People with ALS Can Get Social Security Disability Benefits Sooner
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a disease with no known cure. It rapidly and progressively attacks the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscles. On average, 1,000 people with ALS apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits every year.
The ALS Disability Insurance Access Act of 2019 eliminated the 5-month SSDI waiting period for people with ALS who are approved for benefits on or after July 23, 2020. The new law does not affect our disability application or determination process. The law only eliminates the five-month waiting period so that people with ALS can receive SSDI benefits sooner. Claimants with ALS will also receive Medicare benefits sooner when their disability benefits begin.
This information could be valuable to your clients. Please send them to www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/approval.html for more information.
Appointing a Representative with the New SSA-1696 Online Form
We recently launched a new electronic submission option for appointing a representative. The new online Form SSA-1696 is a two-step process that captures the necessary electronic signatures of both the prospective representative and claimant.
The prospective representative must initiate the request. Both the prospective representative and claimant must complete, sign, and submit the document.
We encourage you and your clients to visit www.ssa.gov/representation and select Begin e1696 to learn more about this convenient service.
Check Your Social Security Benefits Application or Appeal Online
If your client applied for a Social Security benefit, or has a pending reconsideration or hearing request, they can check the status online. Everyone with a pending application or appeal can create or use their personal my Social Security account to check the status.
Your clients can open their free account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount to see:
- Date of filing.
- Current claim location.
- Scheduled hearing date and time.
- Re-entry numbers for incomplete applications.
- Servicing office location.
- Publications of interest, depending on the claim and current step in the process.
Please encourage your clients to use my Social Security to check the status of their application or appeal.
There’s So Much Your Clients Can Do Online
With a free my Social Security account, your clients can take advantage of many convenient and secure services online, at www.ssa.gov/myaccount. Whether at home or on the go, your clients can use their account to complete most Social Security business online, without calling or requesting an appointment.
For example, clients who are not receiving benefits can review their earnings history, check the status of their applications, view personalized estimates of future benefits based on their actual earnings, and see their latest Social Security Statement and new supplemental fact sheets.
Clients who receive benefits can print their own benefit verification letter, change or start direct deposit, change their address, and request a replacement Medicare card.
Whether your client receives benefits or not, they can use their my Social Security account to request a replacement Social Security card (in most States and the District of Columbia).
Please encourage your clients to visit www.ssa.gov/myaccount to create or access their personal account. They can also find a full list of our online services at www.ssa.gov/onlineservices.
Social Security National Disability Forum – April 15
Social Security will host the next National Disability Forum on Thursday, April 15 by conference call from 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (ET). The forum is titled “COVID-19 and Social Security Programs: Mental Health Effects on Adults and Children.”
Please visit www.ssa.gov/ndf to learn more about the National Disability Forum. You and your clients can email questions to OEA.Net.Post@ssa.gov.
Apply Online for Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are the largest federal programs that provide financial assistance to people with disabilities. Despite important differences between the two programs, we require a person to meet the same definition of disability for both programs.
Your clients who wish to apply for SSDI, or SSDI and SSI at the same time, may be able to apply online at www.ssa.gov/disability. On this page, they can also access important information about these programs, which we encourage them to share with friends and family.
Please encourage your clients to apply online for disability benefits.