Customer Service Is What We Do

customer-service

Social Security has been in the customer service business for more than 81 years, and with Customer Service Week, October 3-7, at hand, it is an exciting time to share the importance of this long-standing tradition.

“My experience with SSA has always been positive.”–Edward M.

This week focuses on commitment to excellence in service. Many of you rely on us for our programs and services. While much of the assistance we give is during the most critical times in your life, it is our belief that with every interaction with us you deserve professional, courteous, and compassionate service.

Times have progressed from 81 years ago, when most customer-to-employee interactions were in person. Today, part of your changing needs is the convenience of quick and secure online service options to conduct your Social Security business. Whether you are home or on the go, you can visit www.socialsecurity.gov to use our many online services.  And we are committed to customer choice, so you can always come see us in the office or call us on our 800 number.

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113 thoughts on “Customer Service Is What We Do

  1. At the time of check in be more specific in asking for the reason for the visit, i.e. list necessary paperwork. I waited 45 minutes for someone to tell me I didn’t have the proper paperwork to change my name. Then when I came back I had to wait another hour.

    • My maiden name was Michelle Beckman and this comment was not made by me. Interesting there’s another “ME” out there. I would like to comment however that I live near both the Amarillo, TX and Clovis, NM offices. I use Clovis because they actually have an option to speak to a customer representative. The Amarillo office didn’t the last time I tried…you have to know the name of a representative and their extension number to even talk to anyone. You might check into that. Thanks!

    • Hell I called 3x today Each time there was a 40-45 minute waiting period. I waited 29 minutes and someone disconnected my first call. Th e next twoo I just held on for 10 minutes. I’m going to office on Wednesday at 8;30a.m.

      • Hi Jacquelin. We apologize for any inconveniences. Sometimes we experience higher than normal call volume. Generally, when calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later during the week. Our representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Our offices are open to the public on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays until 4:00 p.m. Every Wednesday at noon, offices are closed to the public so that employees have time to complete current work and reduce backlogs. Remember that many services are conveniently available anytime at our website. Individuals can create a personal my Social Security account to get general information about our programs or manage their Social Security benefits. Also, we respond to questions and provide general information on our Retirement, Survivors, Disability, Medicare and SSI programs through our Blog and Facebook page. If you have a general question, we encourage you to ask here. But remember, never post personal information on social media. We hope this helps!

        • I have spent 3 months and 20 hours of calls talking to representives who have assured me the issues are resolved to no avail, In the meantime I have not received no check that I am owed and am living on no income, this should not be this hard, appears to me that at least 10 representatives are not doing their job, not happy with ss as I have paid into for 47 years and am not getting any satisfaction from anyone and your website is a joke,cannot even set up a user account, when I try it says not available at this time, every time I try to do it, do your job please

          • We apologize for the delay and inconveniences you are experiencing William. Unfortunately, but for your security, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Your local office should be able to assist you. You should be allowed to speak with the office’s manager to see how we can help to expedite resolution of your situation. If you cannot create an account, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions to read information on why you may be unable to. Also, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk” for help with a My Social Security account. We hope this information helps.

    • The Obama administration didn’t give us a COLA raise 3 years, but they gave the employees at the SSA a raise every year for bad customer service. If the cost of living didn’t go up, then nobody should be getting a raise.

  2. How do I check to see if my wife and I are receiving the maximum monthly Social Security payments allowed?
    We started collecting at age 62. I’ve been told there is an increase at age 70.

    • If you started receiving benefits at age 62, you do not receive an increase at 70 or any other age, other than any cost of living increase that all recipients would get. That’s the trade-off of taking benefits early instead of waiting until full retirement age or later.

    • Thank you for contacting us Mr. Peterson. Remember that reduction factors are permanently applied to all benefits an individual may qualify for once they opt to start their retirement benefits at age 62 or at any time prior to their full retirement age. Your monthly Social Security benefit amount could increase, based on the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA), which is announced each year in October, or if you continue to work. Also, any of our representatives will be able to review your record and verify your payment information. You may not even have to travel to the local Social Security office, you can write to us, or you can call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Our representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

      • Mr. Fernandez,

        Why would you suggest that Mr. Peterson waste his time waiting on the phone to talk to a representative? If he elected to take benefits at 62 as he said he did, then he isn’t going to get an automatic raise when he turns 70. All he will get is any COLA increases as you have indicated. I guess you think by suggesting he call and talk to someone, you’re offering help. All you’re doing is ensuring that he will be very frustrated after waiting to speak to someone and then learning that he isn’t entitled to an increase because he is 70 or when he turns 70. I guess you think that retired people don’t have anything better to do than wait on the phone to talk to someone from SSA. When is the last time you tried to talk to someone at SSA???

        • Ray is right. If Mr Peterson worked after starting his benefits, there are several ways that his benefits might have increased other than due to COLAs. Specifically there is the possibility of an Adjusted Reduction Factor (ARFs) at age 66 (Full Retirement Age – FRA). ARFs adjust benefits upwards if Mr Peterson earned enough money between age 62 and 66 so as to not be due all of his “early retirement” benefits. Another possible increase is an AERO (Automatic Earnings Recomputation Operation) if Mr Peterson’s earnings after age 62 were sufficient to replace one of the 35 years previously used in the retirement benefit formula. DRCs (Delayed Retirement Credits) are also possible after FRA, but Mr Peterson would probably be aware if had accrued this type of benefit increase as he would have needed to contact SSA and specifically ask to forgo one or more of his monthly benefit checks between FRA and age 70.

          The point is that benefit increases other than from COLAs are possible. That said, it is highly unlikely that any of the “non-COLA based” benefit increases wouldn’t have already occurred automatically. Mr Peterson would have been sent a letter at the time any such increase occurred. If Mr Peterson calls, SSA will be able to determine if such an increase occurred and resend any previously sent letter.

