A press release from the Social Security Administration:
Many Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit payments are scheduled for Friday, September 1. The following information covers the various delivery methods for these payments in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Payments by Paper Check Delivered by the US Postal Service
Hurricane Harvey’s impact on the Gulf Coast resulted in the temporary suspension of mail delivery service, as well as the closure of some postal facilities in the Houston area. The U.S. Postal Service is providing additional information on how customers displaced by Hurricane Harvey can retrieve checks they receive via the mail.
Provided here about.usps.com/news/state-releases/tx/tx.htm is a list of Post Office locations, by ZIP Code, where checks will be made available for pick-up beginning Friday, September 1. People must have proper identification to receive their check.
Payments by Direct Deposit
Nearly all payments issued by direct deposit will arrive as scheduled. If a person’s payment is delayed, they should contact their financial institution. If the financial institution is not operating, please see the “emergency payment” information below.
Payments by Direct Express Debit Card (a Treasury Department program)
For recipients in the affected areas who receive their payment through a Direct Express card, fees will be waived, even if they have evacuated out of the area. Payments will be posted to Direct Express cards on September 1.
People may contact Direct Express at 1-888-741-1115.
Emergency Payment Locations
Social Security has established three emergency payment locations in Texas where Social Security and SSI beneficiaries may request an immediate payment in person if they cannot receive their regular payment. The locations and hours are:
Friday, September 1, and Saturday, September 2:
- Houston: NRG Center
2 NRG Park, Houston, TX 77054
From 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
- Dallas: Kay Bailey Hutchison Dallas Convention Center
650 S. Griffin Street, Dallas, TX 75202
From 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
- Austin: Tony Burger Center
3200 Jones Rd Austin, TX 78745
From 9:30 AM – 3:00 PMFor people who cannot receive their regularly scheduled Social Security payment as a result of Hurricane Harvey, in most cases they can go to any open Social Security office and request an immediate payment. A list of offices that are currently closed, as well as additional information for the public, is available at www.socialsecurity.gov/emergency.
To this point, Social Security's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) hasn't posted any information that I can find about the status of its hearing offices in the Houston area. Of course, I'm sure that all of the ODAR offices in the area are closed and that ODAR has a team working on the problem.To find the nearest open Social Security office outside of the affected areas, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or go to www.socialsecurity.gov/locator.
Update: I've been told that Social Security is saying that only the Houston North hearing office is closed and that it will reopen next Tuesday. I'm having trouble believing this could be accurate. Even if all the hearing offices are "open" next week, they're certainly going to have only skeleton crews working and claimants will have enormous difficulty reaching the offices for hearings. If any Houston area claimant with a scheduled hearing is reading this blog, try to contact your attorney if you have one. They may have some information. If you're a claimant and your hearing hasn't been scheduled yet, relax. Give Social Security some time to sort things out.