Survivor payments for spouses and children of those who died during the pandemic have been challenging to get. It is due to the shutdown of Social Security offices during the pandemic. Women make up more than 90% of those seeking survivor benefits.
Limited customer support delays process
Women made up more than 90% of those who apply for Social Security survivor payments, and nearly all of them are over the age of 60. Applications that could be completed in one in-person visit regularly take weeks and even months to complete.
Poynter wrote that to receive benefits, many people must present documents. Applicants for Social Security benefits such as disability benefits and survivors’ benefits granted to persons who have lost a spouse or dependents will occasionally be required to mail original copies of sensitive documents if there is no in-person option.
According to experts, this caused some people to put off applying. They also must rely on limited customer support aid to get through an application, which is particularly tough if their first language isn’t English.
Weeks of process
Rondell Gulick called Social Security the day following her husband’s funeral. Like many others attempting to obtain benefits, Gulick is reliant on phone calls. Across the country, Social Security Administration offices have been shuttered since the onset of the pandemic. With roughly 900,000 new fatalities caused by a coronavirus, thousands of people seek Social Security survivors’ benefits, some of whom know little about the process. Women make up the vast majority of those claiming survivors benefits, Yahoo Finance wrote.
Applications that could be completed in one in-person visit regularly take weeks and even months to complete. Gulick has spent hours and hours on the phone in the weeks after her husband’s death to try to get the benefits most of her children qualified for. Her husband’s income as a correctional officer sustained their entire family, consisting of five biological kids and four adopted children from the couple’s decade as foster parents.
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