          If after calling Mr Peterson still believes he missed out on a benefit increase he was due, he can submit a written request to his local office for a recomputation of his benefits and he should include an explanation about why he believes his current benefit amount is incorrect. Unfortunately for Mr Peterson (or for anyone that agrees to a reduced benefit taken at an early age), there is no benefit increase possible merely for attainment of age 70. (BTW, the usual benefit increase seen at age 70 is when a claimant is able to switch from receiving a benefit as a spouse or widow to a benefit based on their own earnings record – after Delayed Retirement Credits (DRCs) have accrued. This does not seem to apply to Mr Peterson.)

          Well said Robert. I’ll add that if you get hired to work for SSA nowadays & you take the time to provide the type of assistance SSA’s clients really need/deserve, you are unlikely to make it past your employment probationary period. Those that do won’t get promoted and their managers will “unofficially” tell them they would like to help them get promoted but they can’t (won’t) because the employee’s per client “handling times” are too long! It is one thing to (hopefully accurately) recite explanations of SSA’s programs, it is another to really help clients fully understand how SSA’s policies & procedures apply to them & to help clients properly and advantageously exercise their rights. The poorer & less educated the client, the less well the agency does in providing good service. Worse, employee time constraints & the resultant inability to accomplish tasks timely have fostered an uncaring attitude by agency personnel. Clients who experience payment and benefit problems (often due to agency fault or client misunderstandings) are now often treated by employees as impatient troublemakers or worse, as cheats and liars! Few employees are as concerned that their clients receive their payments/benefits as accurately and reliably as employees themselves receive their own paycheck. I find the culture that has emerged in the agency over the past thirty years morally corrupt and the antithesis of the service an agency like SSA should be providing. In SSA’s defense, much of the personnel cost-cutting at SSA has been politically driven either by voters & politicians that don’t want to spend money on social programs or worse, by politicians and capitalists that want the Social Security system as it exists today to fail so that the FICA money that funds it can be redirected to the private sector (where the inadequate service to the “most needy” uneducated/poor would likely be even worse).

          • Sorry, I accidentally posted both my response to Susan & my previous response to Robert Kivi together above (caught too much with my copy & paste operation). Ray, feel free to delete the superfluous content in the above post. Thanks.

    • You can sign up later. But every month you wait after 65 will cost you more money per month, for the rest of your life, unless you are excepted by special conditions. Go to that site.

    • Hi Tanya. In most cases, if you do not sign up for Medicare when you are first eligible, you may be restricted to other enrollment periods or be subject to late enrollment penalties. To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov. Individuals within three months of age 65 or older and not ready to start their monthly cash benefits can use our online retirement application to sign up for Medicare ONLY and apply for their retirement benefits at a later date. We hope this information helps!

  3. You have reduced hours for in-person service. You don;t answer the phone in a timely manner. You have to be near the bottom in customer service.

    • Hi Tom. We apologize for any inconveniences. Sometimes we experience higher than normal call volume. Generally, when calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later during the week. Our representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Our offices are open to the public on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays until 4:00 p.m. Every Wednesday at noon, offices are closed to the public so that employees have time to complete current work and reduce backlogs. Remember that many services are conveniently available anytime at our website. Individuals can create a personal my Social Security account to get general information about our programs or manage their Social Security benefits. Also, we respond to questions and provide general information on our Retirement, Survivors, Disability, Medicare and SSI programs through our Blog and Facebook page. If you have a general question, we encourage you to ask here. But remember, never post personal information on social media. Thanks!

      • Ray, Personally I retired from SS when service was service. Unfortunately since congress has put the squeeze on SS administrative budget, which you know, currently amounts to less than a penny of each payroll tax dollar. This has caused reduction in staff, inadequately trained staff, fewer office hours available to meet public demands. Many who need and want personal service, find they are wasting the time and money in an effort to resolve their SS business. I know this because as a volunteer public advocate assisting SS beneficiaries with issues involving Medicare and SS issues I continually hear the frustration they experience on a daily basis, as a result of failed attempts to meet their reporting and filing responsibilities. Technique knowledge is great, but unfortunately many, and I’d guess a majority of elderly, are being discriminated against in that they lack the capability to and knowledge to complete their business in this manner. Thus congress needs to stop putting the squeeze on this very vital program.

        • Well said Robert. I’ll add that if you get hired to work for SSA nowadays & you take the time to provide the type of assistance SSA’s clients really need/deserve, you are unlikely to make it past your employment probationary period. Those that do won’t get promoted and their managers will “unofficially” tell them they would like to help them get promoted but they can’t (won’t) because the employee’s per client “handling times” are too long! It is one thing to (hopefully accurately) recite explanations of SSA’s programs, it is another to really help clients fully understand how SSA’s policies & procedures apply to them & to help clients properly and advantageously exercise their rights. The poorer & less educated the client, the less well the agency does in providing good service. Worse, employee time constraints & the resultant inability to accomplish tasks timely have fostered an uncaring attitude by agency personnel. Clients who experience payment and benefit problems (often due to agency fault or client misunderstandings) are now often treated by employees as impatient troublemakers or worse, as cheats and liars! Few employees are as concerned that their clients receive their payments/benefits as accurately and reliably as employees themselves receive their own paycheck. I find the culture that has emerged in the agency over the past thirty years morally corrupt and the antithesis of the service an agency like SSA should be providing. In SSA’s defense, much of the personnel cost-cutting at SSA has been politically driven either by voters & politicians that don’t want to spend money on social programs or worse, by politicians and capitalists that want the Social Security system as it exists today to fail so that the FICA money that funds it can be redirected to the private sector (where the inadequate service to the “most needy” uneducated/poor would likely be even worse).

  4. It is a wonderful program. One thing wrong is we need our increase in benefits COLA, of at least 8 % for 65 plus now. Can’t wait. Elderly are dieing now without food, housing, utilities, medications, gas to doctor and much more. Not fair and not right.
    A great program

        • I saw 2.3 on ssa website. Everything’s a secret until these see how they can lower it or not give it for a new reason each time.
          A LITTLE COMMUNICATION EASES THE MIND.
          So what is it now, since we’ve worked before SSI started.
          SHAKESPEARE SAYS” Screw NOT FOR THEE WILL ALSO BE SCREWED.
          Love ya but reality hurts.

