squat brick Social Security office, three miles north of the luxury condos and boutique hotels rising in booming Music City.
It was 9 a.m., and a flier taped to the glass double doors announced business hours until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. An American flag fluttered at the curb.
But the office did not open for business, except for a lucky few who gained special entry, for what was then the 605th day since it had been sealed shut to protect its employees and customers from the coronavirus.
It was closed to a man named Kevin, 41, who has seizures from a gunshot wound to his head and now clutched a letter that asked him for documents to help him qualify for disability benefits. I cant get into Social Security! he said, declining to give his last name as he stood outside. They got it locked up!
It was closed to Jennifer Hustedt, 52, a Walmart clerk hoping to drop off her sons birth certificate to qualify him to receive his late fathers disability check.
Just to update his info, they told me I had to physically come in person, she said.
It was closed to Dwight Chambers, 65, who came with a letter he wrote disputing the amount in taxes the government was taking out of the $1,200 a month he receives in disability, so he could help support his granddaughters.
Tiggemann said the agency is revisiting the drop boxes limited hours.
Also Check: Sample Completed Form Ssa-3369
Are Social Security Offices Open
On March 17, 2020, the Social Security Administration closed all its offices to the public for in-person services due to the coronavirus pandemic.
For those who were accustomed to receiving face-to-face service to address issues with or questions about their benefits, this has been a massive shift in how they interact with the federal agency.
More than one year later, the pandemic is officially still ongoing but the strict lockdowns and business closures that we saw last spring have eased considerably. With restaurants and retail stores operating mostly as normal, you might wonder, are Social Security offices open too?
The questions Im starting to hear now are along the lines of, Are Social Security offices open for any services? But maybe the one we should really be asking is more like, When will Social Security offices open again?
If you were eager to communicate in person with the SSA, you may need to wait a little while longer still. Social Security offices generally remain closed as of May 2021 but there may be a few circumstances that allow for in-person service.
Are Social Security Offices Open for Any Services?
There are a few limited cases where you may be able to schedule a one-on-one meeting at your local Social Security Administration office. These meetings are by appointment only, and appointments are only granted in critical circumstances.
Appointments are generally granted if:
I Had A Scheduled Appointment What Do I Need To Do
Date: April 14, 2020
If you already have a scheduled appointment, we will attempt to contact you by phone at your appointment time and/or reschedule for a telephone appointment.
Note: Scammers may try to take advantage of this situation. Remember that our employees will never threaten you or ask for any form of immediate payment.
Can I Enroll In Medicare
Date: January 28, 2021
If you enrolled in Medicare Part A and would like to enroll in Part B under the Special Enrollment Period , you can apply online at Apply for Medicare Part B Online during a Special Enrollment Period. You can upload your application and documents that verify your group health plan coverage through your employer.
You can also fax or mail your completed CMS-40B, Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B and the CMS-L564, Request for Employment Information enrollment forms and evidence of employment to your local Social Security office. If you have questions, please contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 .
- State, I want Part B coverage to begin in the remarks section of the CMS-40B form or online application.
- If your employer is unable to complete Section B, please complete that portion as best as you can on behalf of your employer without your employers signature.
- Also, submit one of the following forms of secondary evidence:
- Income tax form that shows health insurance premiums paid.
- W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions.
- Pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions.
- Health insurance cards with a policy effective date.
- Explanations of benefits paid by the GHP or LGHP.
- Statements or receipts that reflect payment of health insurance premiums.
How Can I Get A New Or Replacement Social Security Number Card
Date: October 22, 2020
A Social Security number is important because you need it to get a job, collect Social Security benefits, and get some other government services. However, please note that you may not need the physical SSN card for many of these services.
New Card Requests
We assign the vast majority of SSNs and issue SSN cards at birth. We will continue to process new card requests through our automated processes for newborns as part of the hospital registration process . We will also continue to process SSNs and issue cards for certain lawful immigrants .
If these automated processes are not available to you, we may schedule an in-office appointment for a new card request . Appointment availability is based on available staff and office operating status. Please call your local office to see if an in-office appointment is necessary and possible. To contact your local office, please look for the local office telephone number at Social Security Office Locator under Social Security Office Information for the office you select. The toll-free Office number is your local office.
Replacement Card Requests
Because we are experiencing slight delays processing mail-in SSN card applications, it may take us between two and four weeks to process the application and return the evidence.
There are where we may be able to make an in-office appointment to update or correct your SSN information.
Don’t Miss: Earning While On Social Security