Social Security Administration, YOU SUCK!


Already in a bad mood over yesterday's failed house sale, I probably wasn't using the best judgement when I decided to call the Social Security Administration today.

On November 6, 2011 I received a letter that my cousin was due social security payments at the time of her death.  I was given a form to fill out and asked to send in a copy of my "Letters of Authority."  I did as was asked.  Then I waited.  And waited.

On January 31, 2012 I called my local social security office to ask them to follow up.  They said that they have no connection to this and I needed to contact the Great Lakes Service Center in Chicago, Illinois.  "Great... what's their number?  Oh... you don't know a number for them?  That's weird, but I will just Google it.  Thanks for your help."

Little did I know that the phone number for the Social Security Great Lakes Service Center is apparently one of the world's best kept secrets.  I did finally find a 1-800 number for Social Security and called it out of desperation (by the way, if anyone has found this because of a similar circumstance, the number is 1-800-772-1213).

I talked to a nice lady at that number who did some checking and said that they had received my paperwork and they were processing it but to be patient because sometimes it takes a couple months.  So I waited to let the government take their slow time.

At the end of February the Social Security Administration returned my Letters of Authority to me with a note thanking me for taking care of the paperwork they had requested.  GREAT, I thought!  FINALLY they are working on this claim.  I expected the money owed to my cousin to be deposited into the bank account by the end of the month.

That didn't happen.  So I waited another month.  Still didn't happen.

So today, 4/245/12, I called the same 1-800 number to try to get some information.  They claimed they are just a call center and can't help me, that they have no record of having anything on file for me, blah, blah, blah!  I had to remind them that they are full of shit and that I already know they received my info, that they returned my Letters of Authority with a nice thank you note, and that I have been waiting since November.  They then said that I need to go into the local office.

AURGH!!!!!!!  I started all this at the local office months ago and they can't help me! 

So then this service call center said they will send a message to the Great Lakes Service Center and have them look into it.  yeah right... I know all about black holes and I feel like my claim was about to be sent into one.  I asked for a phone number to the Great Lakes Service Center and was told they don't have one.  I know better than that.  So I asked to speak to a Supervisor.  And the lady I was speaking to was refusing to transfer me!  I stood my ground and eventually she did agree to transfer me, but not without being put on hold for 25 minutes in the meantime!  I waited....

The Supervisor repeated the same crap I had just heard, though she did tell me something interesting.  She said, "Underpayments are not a priority to us."  It could take an additional 120 days, apparently!  So, basically, the government is in the business of holding on to people's money and not paying it out in a timely fashion.  Gee... who would have guessed that?  <sarcasm>

So now I wait..... And in the meantime I am supposed to magically finish closing the estate and pay all the estate taxes due in a timely manner to the government, without the help of cooperation of the government!  Should be a fun couple months ahead. 

To be continued......

Take-a-ways:

1.) The government is wasteful and a pain in the neck to deal with.

2.) The social security administration sucks!

3.) Invest like crazy, because I have no faith this government agency can survive for long with this type of management.  DON'T RELY ON SOCIAL SECURITY TO LIVE ON IN YOUR RETIREMENT YEARS!  Even if they are still around, they are apparently allowed to hold on to people's money for 6 months or more.  And there is not a thing any of us can do about it.

4.) Did I mention the Social Security Administration sucks?

5.) If anyone has a direct phone number to Phyllis M. Smith, Assistant Regional Commissioner at Processing Center Operations at the Great Lakes Service Center that you could email me, I will be forever grateful!

14 comments:

Michelle P said...

Ugh that really stinks! I'm definitely not relying on it.

Financial Samurai said...

My faith in the American people has been renewed as you can see by my post. I think SS is going to rock, and will allow those who don't save at least 20% of their after tax income to enjoy great lives in retirement!

Daisy @ Add Vodka said...