    • Our COLA raise is base on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from the third quarter of the last year. Nobody on Social Security works, so why are we using the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from the third quarter of the last year. Even the Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers doesn’t use this formula for their COLA raise. The numbers are cooked so we don’t get a COLA raise 3 times by the Obama administration, so they can fund welfare and Affordable Care Act with the interest we made on the Social Security Trust Fund. We made interest on our trust fund, but we have to reinvest all the money including interest into Us treasury security to fund welfare and the Affordable Care Act.

      We got a COLA raise during every presidency since 1975, but the Obama administration screwed us over. Obama is in charge of the Department of Labor and the Department cooked the prices so we don’t get a COLA raise.

      The Democrats are bankrupting the US treasury security with all these government spending. The Democrats don’t want to cut government spending. They can’t give us a raise because they spent all of our money in the US treasury security and got to borrow over a trillion more to keep the government running.

      • The millennials aren’t stupid to vote for Democrats. The Affordable Care Act was designed to make them buy medical insurance because the don’t use it, so they can offset the cost for people with preexisting conditions. The Democrats wanted the younger people to buy insurance because they don’t use it and it will offset the cost for people with preexisting conditions.

        They also made it expensive for the millennials because the ACA had high monthly premium or very high deductibles where they couldn’t afford to use it. The high monthly premium and deductibles were due to the people with preexisting conditions.

        The Democrats like to rob from Peter to pay Paul.

      • The US military borrowed a trillion dollars of our Social Security Trust Fund money. How is the US military supposed to pay us back with interest. The US military isn’t reimburse by NATO or any country. The US taxpayers have to pay themselves back with more of their own money.

  5. How do I return SSA Hearing Office mail sent to my address but with the name of the person not in my household? A month ago, I had returned one mailing via USPS to the generic SSA return address, but it appears the local Field Office or the Hearing Office still has the erroneous address for the claimant. Just this weekend I received another mailing from SSA which appears to contain the claimant’s Medicare Card, along with a larger envelope probably containing the ALJ decision; so I am assuming the ALJ’s decision was favorable to her, but her mail keeps coming to my address. How’s the best way to handle this?

    • Hi Joseph. Generally, all you have to do is “return –correspondence- to sender”. You could also report this activity by calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the day or later in the week. Thanks.

  6. I wish there was a way to check the status of a claim? After a year there is no approximate date of a hearing. It would be nice to have even an automated response from a name given and then a approximate date?

    • Just cry Fibromyalgia, or Anxiety disorder, Bi Polar, or any other ignorant term you want to use, there is a list a mile long of all the ignorant excuses people are using in order to get even ssi benefits, because they younger adults and lazy, overweight, bullies that do not want to work. it’s pretty easy when these people find doctor offices that get tired of them coming so they sign or write a letter and then they start receiving checks. 733.00 for never really doing anything. What working one year qualifies these people for benefits. Whatever, it is rather embarrassing I would think for social Security Administration.

      • So I guess you are saying younger people are not disabled and don’t have disabilities and the ones who claim they do are just fat, lazy, and useless. How do you know that? What makes you so bitter you feel the need to judge people you don’t know and don’t know what they have gone through. Your comment seemed prejudice and makes it seem like you are a very bitter unhappy person for some reason. Why the criticism? What is reason you think that?

    • Thanks for your comment Dale. The length of time it takes to get a hearing can vary from state to state. We attempt to resolve all claims promptly, but there may be delays due to the volume of pending appeals in your area. The good news is that we are trying to conduct many of our hearings through video teleconferencing (VTC) to speed up the process. Visit our “Hearing And Appeals” web page for more information, and continue working with your attorney and local hearing office on specific questions about your case. Thanks!

  7. We don’t have a good working relationship with Social Security as we work with Dept of Social Services Medicaid. They refer almost everything to us, where a lot of it is unfounded. The local office aren’t accessible to us as a State office, nor our clients, which complain to us a lot. Very frustrating. They need to be instructed in customer service !!!

  8. Customer service-no way is it good! Staff do not want to give either a first or last name. If you can’t prove you gave it to them, they say you didn’t-that’s why I always have a receipt or have someone sign for what sent-but still have to duplicate what originally sent. Response on overpayment waivers is way too late and half the time already started recoupment even when sent the waiver request timely! Making payee changes takes 2-3 months-frequently have to resend even though I have proof it was delivered the first time. Most staff only know either SSI or RSDI not both which is time consuming if you have questions regarding both. Different answers from different staff. Staff never heard of saying “sorry” for their agency error(s). On a scale on 1-10 with 10 being excellent would give SSA at best around a 3. Yes, I know y’all are busy but be professional and at least acknowledge that someone might have misplaced it not assume it didn’t arrive and saying “sorry” never hurt anyone.

  9. Bad experience always with SSA. I was enrolled in Medicare for 12/2015, and my premium should have remained $104.90 and I did not get increase in my SS benefit. SS have been overcharging me premium of $121.80 instead. I filed an appeal form with local SS office on 8/18, but till today they have not replied for explanation of deducting 2 mos premium from SS benefit of July, which was paid in August.

    • The COLA must be 3% for the health annuity to be 2.5%. There are not really any other right answers. Thank you for the information leading to the conviction of the Secretary of Treasurer for a second health related Theft and Bribery of Government Programs 18USC666, involving the actual deprivation of relief benefits 18USC246 in violation of Sec. 204(c) of the Social Security Act 42USC404(c) and King et al v. Burwell (2014) – robbing Peter Goss, SSA Actuary to pay Paul Spitalnic Medicare Actuary.

      I am sorry that the best counsel I have for you is that it is possible for SSA to terminate Medicare Part B premium payments. The $121.80 Medicare premium should have been held harmless under Sec. 1840 of the Social Security Act 42USC§1395s and the Medicare Part B premium should be $104.90 until we get our 3% COLA. We are not longer letting 2.7% inflation get ahead of our 3% COLA.

