Will COVID-19 Affect My Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?
May 6th, 2020 by Attorney John Colvin
According to data provided by the Tennessee Department of Health, nearly 11,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the state as of the end of April. This figure represents just a small portion of the more 1.1 million cases confirmed nationwide. As the virus continues to impact communities throughout the country, much of life has been disrupted. A common question that people have asks: Will the coronavirus affect my ability to get SSDI or SSI benefits?
We want to make sure that you have the information and resources you need to protect your rights. Below, our Tennessee Social Security disability lawyer answers the question by explaining the most important things you need to know about SSDI benefits in the time of COVID-19.
Your Guide to Social Security Disability Claims and the Coronavirus
Both Mail and Direct Deposit Options are Unaffected: SSDI and SSI Payments Will Continue
First and foremost, the Social Security Administration (SSA) wants to emphasize that people will continue to receive their disability benefits throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. If your SSDI or SSI claim was already approved, you should continue receiving benefits without disruption from the agency. If you get your payment through direct deposit, it should arrive on schedule. Similarly, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is still delivering checks by mail. Of course, some minor delays in mail delivery may happen based on local conditions.
SSA Will Not Count Stimulus Payments as ‘Income’ for Eligibility Purposes
In the economic relief package implemented by the federal government (CARES Act), many people are eligible to receive stimulus payments. Officially called Economic Impact Payments by the law, these stimulus payments will not be counted as ‘income’ or ‘assets’ for the purposes of Social Security disability. In other words, you can comfortably use your stimulus money without fear that it will disqualify you from disability coverage. It does not count as income for any SSDI/SSI disability calculation.
New Claimants Face Some Challenges: Much of the Process is Being Handled Remotely
While ongoing SSDI payments are largely uninterrupted by the coronavirus, new claimants face some additional challenges in the process. Currently, Social Security field offices and appeals hearings are being handled remotely. If you have an upcoming hearing, please confirm it before going to any physical location. Most likely, you will be asked to proceed over the phone. Though, once again, this is an office-by-office issue. Some offices may reopen far sooner than others.
If you have any specific questions about COVID-19 and your SSDI claim, our legal team is available to help. At the Law Offices of John Colvin, we are fully operational during the coronavirus pandemic. Our Tennessee Social Security disability attorney can conduct a free, fully remote review of your claim.
Call Our Winchester, TN SSDI Lawyer for Immediate Assistance
At the Law Offices of John Colvin, our Tennessee Social Security disability attorney is an experienced, effective advocate for clients. If you have questions about the coronavirus and your disability benefits, we are here to help. For a no-cost, confidential initial consultation, please contact our law firm today. From our office location in Winchester, we handle SSDI claims throughout the region, including in Bedford County, Coffee County, Franklin County, and Moore County.