The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted virtually every aspect of life. You may be wondering: Will COVID-19 affect my Social Security disability application? The answer is “it might”—though, the basic structure of the program is largely unaffected by the virus. Below, you will find a brief guide to Social Security disability and the pandemic.
Coronavirus Impact on SSD Applications: What to Know
The most important thing to know about COVID-19 and Social Security disability is that the pandemic has not fundamentally altered the disability system. If you were qualified for benefits, you will still receive your benefits. If you were not qualified, it is unlikely that COVID-19 has made you eligible—unless there was a material change in your individual circumstances.
- Somewhat Difficult to Apply After a Layoff: If you were laid off because of COVID-19—as tens of millions of other Americans were—you may have trouble bringing an initial disability claim. As you were recently working, the SSA will need strong evidence that you can no longer work on a full-time basis.
- Ongoing Benefits are Unaffected: If you put in an application and you were approved for SSDI or SSI benefits, your payments should not be affected by COVID-19. Direct deposits are going out normally and checks are being processed and mailed with very limited disruption.
- Stimulus Check Will Not Be Counted Against You: To help address the economic fallout, the federal government approved stimulus payments for many Americans. Your stimulus payment will not be counted for any SSD income or asset test. The payment is fully exempt.
- Delay Possible; Many Offices are Remote: If you are submitting a fresh SSDI or SSI application, you may be forced to deal with delayed processing. Many local Social Security offices are operating remotely and some delays in paperwork processing have been reported.
Unfortunately, accessing SSDI or SSI benefits can be challenging. The COVID-19 outbreak has simply added another layer of complexity to the application process. You still have the right to contest an unfavorable disability decision. If you need help appealing a denied Social Security Disability application, contact a qualified attorney for immediate assistance.