Andrew B. Sapiro P.A.
8925S.W. 148thStreet – Suite 200
Palmetto Bay Professional C
Well, this is going to take a while.
First, Elkin, Dalia, and I hope that you and your family are healthy and safe. The pandemic has effected both the health and financial security of so many in this community. I am not going to offer you advise on how to deal with this crisis – other than to consider carefully whose advise you do take. This is just a – hopefully – quick note to those of you who are awaiting Final Hearings, and to those of you who have recently completed the hearing process and have begun to receive [or are waiting for] benefits.
My office remains open and staffed – although Elkin and Dalia have alternated working from home when possible. I am in the office daily, and am available to speak with you concerning your claims. I appreciate the opportunity to remain open under the current County Emergency Plan – my office is deemed to be an “essential” business and therefore permitted to continue to operate.
As a practical matter, this is quite fortunate. Although most State and Federal Courts are not actively conducting Court business, the Social Security Administrative Law Judges have been asked to conduct all scheduled Hearings by telephone. So while the local Hearing Office is closed, our Judges have continued to hold Final Hearings from their homes. So obviously, we still have important work to do.
And although the local Social Security Offices are also closed, I believe that claimantscontinue to receive claims related letters, including notifications that may have time limits for response. So if you need to speak with us in the next six weeks [or so], don’t be shocked if someone actually answers the phone! Or responds to your email.
How long will this last? I don’t know. I am assuming that the Miami Hearing office will not re-open until June at the earliest. I will discuss with each of you the choice of holding your scheduled Final Hearings by telephone. While I have recommended – and received – some Hearing postponements, I have participated in ten telephone hearings thus far – and the experience has been generally good.
So, away we go ….. ABS
I belong to NOSSCR, which is a national organization that provides updates and information to member representatives concerning all matters relating to the practice of disability related claims. NOSSCR has provided us with the following information concerning claims and benefits. We hope that you will find this helpful.
FROM THE MARCH 2020 NOSSCR FORUM NEWSLETTER:
On Stimulus Payments:
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service have announced that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an Economic Impact Payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts.
If you need help from Social Security:
First, utilize the online services available at www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices. You can apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits online, check the status of an application or appeal, request a replacement Social Security card (in most areas), print a benefit verification letter, and much more – from anywhere and from any of your devices.
Appointments with your local Social Security Office:
If you already have an in-office appointment scheduled, Social Security will call you to handle your appointment over the phone instead.
Final Hearings Status:
If you have a Final Hearing scheduled, Social Security mayl call you to discuss alternatives for continuing with your hearing [ even though you are represented by my office] including offering a telephonic hearing. This call may come from a PRIVATE number and not from a U.S. Government phone. Social Security employees will not ask for any form of payment.
Will I continue to receive my Social Security benefit or Supplemental Security
Income payment if I use Direct Deposit?
Yes. You will continue to receive your monthly benefit amount if you use Direct Deposit. Will I still receive my Social Security benefit or Supplemental Security Income payment by mail? Yes. However, visit the Social Security website to learn how to sign up for Direct Deposit.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General is alerting the public about fraud schemes related to COVID-19. For example, scammers are offering COVID-19 tests to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. However, the services are unapproved and illegitimate. Learn about this and other COVID-19 fraud from HHS.
- Contacting local Field Offices:
- Field office employees may help you by phone with the following issues:
- Resolving payment-related issues:
- If you did not receive your monthly payment;
- If you are currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless;
- If you received an overpayment letter and need to request a reduced
- repayment schedule or request a waiver
And if you are really bored and have completely run out of things to read or browse on line – I guess there is always my website: www.sapirolawoffice.com – Stay well.