If pandemic- related conditions do not worsen, all field offices of the Social Security Administration are set to open on March 30, 2022. This is good news for disability beneficiaries and applicants as well as people waiting to apply for Supplemental Security Income benefits.
Social Security offices around the country have been closed for two years. When the pandemic hit, Social Security offices in Georgia and around the country went into shutdown mode. Since March 2020, all work has been done via phone, mail or virtually.
In- person visits at many offices will start soon. However, that depends on negotiations between Social Security workers’ unions and the federal administration. According to the results of these negotiations, field offices are set to open on March 30, provided there are no more changes in the current pandemic-related restrictions.
Data shows that there has been no change in the number of Medicare and retirement benefits claims processed by the Social Security Administration during this time when all offices were closed and cases were processed virtually. However, there has been a sharp drop in the number of claims related to disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefits that have been processed during this time. That has meant fewer persons have been able to successfully claim benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income program. This has had a devastating impact because these two groups typically include some of the most at –risk, vulnerable and disadvantaged populations in the country. Any delays in processing claims of these two groups can mean significant hardships for potential beneficiaries.
Hopefully, now that field offices are set to open in less than 60 days, disability claims can be prioritised and processed faster by the administration.