      HHS budgets FY 2015-17 and Health United States 2015 account books are broken and they must not be allowed to cause faultless social security beneficiaries real damages, like ACA refundable premiums and cost-sharing reductions have destroyed the Treasury and federal budget under King et al v. Burwell (2014). The United States must reimburse Medicare premium payers for overpayments they made over the $104.90 rate until a 2.5% health annuity is pegged against a 3% COLA. The Actuary’s 2016 Annual Reports of the OASDI and Medicare Trust Funds are insubordinate to the Summer Solstice Instructions of the Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2016 http://www.title24uscode.org/ss1.htm

      • Correction, the SSA Actuary’s name is Stephen C. Goss, not Peter. The Medicare Actuary’s name is Paul Spitalnic. I have been exhibiting a lot of amnesia regarding the names of politicians lately. I confused Paul Ryan with Ron Paul retired. Peter Orszag, 2009 OMB Director, must be the Peter, but he married and retired to run ultra-marathons without having to carry his computer in his backpack. There is no need for any robbing from Peter to pay Paul jokes. Paul Spitalnic Medicare Actuary robbed a social security beneficiary.

        • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andrew M. Slavitt is the co-defendant of Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew. This is the third time I have suffered amnesia regarding Mr. Slavitt’s bibliographic reference that had to be corrected after publication. His center justified position in the June 22, 2016 report was nice but insufficient. He needs to write a Harmless Deal regarding the 3% Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) and 2.5% health annuity rule. The 2017 Closing 6% Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) would earn Part B premiums a 5% health annuity bringing SMI Premiums from $104.90 to $110.15. The only legal alternative is 3% COLA and 2.5% health annuity to $107.50. 3% COLA and federal minimum wage and welfare benefit growth 2.5% health annuity, professional fee, managerial salaries and agency spending growth to promote income and price equality with a fairly constant 2.7% rate of inflation is the rule, broken only by the 3.4% average rate of interest on t-bonds.

  10. Iam receiving Ssa since I had stroke 2010 after that my husband passed away I reported to social security same day he was receiving ssi also the person I reported the death to right away she told me you not qualified to receive his benfets since than I been struggling bad I want to know if any thing can be done for me thanks

  11. My experience with Social Services is that the work they do is wonderful, but they are under staffed so it takes some patience to get it all done. So when I have contacted them, I have used the phone option and allocated an afternoon to be able to wait for the callback. But I have yet to find out they don’t get everything done in that phone call, and correctly. No complaints here.

  12. I have tried a few times now to get through to the Pomona office. The office number that you can get with a search is only for Social Security media requests. The recording makes it very clear that they can not help with anything thing else. Today’s result in attempting to speak to someone…. called the 800 772-1213 and after going though an automated introduction that is way too long and requires that you put in a social security number, I was told that the wait is 45 minutes. All I want to know is whether they have a HICAP counselor. Sure I can drive over there but I would have liked a bit more Customer Service.

    • Yes. But you will either have to pay cash or prove to your mortgage company that you have adequate checks being received each month. They can tell you how much you need. You might have to have additional checks sent to you from your IRA or 401K. Money sitting in savings does count unless they can see that you are receiving an adequate check from it each month. Check with the mortgage company you plan to use. They can advise you further.

  13. Anytime I have needed assistance, etc.,
    regarding my Social Security Account I have always
    been helped by an outstanding representative of the
    Social Security Department — How nice it would be if
    all of the federal agencies were as professional and
    prompt.. Thanks for being there for all of us.

    • Thank you Lillian, for taking the time and communicating with us through our blog. We are glad we could help and look forwards to continue servicing you and the American public for years to come.

  14. I have been helping needy folks apply for SSI and SSDI benefits for nearly twenty years and I can testify that level of service has drastically gone downhill. The new workers have limited knowledge and experience and they tend to blame the applicants for their(SSA) mistakes.
    Time and again I have gone to the applicants and told them to ask for the supervisor because they have been turned away for the wrong reason after waiting for so long.
    A lot of times the elderly and the disabled feel as if they have committed a federal crime and they become scared and confused.
    I strongly feel that Social Security Administration should revisit their customer service policy and take a hard look at the disservice provided to the people it is supposed to be helping.

  15. S.S. sent me a letter stating that because we have a minor child in the home we qualified for child benefits.At the interview the man asked me “Who pays for what” I told him I pay for the rent, utility, car, insurance and my my wife buys the food. He denied us because he said my wife pays more than I do for support. I asked for a hearing over 5 years ago but haven’t heard back from them and don’t expect that I will. When they overpaid me $13,000 they garnished everything I owned but when they owe you then forget it the employees are crooks!

  16. I telephone SS and depending on the customer service rep. that’s the information I get regarding my questions. When I call back for more info regarding the same matter, I get DIFFERENT information. Need MORE consistency. I rarely know which way to turn because the representative’s info is DIFFERENT. I also get some people that are nice and some that are just plain bossy BIG TIME. One time I got a wonderful woman and I never have forgotten how helpful she was. I never got her again. 🙁

  17. I was just approved for disability. From the time I filled out the paperwork to the day I was approved I have nothing but good things to say. I was treated with kindness. Questions were always answered, phone calls were returned.

    • Thank you Paulette! Your thoughts are important to us and we’re pleased when feedback is positive. We try hard to provide the best possible service to our customers and your satisfaction is our reward.

  18. I am 59 and disabled due to a below the knee amputation from trauma received in a motorcycle accident. I have received an award letter stating I have met the medical requirements for SSDI beginning April 1, 2016 and the nonmedical requirements were now being reviewed. The young man who hit me had no insurance and my under-insured and uninsured motorist policies paid my medical bills until now. I used all my savings, what was left after the IRS penalized me withdrawing early, to pay my bills. I am now broke. I am about to loose my utilities because they can’t be paid this month or last month. How long does it take to see I have no earned income? I have tried to find work and nobody wants to hire a 59 year old, one legged electrician, who would have be trained to do another job, when I would only work for 5 more years maximum. how long do I have to wait?

