The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching effects on many aspects of daily life. One area that has been significantly impacted is the Social Security Disability (SSD) system. The pandemic has caused office closures, backlogs, and changes in the evaluation process, which have resulted in challenges for SSD applicants. In this article, we will explore the impact of COVID-19 on SSD applications and provide information on available resources and assistance.
Legal Assistance and Resources
Applying for SSD benefits can be complex, and the pandemic has only added to the challenges. Seeking legal assistance during this time is crucial to ensure applicants receive the benefits they are entitled to. A disability lawyer in Sacramento or any other city where you reside can provide guidance and representation throughout the application process.
Other resources are available for SSD applicants, such as legal aid organizations and advocacy groups. These organizations can help applicants understand the application process and provide assistance with appeals and denials.
Closures and Backlogs
The pandemic has caused the closure of many Social Security offices, resulting in delays in processing applications. It is essential to check the status of a pending application by visiting the Social Security Administration’s website or contacting the local office. Applicants may experience longer wait times due to increased inquiries and backlogs.
Telehealth Evaluations and Medical Evidence
Due to the pandemic, many doctors’ offices have switched to telehealth appointments, which may make it difficult for SSD applicants to obtain the necessary medical evidence for their applications. Applicants should communicate with their healthcare providers to obtain the required application documentation.
Economic Impact on Disability Benefits
The pandemic has also had economic impacts that may affect SSD applicants. For example, some individuals who were not previously disabled may now require SSD benefits due to the long-term effects of COVID-19.
- Increased Demand for Disability Benefits: The pandemic has caused a surge in individuals who cannot work due to COVID-19-related illnesses or disabilities. This has led to an increase in the number of SSD applications, resulting in a backlog of cases.
- Reduction in Social Security Funding: The economic fallout of the pandemic has led to a decrease in Social Security funding, which could affect the number of benefits received by individuals already on disability benefits.
- Limited Availability of Jobs: The pandemic has caused widespread job losses, with some industries being hit harder than others. This has limited the availability of jobs for individuals with disabilities seeking employment, making it more difficult for them to become self-sufficient.
- Challenges in Accessing Healthcare: The pandemic has made it more challenging for individuals with disabilities to access healthcare due to concerns about exposure to the virus. This can make it more difficult for individuals to obtain medical evidence to support their disability claim.
- Changes to Social Security Policies: The pandemic has led to changes in Social Security policies, such as remote hearings and telehealth evaluations. These changes may have unintended consequences on disability benefits and the application process, and applicants need to stay informed about any policy changes that may affect their case.
Are you facing challenges with your SSD application during the COVID-19 pandemic? Seek legal assistance from a trusted disability attorney. With years of experience and thousands of successful cases, LaPorte Law Firm is the leading disability attorney in the Bay Area. Contact us today for guidance and representation to navigate the SSD system during this challenging time.