The coronavirus pandemic has spread across the world and the United States. 90% of Americans are under orders to shelter in place. Workers’ compensation benefits and Social Security benefits will also be affected by a coronavirus. If you have questions or concerns about your Social Security benefits or workers’ compensation benefits, the attorneys at Ward Law Group can help. Contact our Manchester law firm today to schedule your free case evaluation.
How Will Coronavirus Affect Social Security Benefits?
Social Security offices closed down for in-person meetings beginning March 17th. The Social Security Administration was aiming to protect older residents who are more at risk for severe health consequences from coronavirus. The Social Security Administration has stated that they will continue to provide “critical services” even with the nationwide shutdowns.
Even though the Social Security Administration has stated that recipients will continue to receive their benefits in the short term, the downturn in our economy could negatively affect benefits. Some experts are predicting that the United States economy could fall into another recession as soon as this summer. Coronavirus could directly impact the Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) to which Social Security recipients are entitled.
Inflation of household goods and food costs along with deflation in oil prices can directly affect COLA updates. The Social Security Administration is set to update COLA in October. Should the economy plummet even more due to massive private sector shutdowns, the Social Security Administration could decrease the amount COLA recipients receive. It remains to be seen which “critical services” will stay open as a result of coronavirus.
The Effect of Coronavirus on Unemployment Benefits and Workers’ Compensation
Many New Hampshire residents are now unable to work or have seen their work hours reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu recently issued several orders in the middle of March to protect newly unemployed workers. The order allows the following eligible workers to immediately file for unemployment benefits:
- Employees of businesses that are temporarily closed due to coronavirus
- Employees who have been told to self-quarantine by a healthcare provider, government official, or employer
- Those who need to stay home from work to care for quarantined or ill family members
- Those parents who are home caring for children due to daycare or school closures
- Self-employed individuals are not able to operate their businesses
New Hampshire employers who are still open have a duty to provide safe working conditions. If you are in the medical field and you become infected with the coronavirus, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim if you contracted the virus during your duties as an employee.
If you need to file a worker’s compensation claim, you can still do so. However, all government agencies are currently short-staffed with many employees working from home. Contact Ward Law Group as soon as possible. We can help guide you through filing for unemployment, workers’ compensation, or Social Security benefits during this difficult time. We offer initial clients free case evaluations.