It sucks in Canada too. They're always overpaying, sending you invoices to pay stuff back, overpaying again, changing their minds.. it's ridiculous.

Lisa@My Borken Coin said...

Oh, you're scaring me. I'm about 4 years from SS and hope it's still there. I'm not relying on it, but it will be nice to receive since I've paid it in all these years.

thisaggiesaves said...

How awful :( sorry you're having to deal with this

Crystal said...

I am so sorry - this really sucks. Maybe you could look into legal options, but overall, you have my sympathy for a very sucky situation.

Maybe when they start pursuing you for her owings, you can send them a note asking them to take it from what she is owed by SS, lol. Like "Here's the number, good luck". ;-)

Anonymous said...

Going about it the WRONG way. Never "Talk" to any agency. To get results you MUST Write a letter. Do not give them your telephone number but only postal address. Make them give you their responce in writing. Not satisfied Request a HEARING in WRITING and send by CERTIFIED MAIL to any Social Security office. Don't fall into this talking trap.

Anonymous said...

I'm going thru something similiar with them here in Houston. My 4 year old daughter lost her dad back in September 2012. It's been nearly 3 months and those idiots STILL have not changed him in the system from disabled to deceased! So this means that my daughter will not get processed in their system to receive survivor benefits until they change him over, which they are not in a hurry to do. The folks in the local office are just as incompetent as the folks in the payment processing centers and the assholes in that center are dragging their feet on paying people because they don't have to deal with the claimants directly. The entire SSA needs to be revamped and heads need to roll, considering that we are paying their salaries!

Anonymous said...

I was on s.s. for over 10 years when i missed (never received) an appt to update. From there i fought tooth and nail to keep my s.s. i went before a judge in 08 and lost due to incomplete records...they were good enough for 10 years...and the judge actually made my denial date back to 2005. So now they say i owe them! Ive been fighting ever since to get reinstated to my original claim status so that i will get not only the back pay they owe me but so as to keep both my son and i covered. If i were to simply reapply...if approved i would get hardly nothing for myself and nothing for my son.......WHY? because i havent worked.....BECAUSE IM DISABLED! THIS IS INSANE! MY PARENTS HAVE HAD TO SUPPORT US SINCE 2008. I OWE THEM. ANY HELP OR ADVISE WOULD BE APPRECIATED. T.

Anonymous said...

They're idiots! They can't do anything without mucking it up. The same thing happen to my mother's "death benefit." I spent far more in wasted time off work (going to the local office) and phone calls than the "benefit" was worth. On the corporate side, they're even more impotent - losing electronically sent forms, requesting, demanding resends in paper. I lose 20 hours a quarter dealing with num-nimbled requests that "SSA has never received. We'd all be better without it!

Anonymous said...

Contact your congressional representative and ask them to do a congressional inquiry. That will light a fire under the right people. I am a dedicated ssa employee. The delays are not because lack of knowledge, it is lack of staff and resources. There are back logs of claims years long, a shortage of administrative funding for more staff, looking from the outside it is easy to throw stones and insults, but if you were to spend one day in a field office, you would see that most employees try to do the right thing for public.

Ben said...

Try calling 312-575-5100

Anonymous said...

Social security sucks Big Time. I filed last year in June, was denied twice, and my lawyer said it might up to a year for court appeal. I am almost out money and I been emailing and calling them for help. I get like the same e-mail back to call the 1-800 for help and I get same crap every time I call them. That they can't help, that I have to wait. I wish I knew what am I suppose to do?

rocco laerzio said...

undercoverangel argh im underground now mostly moving place to place at the end of the tragic downfall of once a great country/world wyll soon find that the overthrowers have set a mirror world with all gov offerings in a subsystem you hit it on the nail DONT go deeper once you peel the onion further your gone your life will collaspe around you or you migth be there thus leading you to the sub goverment my nigthmare by just searching femax camps bush car crash gotts togo i see your being monitored undercoverangel

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