    • The rule is that there is an automatic wait of 5 months from the day of approval. The payment month in which funds are received reflects money owed for the previous month, i.e., a check in June actually reflects May’s payment. Your 5 months will be over in Sept and you should receive your first check for October payment in November. You don’t get anything extra for waiting 5 months and just start receiving your regular amount with the first check. You should be receiving a letter this month explaining your first payment. Hope this helps. The 5 month delay begins from your date of approval.

    • Hi John. Current law requires everybody that is approved for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI program to serve a 5 month waiting period. The waiting period ensures that we pay benefits only to persons with long-term disabilities and avoid duplicating other income protection plans (such as employer sick-pay plans) during the early months of disability. The first Social Security disability benefits will be paid for the sixth full month after the date the disability began. In your case, if the state agency decided your disability began on April 1st, your first disability benefit will be paid for the month of September. Social Security benefits are paid in the month following the month for which they are due, so you should receive your September benefit in October. Special rules make it possible for people with disabilities receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to work and still receive their benefits. Social Security calls these rules “work incentives“. Also, our “Ticket to Work” program is a free and voluntary program that can help Social Security beneficiaries go to work, get a good job that may lead to a career, and become financially independent. Please read our publication Working While Disabled – How We Can Help for more information. We hope this information helps.

  19. I started working at age 14 on my 14th birthday and worked for almost 3 years. I have siblings and my fathers Aunt that worked there also as a cook before I was even born. This company did not report my income. I see $88.00 for three years. I was paid 50 cents per hour. After school everyday at 3:30pm till 8:00pm. Saturday and Sunday each weekend at least 8 hours each day every weekend. The SS agent said without pay stubs or tax paperwork there was nothing I could do. Maybe the unkind, ignorant, thief, that was supposed to be taking care of me would have done this for me I would have been drawing all the money that I paid in out of each pay check. County workers are not very knowledgeable but adults my age, we do remember what we did and for who. Good grief!!

  20. My experiences with SS a Customer Service have all been very positive. Admittedly, I very rarely call but have received good service each time. Yesterday, I called to do an address change. The wait times were expected to be long so I requested a call back. I received the call within in the time frame I requested and my issue as quickly settled. The representative was helpful, knowledgeable and personable.

  21. I became a disabled person when a Developed Mentally Challenged Adult (male) struck me at a job I was working at. He was actually one that I was trying to help. It was during lunch period and I was joking with another adult worker and this gentleman came over and struck me very hard with his fist and I was injured. It caused mental health issues for me for many years. Well, I have gotten over most of these obstacles, but people still want me to stay the same of think I am. They don’t come around me or talk to me so how would they know? You cannot get to know how a person lives, or what they do if you don’t visit them. I am continually being told that I play the victim very well by a very close family member. I am a victim and I should be saying something. Too many years went by that I could not stand up for myself. Now, I have been homeless, been stolen from over and over, including my identity. Missouri is not the state to live in. They do not want to help people my age which is 64 they would rather protect the very people that were supposed to be a friend. Only long enough to get my private information and then start harassing me and NO ONE will help me. Shame on Social Security, Medicaid, and the county court system that allowed that person to steal what I had left.

  22. Oh dear. This is so sad! Phones are not answered, voicemails are full, published phone numbers do not have a linked voicemail. Staff are not trained to research claim. Waiting 6 months for a retirement claim to be processed. “We are really short staffed at the moment. Be patient for 3-4 more weeks” Give me a break or a check would do! After all I and my employers paid in to SS all my working life

  23. Something is seriously wrong with the customer service at this office. I have gone to the Anchorage office at least 4 times trying to get information on how to obtain a social security number for my son who was born abroad. Each time I saw someone different and was given different information or vague help. The people their do not seem have the training necessary to assist the public. The phone numbers listed are not valid or you are on hold for a very long time (45 minutes to an hour) to be just told you have to come in. It should not take hiring a lawyer to get assistance with what should be a simple matter if the social security employees had the training or knew where to find the answers to very important questions.

    • We apologize for the inconveniences Jay. For complete information on how to get an original card for your son read “Original Card for a Foreign Born Child”. Remember, you must present original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them. Please continue working with your local office. You can request to speak with the manager to see how we can help to expedite resolution of your situation. Thanks.

  24. “Social Security has been in the customer service business for more than 81 years, and with Customer Service Week, October 3-7, at hand, it is an exciting time to share the importance of this long-standing tradition”.
    “My experience with SSA has always been positive.”–Edward M.
    ====================================
    Well I hate to disagree with -Edward M, but my personal experience with Social Security customer service has been a 44 year nightmare, with some of the most horrible experiences anyone could ever have! I lost out on a lifetime of benefits all because of three words in a Socialist Security rule and a moral decision I made.

    I am 45 years old, a mother of three older children and physically disabled ( I was born with cerebral palsy ). I’ve never collected one red cent of money from the Socialist Security System, even though I have applied several times and they find me disabled.

    Technically, I am an “adult disabled child” (please look this up, it is NOT SSI or SSDI) but have never been able to secure any benefits whatsoever from the Socialist Security system, even under that program because I got married to an “Able bodied person”. The Socialist Security system is too busy paying benefits to some people who scam the system and worrying about adult disabled children (who they pay benefits to off of a parents record) marrying an able bodied person. This gives them the justification to cut off benefits to the adult disabled child because the husband (in theory) can now support the disabled person. This theory works great, if your husband is rich and you have no need for money but what it actually does, is to force two adults (one disabled one able bodied person) to live off of one income. In the real world, the socialist security system is forcing adult disabled children to only marry other disabled persons (and NO able bodied persons) at the threat of loosing any and all benefits that they are entitled to.

