Chris Stein, CFP®
Escalating a Social Security Issue
This week we received the following question about how to escalate a Social Security customer service issue.
“I have been waiting for reimbursement of an underpayment in the amount of $400 for my Social Security Disability benefits since July 2017. I have visited the local SS office on several occasions thinking this was being handled. Is there a form I am supposed to fill out in order to have my $400 repaid? If so, where do I get the form and what is it called.”
There is no specific form for this, however I will provide some general guidance on how to resolve outstanding Social Security issues.
Every time you visit their office or any time you speak on the phone make a detailed record of the conversation and with whom you interacted. Also, make sure to save everything they send in the mail regarding your issue. You cannot assume the person who in the end can help you will have all the case details.
Follow up With One Person
There will be a person assigned to your case who will be working on your issue. Find out who it is and their extension. That way you can follow up regularly until the issue is resolved. This does NOT mean to call them everyday. No more than once per week is recommended so you do not overtax an already burdened system.
Escalate to a Supervisor
If after a few weeks of leaving messages for your case worker you still have not heard back, then call and ask to be connected to the office supervisor. If you have detailed records of your attempts to contact your case worker you should be able to be connected to the supervisor.
Call in the Cavalry
Ultimately the Social Security administration reports to Congress. As a last resort you can call your Congress member in your district and ask them to intervene. Again, this should only be used if all else has failed, but it generally will end in a resolution.
Hope this helps!
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