Social Security offices have been closed nationwide since March 2020, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it plans to reopen offices in early April. However, there is currently no exact date when offices will reopen.
Because of the pandemic, most Social Security services have only been available online, by phone and mail. In-person visits were only by appointment and limited to critical issues. As in-person services are expanded, the SSA encourages you to continue to go online, call for help or schedule appointments in advance.
“During the pandemic, millions of people used our secure and convenient online services and received help by phone and in our offices by appointment,” the SSA’s acting commissioner said in a statement, as reported by AARP. “For people who can access our services online or by phone, we ask that they continue to do business with us online or by phone and schedule an appointment, when possible, which will better allow us to timely serve people who cannot use those options.”
If you need help from Social Security, the SSA said that the best way to get it is at ssa.gov. You can also call their national number (1-800-772-1213) or your local Social Security office for help. For quick access to a representative on the national number, it is recommended to call early in the day (8 a.m. to 10 a.m. local time) or later in the afternoon (4 a.m. to 7 p.m.). It’s also less busy later in the week, Wednesday to Friday, and later in the month.
If you’re still unable to get help, you can schedule an appointment for a later date by phone or in person. The number of people available to help at a local office will depend on local health conditions and other factors, the SSA stated. Before visiting an office, you must complete a self-assessment checklist and wear a mask. If you don’t have a mask, one will be provided for you. You may also need to wait outside, as space is limited.
It’s also advised that you come alone; however, if you need help, only one other adult is permitted. Children are allowed, as well.
The SSA will resume helping people without an appointment in early April, but expect long lines during busy times, like Mondays, the morning after a Federal holiday and the first week of the month.
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