COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the country. The Arkansas Department of Health reports that over 155,000 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the state as of November 28th. The virus has interrupted many aspects of life. This raises an important question: Can I still apply for disability benefits during the pandemic? The answer is an unequivocal ‘yes’—though there may be some additional delays in processing. Here, our Arkansas SSDI lawyers explain how COVID-19 does (and does not) impact your ability to apply for Social Security disability benefits.
COVID-19 has Not Changed the Fundamentals of the SSDI/SSI Claims Process
As a starting point, we must emphasize that the fundamental nature of the SSDI claims and SSI claims process is still in place during the pandemic. Do not let the coronavirus stop you from filing for the benefits you need to support your family. Here are is the most important thing you need to know about Social Security disability claims during COVID-19:
- The Social Security Administration is accepting and reviewing new applications. You can apply for SSDI or SSI benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SSA has stressed that ongoing benefits should not be disrupted and new applications for SSDI or SSI benefits are being actively reviewed. The agency also notes that phone services are available. Though, there may be longer than average holding times as physical offices may be closed or operating at reduced capacity.
COVID-19 May Cause Some Delays in the Social Security Disability Claims Process
The primary issue facing new applicants is the potential for delays. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, the pandemic could create some challenges. For example, many physical offices are currently closed or have restricted capacity. You may also face some additional hurdles in scheduling a medical evaluation.
Beyond that, on November 6th, 2020, the Social Security Administration (SSA) noted that the agency is experiencing some “delays in processing certain requests” during the coronavirus pandemic. As frustrating as these disruptions can be, they should not dissuade you from applying for benefits. The sooner you initiate your claim, the sooner you can start receiving the benefits you are entitled to under federal law.
The Bottom Line: Although there may be some additional challenges, you do not need to wait until the COVID-19 pandemic is over to apply for SSDI benefits or SSI benefits. An Arkansas Social Security disability attorney can help you overcome obstacles.
Call Our Arkansas Social Security Disability Attorneys for a Free Consultation
At Gallo Cazort & Co. Law Firm, our Arkansas Social Security disability lawyers are compassionate, reliable advocates for clients. If you have any questions about COVID-19 and the claims process, we are more than ready to help. Contact our firm today to set up your no cost, no obligation consultation. With an office in Rogers, we handle SSDI and SSI claims throughout Arkansas, including in Fayetteville, Springdale, Bentonville, Eureka Springs, Fort Smith, Harrison, and Russellville.