Social Security During COVID-19

Metzger Wickersham staff continues to work remotely via home to heed Governor Wolf’s “Shelter in Place” order which was mandated on March 20, 2020. We are diligently submitting Social Security claims and the Social Security Administration continues to process them.

One commonly asked question from clients during this unique situation is whether or not the Social Security process will be delayed due to COVID-19. Our firm has not experienced any issues with contacting Social Security for answers, however, in the long term we are unsure how it may affect the timing of Social Security decisions. We encourage clients to contact us with any inquiries related to your case or to request a consultation if you are looking into filing for Social Security benefits. Contact us via email, phone, or fax.

Interested in a behind-the-scenes glimpse into our Social Security efforts during COVID-19? Read on to learn more about our adjusted claims process.

Phone calls. The Social Security Administration, including local offices and hearing offices, are currently closed but representatives are still accessible. If you call a local office, your call will be routed to a Social Security representative who can answer questions, you are also given the option to leave a message for a representative to call you back. To reduce your wait time, we recommend that you call a local office directly instead of the national toll-free number.

Filing applications/appeals. Both applications and appeals can easily be filed online or over the phone. Once you provide our staff with the requested information by mail, email, phone, or otherwise, your information will be submitted to Social Security. Our staff continue to contact clients individually and we are accessible remotely to ensure all deadlines are met. Contact us via email, phone, or fax.

Authorizations and forms. After we receive your signed authorizations and completed forms via mail or email, we will review them for completeness. Once completed we will send the documents to the Social Security Administration via fax or mail. If changes need to be made to your forms, with your permission, we will correct the documents digitally.

Requesting and submitting medical records. Currently, medical record requests and updates are sent via fax or email to the Social Security Administration. Once records are received, they are scanned, saved, and organized to submit via Social Security’s Electronic Records Express (ERE). Using ERE, we also correspond with an Administrative Law Judge and review the status of submissions.

Hearings. Hearing offices are closed due to COVID-19, however, claimants are given the choice between conducting a hearing by phone or requesting a continuance of their hearing until an in-person hearing can take place. If the claimant chooses a telephone hearing, a court reporter will conference call all parties on the date and time of your prescheduled hearing. Recommendations vary on a case-by-case basis whether a claimant should continue with a hearing via phone or request a postponement for an in-person hearing.

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