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September 20, 2001
Social Security Processing Sept. 11 Claims
The
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Social Security Administration has activated special emergency handling procedures for survivor claims resulting from the terrorist plane crashes at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania on September 11.

The procedures are these:

--People applying for survivor benefits using the SSA's toll-free number (1-800-772-1213) will have their claims processed at the time of their call.

--Survivor claimants who choose to file at their local field office will have their claims processed at the time of their visit.

--All survivor claims related to Tuesday's plane crashes will be handled under the Agency's disaster/emergency policies and procedures. These procedures allow for acceptance of airplane manifests, lists of employees furnished by employers, and other statements that would place the worker at the scene of the tragedy as proof of death.

--Survivors benefits will be payable for the month of September. These payments will be made in October.

Those manning the toll-free number will transfer all disaster-related survivor or claims calls to the Immediate Claims Taking (ICT) units, where an application for benefits will be taken immediately.

The ICT units are a nationwide network of 14 claims processing sites, staffed with 390 claims takers.

Calls to SSA's 800 number originating in the New York City area, the area with the largest number of victims affected by Tuesday's events, are being directed to a designated facility in New York where specially trained operators will handle their calls.

The Social Security Administration also notes that its Web site, at www.ssa.gov, has current information as well.

All but one Social Security office in New York City (26 Federal Plaza) is open. That office is expected to reopen next week. The Social Security toll-free 800 number

The administration promises that Social Security benefits will not be interrupted and says payments should be received on time.

"Social Security is working with local and regional officials as well as with employers in the affected areas to assist families who may be eligible for Social Security benefits," the agency said. "We are working to ensure that emergency procedures are followed that will provide the most prompt and efficient processes for taking claims and paying benefits to the victims and survivors of these attacks."

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