In my post yesterday – U. S. Stimulus Rebate Update for Those Who Have Payees – May 11, 2020 about Social Security recipients who have payees, there is still no word on when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be sending out those rebate payments.
I noticed a new addition today if you have a scheduled appointment with Social Security. It doesn’t say it, but guessing phone, Zoom, or some other non-in person appointment as they are still not doing in person appointments. Ideally, they encourage using the online services to resolve most situations. In the past, I helped clients with disabilities who received calls from Social Security. The client let it go to voice mail. I had them call the local SSA office and verify the call was from Social Security as there are many scams out there claiming to be from Social Security. I could usually tell by the voice mail if it was a scammer as those tend to ask for or demand money. To be safe for the calls that weren’t wanting money, I encouraged the client to check with the local SSA office to verify the call was valid. In one case, it was an SSA Oklahoma office because the Wichita office was overbooked with cases.
Here’s the blurb:
Important Note: If you already have a scheduled appointment, we will attempt to contact you by phone and/or reschedule for a telephone appointment. Our call may come from a PRIVATE number and not from a U.S. Government phone. We know that some scammers are trying to take advantage of this situation. Please remember that our employees will never threaten you or ask for any form of immediate payment.
I would encourage anyone who gets a call from Social Security or the IRS, let it go to voice mail. Then check with your local SSA or IRS office to determine if it was a valid call.
You can choose not to do a telephone or Zoom appointment, but this is going to delay a decision for at least 20 days past when SSA starts doing in person interviews again. In some cases, it may be months later once they re-open after the pandemic ends. Talked with a few clients 15 – 20 years ago and they opted out of phone interviews. It took 3 – 6 months or longer to get an interview with the local SSA office due to local backlogs.
Am I required to have my hearing by telephone?
Date: April 10, 2020
No. Telephone hearings are not mandatory. When our hearing office staff contacts you or your representative in advance of the hearing, you may ask us to postpone your hearing until we resume standard operations and can hold your hearing in the manner you were originally scheduled (i.e. in person or by video). When we reschedule your hearing, we will send a notice giving you the new date, time and place of your hearing. We will send this notice at least 20 days before the date of the new hearing.