Social Security offices reopen to the public

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In another sign that the pandemic is receding, and life is returning to normal, Social Security Administration (SSA) offices reopened to the public in early April. During the height of the pandemic offices were closed and services could only be accessed online or by phone. Here’s what to expect when Social Security offices reopen.

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While appointments are no longer necessary, people are still being encouraged to make one to avoid a long wait. Those without appointments can expect long waits at offices, especially in the mornings, early in the week or the first of the month.

Though mask mandates in federal buildings are no longer in effect, SSA asks that you be considerate of people with health vulnerabilities and employees by wearing masks and distancing. If you’re feeling ill, please stay home. To help with the demand on services, SSA has improved office-to-office support and increased staff.

SSA is currently installing a new phone system, which may cause busy signals and disconnects. Try calling before 10AM or after 4PM when they’re less busy. And remember, all services can be accessed online at www.socialsecurity.gov.  To use the online service, create a My Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. From your account you can request a replacement Social Security card, start or change direct deposit Social Security benefits, request a replacement SSA-1099, print or download a current Benefit Verification Letter from their account or download a personalized Social Security Statement, which provides your current earnings and estimates of future benefits. There’s also a retirement calculator and links to other online services, such as applications for retirement, disability and Medicare benefits.

If you have any questions about SSA COVID protocols, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus/gethelp/ and www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices/.

If you have any questions about your taxes, please contact your Henry+Horne advisor.

Beth Hawley