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Coronavirus

Social Security warns of scams, changes hours

COVID-19-related payments will come from Treasury, not SSA

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Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefit payments will continue to be paid on time during the COVID-19 pandemic, the administration emphasized in a notice carrying various instructions for recipients.

The agency reminds everyone to be aware of scammers who try to take advantage of the pandemic to trick people into providing personal information or payment via retail gift cards, wire transfers, internet currency, or by mailing cash, to maintain Social Security benefit payments or receive economic impact payments from the Department of the Treasury.

“Social Security will pay monthly benefits on time, and these payments will not be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Commissioner Andrew Saul said.

“I want our beneficiaries to be aware that scammers may try to trick you into thinking the pandemic is stopping or somehow changing your Social Security payments, but that is not true. Don’t be fooled.”

The Department of the Treasury will soon provide information about economic impact payments under the recently enacted law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act.

Treasury, not Social Security, will be making direct payments to eligible people. Recipients are asked to not call Social Security about these payments as the agency does not have information to share.

To allow available agents to provide better phone coverage, the agency temporarily changed the national 800 number hours starting this week to 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. local time. The agency is experiencing longer than normal wait times on the 800 number and asks the public to remain patient, use its online services at www.socialsecurity.gov, or call a local office.

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