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Social Security Benefit Payments Won't Be Delayed by Coronavirus

SSA chief warns of scammers making false claims during pandemic


spinner image A line of US Treasury checks, like those used for  Social Security benefits, with selective focus on first check.
iStock / Getty Images

If you're wondering whether the coronavirus pandemic will delay your monthly Social Security benefit, the short answer is “no” — and that's coming straight from the top.

"I want you to hear directly from me how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our services,” Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul said Thursday in a post on the Social Security Matters blog. “The first thing you should know is that we continue to pay benefits."

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You'll see no change in your regular monthly payment if you get it by direct deposit. You'll also continue to get your payments by mail. “There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail,” according to the U.S. Postal Service, citing guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Surgeon General.

One big change: Social Security field offices are closed temporarily, so you won't be available to get in-person help. You can get online help at Social Security's website, which can handle applications for benefits and replacement Social Security and Medicare cards, as well as set up direct deposit.

You can still call your local office's general inquiry line if you have not received a payment, are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, or if your benefits were suspended and can now be reinstated.

Hang up on scammers

If you get a call purporting to be from Social Security and claiming there's a problem with your Social Security account, hang up. If there is a problem, Social Security will usually contact you by mail. One current exception: Due to field office closures, anyone who had an in-person appointment might get a call from Social Security to handle the appointment by phone.

Regardless, Social Security employees will never threaten you or demand money. If you receive a questionable call, hang up and report the call to Social Security's Office of the Inspector General.

"Be aware that scammers may try to trick you into thinking the pandemic is stopping your Social Security payments but that is not true,” Saul says. “Don't be fooled."

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