    If you are a physically disabled person (an adult disabled child) and you happen to marry an “able bodied person” you will be loosing out on a lifetime of benefits, all because of a one word “rule” that prohibits you from marrying an “able bodied person”. Best of all, they never tell you about their “Rule” so that they can justify cutting off any benefits that you may be due.

    Because you are physically disabled (adult disabled child) and you choose not to marry another adult disabled child or disabled person drawing off socialist security, you WILL LOOSE ANY AND ALL BENEFITS FOR LIFE. This means that the SOCIALIST SECURITY system is TELLING YOU WHO YOU ARE ALLOWED TO MARRY and who you are
    NOT ALLOWED TO MARRY! It is a discriminatory act “rule” and should be ILLEGAL!

    Even though I am permanently and totally disabled, if I marry an “able bodied person”, somehow that marriage makes everything ok and I am no longer considered disabled (in the eyes of the socialist security system). Magically (because I married an able bodied person), the pixie fairies come down and cure my disability, because now I can just go out and find gainful employment, no one will discriminate against my physical disability and everything will be grand, right? Somehow magically, marrying an able bodied person makes my physical disablility dissappear and now I am cured, right? WRONG!

    The issue is a special “Rule” that the Socialist Security System uses to discriminate against “certain” people. If you are a “physically disabled person” (AKA-certain people) and happen to marry an able bodied person, then the SOCIALIST SECURITY system will use special “Rules” to legally discriminate against you and deny you benefits, even if you appeal online.

    The SOCIALIST SECURITY system has caused me a lot of economic hardship all because I married an able bodied person. The SOCIALIST SECURITY system thinks someone who is physically disabled (permanently and totally disabled) marries an “able bodied person”, that somehow magically they are cured of their physical disability and two people can survive off the able bodied persons income. WOW, talk about a bunch of bureaucratic idiotic thinking, that somehow this would not cause a financial hardship….. amazing.

    The rules that the Social Security Administration uses to legally discriminate against persons who are “Adult Disabled Children” who happen to marry an able bodied person, are discriminatory. This is loosely referred to as the “marriage penalty” but I call it exactly what it is, a legal form of discrimination.
    I firmly believe this rule, is an act of bias, prejudice and discrimination against people who (by no fault of their own) are born disabled and happen to marry an able bodied person

    Please write your Congressional Representative and tell them to end this modern day form of Legal Discrimination. In this day of fairness and equality, there are still some people suffering from an outdated and oppressive bureaucratic rule.

    (PS. notice how the only thing any of these SOCIALIST SECURITY workers ever say are quotes of the rules or processes, like a worker drone. They are unable to address any topics that fall outside of their rule books). Typical bureaucracy and bureaucratic responses, like trying to argue over lost change with a vending machine!

    social security reply for my posting = silence……………. how’s that for customer service?

    • Please…Take some responsibility. Why didn’t you bother to ask anyone from SSA or check the rules before YOU got married to see what affect marriage has on the benefits you received as a DEPENDENT DISABLED ADULT CHILD?

      • The Socialist Social Security can’t pay her SSDI benefits because they need the free disability money to pay non-disabled children who have disabled parents.

        The disabled parents don’t pay any more FICA taxes than anyone else, but they receive 50% more benefits if they have children.

      • Social Security is the biggest ponzi scheme and everyone knows how to scam it. The parent signs guardianship of their child to the child’s grandparents on Social Security retirement, so the child can get free Social Security money.

        • To clarify. Under current law, Social Security can only pay benefits to grandchildren if certain conditions are met. Generally, the biological parents of the child must be deceased or disabled, or the grandchild must be legally adopted by the grandparent. See “Benefits For Grandchildren” for more information.

    • Tammy

      The purpose behind a Disabled Adult Child (DAC) is to provide benefits for a disabled child who IS DEPENDENT upon a parent for their support. When you married “an able bodied person” you no longer relied on your parents for support but became a dependent of your spouse.

      You constantly complain about how you are being discriminated as a result of your decision to marry who you chose to marry. It is NOT Social Security’s fault and this regulation has been in effect for a very very long time.

      • Chris
        How does getting married make the adult disabled child any less disabled?
        If a disabled child is DEPENDENT upon a parent for their support and their are two parents working and the benefits are paid off the social security of the parents. The adult disabled child is not putting any stress on the parents because the benefit is being paid by social security off a parents record.

        Marrying a person takes that support structure away and now places the adult disabled child in a situation where two people are dependent on one persons income (not paid as benefits).

        so, exactly how does getting married to an able bodied person, make a disabled person any less disabled? Is getting married to an able bodied person somehow going to help the adult disabled child find work and live a productive normal life? I think not.

  25. SSA customer service got a big fat F from their inspector general’s office. That report uncovered alarming deceptions in the information provided or incorrect information or no information at all the help guide those needing help.

    • Patricia, do you have a link to that report? How about you Ray? I apparently missed this report and could not find it with a quick Google search. Thanks.

      BTW, I’d say SSA often does fairly well for the masses – if your case is routine, particularly if it does not involve disability or SSI. However, if your case gets off the center of the most well-traveled path, correcting your record or other individual manual actions will often take months if not more. In the meantime, the SSA agents you speak to about the situation collect their checks but you may not be collecting yours. In T2 cases, even if SSA forces out “critical payments” to you, your Medicare benefits are often left in limbo, meaning that for all too many sick/disabled people, they are left with no access to the medical treatments they need for months at a time (unless the lack of medical coverage gets them sick enough to be treated at the emergency room). Even if SSA gives you a letter stating your Medicare claim is active, it does you no good if your doctor can’t validate your status with Medicare, meaning your doctor will usually refuse to treat you because as far as Medicare is concerned, you currently have no coverage.

      The worst part about all this is that now for all too many of SSA’s clients, being stuck in a rut at the side of the road with no sign that help is really coming has become an acceptable predicament as far as the agency is concerned. Nobody seems to be able to do anything (i.e. really care) & you just get quoted meaningless/conflicting time-frames to getting the situation resolved. Even the Manager-to-Manager “critical case” procedure and/or Congressional inquiry/intervention often accomplishes little; these have all but become another routine processing step.

