The Social Security Administration has acknowledged that those beneficiaries of Supplemental Security Income may have more difficulty filing appeals during the COVID-19 pandemic due to closure of field offices and delays with mail delivery. In a Emergency Message, EM-21064, SSA stated, “These and other workload-related challenges have also affected our ability to efficiently and timely process a request for reconsideration and ensure that we protect a recipient’s constitutional due process right to GK payment continuation. We expect that these challenges will continue to affect our ability timely process requests for GK payment continuation even after the end of the COVID-19 national public health emergency.”
SSI recipients who receive letters from SSA called “Notice of Planned Action” will now have an extended period of time in which to file requests for reconsideration. Based on the United States Supreme Court decision in Goldberg v. Kelly, Social Security is required to give SSI recipients advanced notice before an adverse action will be taken with regard to their benefits. These “Notice of Planned Action” letters must state the planned adverse action, the right to appeal this action, and the right to continue payments at the protected payment level if the recipient appeals within 10 days of the receipt of the letter. SSA is now expanding that 10 day time limit. SSI recipients who file a request for reconsideration more than 15 days after the date of the Notice of Planned Action but within 65 days of the date of the Notice of Planned Action will receive unreduced benefits while the appeal is pending unless they waive it in writing.