AARP: Closed Social Security Offices Hinder Applying for Supplemental Security Income (March 26, 2021)
Across the country, fax, phone and website have been the only ways that people can initiate contact with the agency since March 17, 2020, when its more than 1,200 field offices shuttered because of the coronavirus pandemic. For prospective recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a federal program operated by SSA that helps older and disabled people with very low income and few financial assets, the office closures have meant difficulties in applying. The number of new recipients has declined.
“The [SSA] website has over 150 different forms,” says Kate Lang, a Washington-based senior staff attorney at Justice in Aging. The national nonprofit is a legal advocacy organization for older adults. “The SSI application is not there. It’s not a self-help form.”