      I wish I could be proud of the Social Security Administration, but unfortunately I am often ashamed – the way the agency treats so many of its most-needy clients tears at my heart. Such situations wouldn’t happen so often if God would somehow exchange a few of SSA’s administrative staff with the positions in which the agency all too often places some of its clients. Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin, will you please read this and do something to identify & expedite action on “stuck in a rut” cases involving Medicare that are taking entirely too long to resolve?

      SSI is actually the more frequent offender in terms of “stuck cases” that are not being acted upon timely, but because SSI is handled almost exclusively at the local FO, these cases (and the many abuses to clients) are more easily hidden from upper administrative management. As a start to resolve this, please take a good look at ePath referrals in which reported mailing address changes do not get posted timely to the record (often due to conflicting info in MSSICS) – meaning mail & sometimes checks continue to get sent to obsolete addresses – and then the client often gets blamed (or at least pays the price) for any resultant problems! Another severe problem occurs in multiple entitlement households (often with RP involvement) – invariable the address and the direct deposit on the various records end up “out of sync” because SSA’s software doesn’t immediately identify and update all affected records together at the same time (manual action is usually necessary on each record).

      It is also unacceptable how long it often takes for residence address changes to get from ePath to the SSI record, as often the client is unable to get the Medicaid services they need until the residence address change issue is resolved. In many cases we are talking about many months! Please please give this situation the attention it deserves.

      The residence address change is a bit more complicated by potential changes in living arrangements, though I see no reason why the new State & County Code can’t be immediately posted on the SSID (if not by the TSC, then by the FO within a few days). Long term, SSA should push Congress to eliminate SSI ISM, as the administrative overhead to develop it is too high, it takes too long, & it is almost impossible to routinely properly/fairly develop. That said, the first and most simple action that can be immediately taken to resolve many of the above problems is to ensure ALL reported mailing address changes immediately get posted to the SSI record – even if that means CSRs bypass ePath & manually post mailing address changes directly to MSSICS & the SSID (something CSRs must already do when a RP is involved, though this doesn’t seem to be universally recognized – so in many cases RP mailing address changes are also not getting posted to the SSI record timely).

      Acting Commissioner Colvin, thank you in advance for your attention to the above matters. Please don’t just turn these issues over to others such as a workgroup – get personally involved and insist on continued reporting directly to you! These issues are that important! The issues I addressed here are long-standing basic problems that have defied correction for many years. Epath was supposed to help resolve many of these issues (the TSCs were being blamed for messing up MSSICS), but now in many cases the delays in posting info from ePath (and RPS) to the SSID is doing as much harm as good.

  26. Sorry but good customer serive and SSA don’t even belong in the same sentence. While I’m sure this doesn’t apply to all SSA employees some of the WORST customer service I have ever received has been dealing with them. A friend of mine was spoken to so rudely then hung up on and I heard the entire phone call. Maybe some states are better than others but the RALEIGH, NC SSA office is horrible!!! Even the supervisors are rude and nasty.

  27. Customer service is what you DON’T do. That’s the biggest joke I’ve ever heard. I just spent an hour and 45 minutes calling 3 different numbers to still not have my issue taken care of. I’m trying to make a payment on an SSI overpayment. There’s no automated payment system, no online payment system, and they won’t even take a payment over the phone with a representative. If I mail a check or credit card number, it takes them 2-3 months to process it, so how do I know if the payment is considered “on time”? If you call the regional office listed in the letter (Birmingham), you’re put on hold for exactly 21 minutes, then the phone will just ring forever. This has happened every time I’ve called over the past year. The national office has a 30 minute + wait time, and then the rep didn’t seem to know what I was talking about and I had to wait another 8 minutes while he asked someone else. The local office here is much more responsive, but I got disconnected while calling there, then when I called back they said ‘their systems are down, you can try to call back tomorrow’. SSA seriously needs to modernize their systems.

  28. My wife took here elderly nearly blind mother and law to the local Social Security office this morning to find out about recent over payments made to her account and to notify the officials of her husband’s death last week. After waiting 45 minutes in the waiting room, the security guard came out to tell everyone waiting to come back another day because the computer system was down. We live about a hour from the nearest SS office so this was half a day of wasted time and gasoline thanks to the SS Administration. What kind of Public Service is this? Ironically I see that this is “Customer Service Week” at the SS Administration!

    • We apologize for the inconvenience and we are sorry for your family’s loss John. Usually, the funeral director notifies us of an individual’s passing by contacting their local Social Security office. To verify this information was reported, you or your wife can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

  29. i appreciate social security disability benefit. Because if someone can’t help him self by working he has to have some way to have income and rule his life. So i need to have social security disability benifit.

  30. They can increase our Medicare Part B premium if we get a COLA increase for 2017. The Medicare Part B increase would wipe out the tiny 2017 COLA increase. Don’t get you hopes up.

    This is what happens when the Obama administration cooked the CPI numbers for 3 years and denied us 3 COLA raise. We might be heading for four more years with another Democrat president.

    The ACA suppose to lower medical insurance premium cost, but the medical insurance premiums are going up even faster than before.

    The Democrats are using Medicare as leverage for insurance companies to stay in the ACA.

    The Medicare Advantage plans are up coding patients medical records and charging more money. This gets past down to us with higher premiums.

    The Obama administration also pays the Medicare Advantage plans Billions in bonus since they came out with the star rating in 2012. Then they have to charge us higher premiums to pay for the bonuses. Now they expect to raise the premium again in 2017.

    • There is no surplus money to be giving the Medicare Advantage plans bonuses every year and passing the cost down to us with higher Medicare Part B premiums.

  31. They should stop giving the Medicare Advantage plans bonuses and end the 5 stars rating program. There is no surplus money in Medicare and we shouldn’t have to pay for their bonuses with higher Medicare Part B premium cost.

    AARP is getting kick backs because they are also in the Medicare Advantage plans business. They aren’t watching out for seniors while their Medicare Part B cost goes up again by 22% this coming year in 2017.

