We are still here for you. We know that many of you are at-risk and we want to keep you safe. We want to keep doing our work to help you with as little interruption as possible. At present, we are only meeting with clients over the phone, rather than in our office. We are capable of doing all of our regular work for you, despite this change.
As of this date, all of our local Social Security offices are open but closed to the public. Online services and services over the phone are still available. Please rest assured that all of your business with Social Security can be accomplished by these means, and we are here to help. Social Security workers are still doing their work and we have not heard of any delays in the processing of cases, although this too may change in the days ahead.
Hearings are now being rescheduled to avoid in-person contact. Because of this, claimants will be given a choice of a) waiting for an in-person hearing (and it could be many months) or b) having a phone hearing at your scheduled time without delays. For years, we have had the philosophy that justice is best served in person and have traveled four hours round-trip to hearings in Spokane because we believed it was best for our clients. However, because the wait for an in-person hearing may be very long, we encourage clients to agree to phone hearings and we will do our very best to make these work. Video hearings are not an option because the Spokane hearing office, where they have the special secured video equipment, is closed to the public. Nevertheless, we will support you in any decision you make.