Our Blog


SSA Suspends Eligibility Reviews and Other Standard Procedures

Posted by Laura E. Stubberud | May 05, 2020 | 0 Comments

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has scaled back its normal operations, and this means that eligibility reviews and other  standard procedures for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries are suspended.  In general, these changes should make life easier for beneficiaries during the course of the pandemic.

On March 17, the SSA closed all Social Security offices for in-person service, as detailed on the SSA's “Social Security and the Coronavirus Disease” page on its website. Although many standard services can be requested or completed online or over the phone, ranging from filing initial applications for benefits and appeals to getting new Social Security or Medicare cards, other services are being suspended.

Under the Social Security Act, the SSA generally must perform so-called continuing disability reviews of SSI and SSDI recipients every three years to ensure recipients are still eligible for benefits. As of April 10, the SSA suspended all continuing disability reviews indefinitely and advised SSI and SSDI recipients not to scheduled doctor's appointments or request medical information for these reviews at this time.

The SSA has also suspended the processing and collection of overpayments to SSI and SSDI recipients “where possible.” In the past decade, thousands of SSI recipients have been overpaid and thus need to return payments to the SSA, most commonly due to changes in the recipient's total resources that put them over the program's strict $2,000 threshold for eligibility.

The SSA is also not conducting audits of organizational and individual payees, who oversee the finances of SSI and SSDI beneficiaries. Furthermore, the SSA is not responding to information requests from third parties, other than from payees, or to Freedom of Information Act requests.  

Although in-person administrative hearings are adjourned for now, the SSA is holding some hearings over the phone. However, the SSA guidance explicitly states that applicants cannot be required to take part in hearings over the phone, and therefore can wait for in-person hearings to resume.

For more information and for updates from the SSA during the COVID-10 pandemic, click here to read posts on the SSA's official blog, Social Security Matters.

For the SSA's Coronavirus page, click here.

About the Author

Laura E. Stubberud

Laura Stubberud has over two decades of experience in the practice of estate and family law in Nevada. After graduation from UCLA, she studied law at Southwestern University School of Law , graduating in 1992. With over 30 years of practice in Clark County, Nevada, Ms. Stubberud has substantial e...


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Call us today at 702.625.9260. You’ll receive the highest level of personalized service.