i-appealsWith the federal government shutdown now in its second day, how are Social Security Administration offices and services affected?

According to the SSA, payments to beneficiaries “will continue with no change in payment dates.” Field offices are open with limited services and hearing offices (of importance to those seeking Illinois Social Security Disability benefits) remain OPEN to conduct hearings before an Administrative Law Judge. Social Security card centers are closed.

These services ARE provided at field offices:

  • Help in applying for benefits
  • Help in requesting an appeal
  • Acceptance of change of address and direct deposit information
  • Acceptance of reports of death
  • Verification or change of citizenship status
  • Replacing a lost or missing Social Security payment
  • Issuance of critical payments
  • Acceptance of change in representative payee
  • Processing a change in living arrangements or income (Supplemental Security Income recipients only)

The below services will NOT be provided:

  • Issuance of new or replacement Social Security cards
  • Replacement of Medicare cards
  • Issuance of proof of income letters.

Online services remain open.

The attached letter lists the SSA’s contingency plan for the shutdown. It includes what State Disability Determination Services are continued (initial claims, compassionate allowances, quick disability determinations, dire need and wounded warrior cases; reconsiderations; and critical IT support for daily processing activities); and which are discontinued (including Continuing Disability Reviews; assistance requests for hearings; scheduling of hearings; appeals; decision writing; docketing and tracking new cases; and more.

The letter also lists number of staff and offices, and numbers still to be working and those furloughed. Of the total staff of 62,343 listed, 18,006 were to be furloughed.