SSA Reports No Date for Reopening Offices, Highlighting Challenges for People with Disabilities, Allsup Reports
With no timeline to open, 1,200 Social Security offices, Allsup explains value of representatives for people with disabilities to file their Social Security disability claims; SSA phone calls increase from 4.6 million to 7.5 million per month during pandemic
Belleville, Illinois — Jan. 11, 2022 — The Social Security Administration says there is no timeline for reopening its more than 1,200 field offices, which highlights ongoing obstacles for people with disabilities who need to access their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, according to Allsup, which provides nationwide SSDI representation and veterans disability appeals services.
Field offices and 160 hearing offices have remained closed since March 2020, and repercussions are significant. Lack of in-person help has inundated the agency with 7.5 million phone calls per month on average, up from 4.6 million calls per month on average. Video hearings with judges also have been problematic due to technology and other issues.
“Applying for SSDI has always been challenging, especially when going it alone and without experience in navigating this complex program,” said T.J. Geist, Principal Advocate for Allsup. “Office closures make the process especially intimidating and many give up on obtaining benefits they deserve. For example, SSA data show a nearly 15% drop in SSDI applications for 2021 [through November] compared with 2019, the year before COVID-19 pandemic began.”
“Many former workers with disabilities often don’t realize they can get help at any point of the SSDI process – including their initial application – without having to visit a field office or waiting on hold in an overwhelmed phone system,” he added. “Allsup does all the heavy lifting for them, confirming eligibility, completing forms, collecting medical evidence and communicating with the SSA for them.”
Geist has successfully managed thousands of SSDI claims, for individuals with serious disabilities, in his 18-year career with Allsup. Allsup and its team of SSDI experts, including many former Social Security professionals, have helped more than 350,000 people to receive SSDI benefits, which include monthly income, Medicare coverage, Social Security retirement protection and free return to work assistance.
“Allsup will do our part to make this so much easier to access the help you need, plus we advocate for you. You can trust Allsup to tell your personal story of how a disability has affected your life and your ability to work,” Geist said.
Learn more about: What is SSDI? on this informational page.
To hear from an Allsup customer about his experience, watch this video.
Help with SSDI Claims and Appeals
For more information about applying for SSDI benefits, filing your appeal if you’re denied, or to see if you are eligible, visit FileSSDI.Allsup.com or call 1-800-678-3276.