The Social Security Administration is closing its offices throughout the country to protect workers and benefit recipients from the coronavirus pandemic.
The administration closed the offices as of Tuesday, March 17, and is directing beneficiaries to seek online help to resolve any issues. If recipients can’t find help online, they can call.
“This decision protects the population we serve—older Americans and people with underlying medical conditions—and our employees during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” the SSA said in a statement. “However, we are still able to provide critical services.”
Here’s what you need to know about the Social Security offices shutdown:
How long will it last?
That’s currently unclear. The administration did not specify a projected end date. Like many other establishments, it’s likely dependent upon the course of the pandemic.
Coronavirus leads to store changes:Stores designate shopping time for seniors vulnerable amid coronavirus
COVID-19 impact:IRS to delay the April 15 tax payment deadline by 90 days
How can I get help with my benefits online?
Go to SocialSecurity.gov/onlineservices. There, you can apply for benefits, check the status of applications or appeals, request a replacement card and obtain other services.
Just have a question? Try visiting the administration’s Frequently Asked Questions page.
Can I talk to anyone on the phone?
You may be able to get someone from your local office on the phone if you can’t conduct your business online. Call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to get started.
What if I have an in-office appointment already scheduled?
The administration says it will call you to handle your appointment by phone instead. The call may come from a private number and not from a federal line.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.