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Public Benefits: What Should I Know about Social Security Benefits during COVID-19?

What is Social Security doing to address the COVID-19 pandemic?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, SSA offices are closed. SSA is focused on providing critical services to people in dire need.  People who are eligible for social security benefits but face the following circumstances may be able to get payments more quickly than usual:

  • You did not receive your monthly payment;
  • You are currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless; or
  • Your benefits were suspended and can now be reinstated.

I keep trying to call Social Security, but I can’t get through. What can I do?

The general 800 number for Social Security is overwhelmed with calls at this time. It is best to call your local office, and you can find the number for your area here:

What Social Security tasks can I complete online?

Many tasks can be completed online. Examples include: applying for benefits, checking the status of an application or appeal, requesting a replacement card, changing your address, changing or setting up direct deposit. For more information visit:

I get disability from Social Security, or I want to get disability benefits. How has COVID-19 impacted disability benefits?

SSA will accept new applications for benefits as well as assist people who are already receiving benefits. Critical claims are being prioritized.

Disability applications for the most severe disabilities include the following:

  • If you have a terminal illness;
  • If you are a Wounded Warrior;
  • If you may qualify for an immediate Supplemental Security Income payment based on certain severe disabilities;
  • If your disability qualifies for Compassionate Allowance or Quick Disability Determination processes.

I had a hearing scheduled with Social Security about my disability benefits. What will happen?

Social Security will be doing all hearings by telephone or video. If you had an in-person hearing scheduled, Social Security will contact you to reschedule it. You aren’t required to have a telephone hearing, but if you want an in-person hearing, it may not be scheduled for several months. You can request either a telephone or video hearing.

Will getting a COVID-19 stimulus check affect my benefits?

No. Economic impact payments, or stimulus checks, from the federal government will not count as income when the Social Security Administration calculates your benefit. The stimulus check will also not count as an asset unless you still have it in your account 12 months after you received it. For more information about the stimulus check, click here.

Will getting the Advance Child Tax Credit affect my eligibility for benefits like SNAP, Medicaid, cash assistance, or Social Security?

No. The Advance Child Tax Credit will not count as income for the purposes of public benefits. If you still have those funds saved after more than 12 months, however, they could count as a resource.

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