Prime Times Briefs - Social Security offices closed; phone, online services available

Press Staff Writer

        To protect older Americans and people with underlying medical conditions as well as employees during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, all local Social Security offices are closed to the public for in-person service
        Secure and convenient online services remain available at Local offices will also continue to provide critical services over the phone
        The agency is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local governments and other experts to monitor COVID-19 and will announce when offices will be opening for in-person service.
        “The first thing you should know is that we continue to pay benefits,” said Erin Thompson, public affairs specialist in Toledo. “Be aware that scammers may try to trick you into thinking the pandemic is stopping your Social Security payments but that is not true; don’t be fooled.”
        Those who need help from Social Security can:
        • Use online services available at Website visitors can apply for retirement, disability and Medicare benefits; check the status of an application or appeal; request a replacement Social Security card (in most areas); print a benefit verification letter and much more – from anywhere and from any of their devices.
        There is also a wealth of information to answer most Social Security questions online without having to speak with a Social Security representative in person or by phone. Visit online “Frequently Asked Questions” at
        • If you cannot conduct your Social Security business online, please check the online field office locator for specific information about how to directly contact a local office. Local offices will still be able to provide critical services to help you apply for benefits, answer your questions, and provide other services over the phone.
        • If you already have an in-office appointment scheduled, Social Security staff will call you to handle your appointment over the phone instead. If you have a hearing scheduled, staff will call you to discuss alternatives for continuing with your hearing, including offering a telephonic hearing.
        Calls may come from a private number and not from a U.S. Government phone. Clients should remember that Social Security employees will not threaten or ask for any form of payment.
        • If you cannot complete your Social Security business online, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). The national number has many automated service options, which are listed at
        Visit Social Security’s COVID-19 web page at for more details.
E. Toledo Senior Center closed; meals available
        The East Toledo Senior Center is closed to participants until Monday, April 6. The closure does not apply to the East Toledo Family Center.
        The center, located at 1001 White St., is set up to provide “Grab-and-Go” lunches to seniors 60 and older Monday-Friday. For more info, menu choices and to reserve meals, call 419-691-2254 the day before.
        Those aged 60 and older who are in need of emergency services may call 419-691-2254 and leave a message.
Sandusky County senior centers closed
        Sandusky County senior centers will be closed through April 3 due to the recent coronavirus pandemic.
        Meals on Wheels deliveries for Sandusky County homebound seniors will continue as planned during the closure period.
        For more information on home-delivered meals or GLCAP Senior Services, call 419-334-8383 or visit
Clinics canceled
        Ottawa County Senior Resources announces that effective immediately, all 60+ nursing assessment clinics provided have been canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
        Seniors who have concerns about their health screening needs, are encouraged to contact their family physician before venturing out to urgent care or the emergency room.
        For more info about the 60+ nursing assessment clinics, call Senior Resources at 419-898-6459.
Area Office on Aging
helping ensure seniors
receive needed services

        With all Northwest Ohio senior center buildings closed to the public, the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio and its contracted providers are prioritizing making sure that older adults receiving the following services are having all their needs met: adult daycare coordination, escort transportation, home-delivered meals, and personal care. Limited resources may be made available to assist service providers in delivering these services.
        Home health agencies are encouraged to follow the CDC COVID-19 guidelines and transmission prevention guidelines and to reduce, where possible, unnecessary face-to-face contacts. Home health agencies can perform supervisory visits telephonically. Meal, durable medical equipment and transportation providers no longer are required to get signatures of older adults. However, provider agencies must verify that those services have been delivered.
        Older adults needing assistance may contact the Area Office on Aging at 419-382-0624 or via email at


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