|How Does Someone Apply for Part B When the Social Security Office Is Closed?|
Is there a work-around for employees over 65 who are either planning to retire or want to switch to Medicare at a time when many businesses are shuttered or teleworking? As you know, the paperwork cannot be done electronically and requires the HR department to sign off and then delivered to the local Social Security Administration office. The COVID-19 emergency is evolving daily and using the Post Office is not recommended for seniors. NAHU has requested the Administration to find work-arounds that include electronic filing with the first day of the following month effective date and suspension of the Part B penalty during this emergency.
If the person has Part A and needs Part B: If the person over 65 needs both these forms to enroll and can mail them to the local office: CMS L564/OMB 0938-0787 and CMS 40B /OMB 0938-1230. (We suggest overnight or by certified mail to have proof of delivery, if feasible.)
Going to the Post Office is increasingly problematic due to the increasing pubic emergency. Additional problems:
1. Certified/tracking mail requires a physical visit to a post office, which is NOT safe for seniors right now.
2. Regular mail is slow and doesn’t provide tracking.
It has been reported that some local Social Security offices were providing an email address and fax number to the local SS office. They also have a mail drop right out front so that forms can be physically dropped off.
As long as the forms are received before the last day of the month, Social Security will make the effective date the first of the month. (If anything goes astray, I would say the proof of delivery is essential as we have not heard any guidance on this SEP otherwise. As you know, there is not a fax number or email for this enrollment purpose.)
Social Security says to set up a MY SOCIAL SECURITY account and apply online. SS will call them to make a phone appointment to enroll them and would "mail" them the forms to complete. (These are the same forms that are attached.) A retro date will be given IF THE PERSON’S ONLINE ENROLLMENT IS DONE BEFORE THE END OF A MONTH. (Again, we recommend you take a screen shot of the enrollment pages and keep the re-entry number. We would use the first method above instead of this.)
If a person has a problem setting up a MY SOCIAL SECURITY account, they can call Social Security to obtain help.