  32. Medicare is going broke, but the Medicare Advantage plans are getting billions in bonuses. Medicare increases our Part B premium again in 2017. If we get a Social Security COLA increase, then Medicare can increase the premium for those who got a COLA increase.

    • So true, patients are being changed from traditional Medicare without knowing it, it is the biggest scam and nothing can be done, nobody to protect our aging population.

  33. If a disabled worker receiving an unreduced SS disability benefit dies before normal retirement age, how is the widow(er)’s benefit calculated. On the unreduced DBL benefit the worker was receiving, or on a reduced benefit based on workers age at death?

  34. People complain about waiting! I would camp outside the social security office for a weekif I could get action to direct deposit money for 4 checks (March and April of 2016) which were returned to social security because Indonesian banks stopped cashing all paper checks. Yesterday was my wife’s birthday and she was crying for about 20 minutes because the banks are demanding payment for money that we borrowed for living expenses. When you return social security checks it takes social security more than 5 months to direct deposit the funds- because we are still waiting we do not know how long it will take. The scary thing is that no one in social security can provide a time estimate! No one knows!

    • Hello Lex. Our offices were closed Monday, October 9 and reopened on Tuesday, October 10. You can always do business with us online even when our offices are closed.

  35. Hmmm. Customer service is what you do? You may want to mention that to the woman I had the misfortune speaking with last I went to the office in Omaha,Ne. I was very polite and prepared, I had a few questions. I had no problem waiting over an hour to see someone. Yet I after I was seated I was told, several times by the rude employee that I “didn’t need to come there, I could have gotten my questions answered online or by phone”. True, those were my other options, but was it HER place to decide in which format I should get my questios answered? Absolutely not.

  36. The Social Security Administration is a very bad group.
    They want to leave people in the gutter by making
    additional demands that you must have another
    fifty to two hundred dollars just to get your check
    cashed. Mr. Obama and his wife are ruining people’s
    holidays and hurting their arms and legs. Let us
    get a bettter system with free checking accounts accross from thier offices .Three weeks-no money
    SSA credit is non existent. Please let us know of
    a way to get some moeny to open a bank account for
    a loan for that and two pay it back. They ought make it illegal to charge more oney to get a check cashed
    for a bank. these sick banks have been told that they can cash the check and take the amount in the
    account–I guess it is to steal for themselves.
    We are several groups writing for a better life.
    Any money people can help out it but we were attacked by hoodlums and this is what this group wants please resign today and waste your way
    of doing things somewhere else.

  37. Contacting or visiting the Social Security Administration was a horrible experience, in visiting the office, the rep was not at all helpful, knew nothing, on the phone I had been referred to the office. This has been a nightmare, such a disgrace for the Seniors to have to experience this. It would be helpful to hire reps that can truly help clarify information or know what they are doing, who pays their salaries? Surely not me!

    • We apologize for the inconveniences Carol, and regret to hear that we did not provide the level of customer service you expected. Remember, many services are conveniently available anytime at our website, and beneficiaries can create a personal my Social Security account to manage their Social Security benefits. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  38. Are SSDI rules the same as SSD? I have applied for SS Disability because I can’t work to full retirement as I was hoping to be able to do.I have read in
    another comment that after SSDI is approved there is still a five month with for
    payment. I was not informed of this and am very concerned due to the delays
    already created by my local office. Is this accurate and if so why wasn’t I informed?

    • Than you for contacting us Renee. When a claim for disability benefits is approved, the number holder (NH) must serve a waiting period consisting of 5 full calendar months. This period is long enough to permit most temporary disabilities to be corrected or for the individual to show definite signs of probable recovery. Social Security disability benefits are paid beginning with the sixth full month after the date your disability began. Visit our Disability Planner for more information.

    • Hi Rita. For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums. To read more about the COLA, tax, benefit and earning amounts for 2017, click here.

  39. My brother is 56 years old, on SSDI ,and has Medicare Part A. He declined Medicare Part B during his IEP because he has group health insurance under his wife who works for a large corporation. He now wants Medicare Part B and went to the SSA office in Virginia with his application and the CMS-L564 form from the employer documenting that he has coverage. The agents at the SSA office refused to accept his paperwork and said he now has to wait until he is 65 for Medicare Part B. They said it’s because he is disabled and that rules are different for the disabled. I called Medicare and was told this is incorrect and he qualifies to enroll under a SEP. The medicare agent also said a person can enroll during a general enrollment period, although those are specific time frames, and that rules for the disabled are the same as for recipients who have reached 65…no different. What’s our recourse when the SSA offfice won’t even accept the paperwork?

    • Hello Linda, we apologize for this inconvenience. For security reasons, we do not have access to personal records via this blog. Your brother should continue working with his local office. Also, he can request to speak with the local office manager to try to resolve this issue. See Medicare for Working Beneficiaries with Disabilities. If he is unable to visit the local servicing office, he may call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. We have referred your complaint to our Operations staff to follow up and to take corrective action as necessary. We appreciate your feedback, and thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  40. I just got off the phone with a lady named Sandy. She would not give me her last name. I worked with people for 19 years and held the same job for the last 15. I have NEVER and I mean NEVER spoke to any rep who was a rude as Sandy was. She first told me she could not help me, then yelled at me when I repeated that back to her. She cut me off every time I opened my mouth and then told me I was listening to her. I had NO choice but to listen to her. I have never left a bad review on anything but this is unheard of. It makes me sad that people who may not have the willingness to fight back with her would get her and try to talk to her about their issues.

    • Hi Misty, we apologize and we regret to hear you did not receive the level of customer service you expected. Please keep in mind that many of our services, including applying for retirement, disability and Medicare benefits, are conveniently available anytime at our website. If you have a general question, we encourage you to ask here. But remember, never post personal information on social media. Also, you can create a my Social Security account to get estimates of your future benefits and review your earnings record. To submit your comment, complaint or suggestion, you can write to us or send us an email message. We hope you try us again. Thanks!

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