Social Security: Not Social, Not Secure

Alas, Dear Reader, the KH must subject you to yet another rant.  Only two weeks apart.  My apologies, but please bear in mind that reading this may guarantee your safety, as I am about to explode if I don’t tell someone and it might as well be you!

As some of the more-faithful of you may remember from my Sandwich Generation post, part of my lot in life these days is to assist my soon-to-be 93 year old mother with her upcoming move.  The KH is glad to help, honestly, and there are a lot of little things I can take off Mom’s plate, including things she thinks need to be done but don’t really.

Example:  She was going to pay the local merchant from whom she recently bought a refurbished computer to physically move her computer (approximately 3 miles) then hook it back up at her new residence.  I explained to Mom that the KH’s brother can not only move the computer but also can hook it up. For free. Cross off  item #87 on her list of things to be done.

Another request she had today was for me to contact the Social Security Administration and to advise them of her move.   She has received SSA retirement funds for years now, by direct deposit.  She is not changing banks.

Silly me. I thought this would be an easy list-crosser-offer.  I hopped onto the SSA website, which I must admit gives every appearance of being thorough and complete.  The answer to my simple question was nowhere to be found.

I dialed the 1-800 number and was informed by Ms. Tinny Voice Recording that questions regarding topics such as blah, blah blah, blah blah blah, ad nauseum could be found at http://www.ssa.gov, but if I still wished to speak with an SSA Representative I would be placed on hold if I selected option 93562-7A-11031.

After selecting option 93562-7A-11031, I spoke with Ms. Tinny Voice’s sister who informed me that (You idiot person, stupid enough to call SSA) all of their Representatives were busy (we fly kites on Monday mornings between the hours of 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM) and that I should please call back during their normal business hours (and please, we really don’t have *normal* business hours), then heard the telephone line go dead.

I had been intelligent enough, contrary to their suppositions, to remain on their aforementioned website, so I looked for a way to contact a Representative by e-mail.  Lo and behold, I found said e-mail option with not too much trouble and I sent my request.  The site suggested that I would receive a “prompt” response.

To my surprise, said response did come within less than a day of my questions being sent.  I was elated, until I opened up the response.  Here, in all its cut and paste glory is their response, and my response to their response:

From: “SSA Comments” <SSA.Comments@SSA.gov>
To: candice6161@taxpayer.net
Sent: Monday, November 7, 2011 11:25:33 PM
Subject: candice6161@taxpayer.net\Response\4300328\Orourke WBDOC 10846\

Thank you for contacting the Social Security Administration.

Your request requires access to personal records, please have your mother contact our office at 1-800-772-1213.

Internet e-mail is not secure enough to transmit your personal information.  For this reason, we do not use e-mail to discuss information involving Social Security claims, payments, or other Social Security-number related issues.

If you have confidential questions or if your inquiry requires access to your personal information, you must contact our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, or your local Social Security office.

You can speak to an 800-number representative from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on business days.  Telephones generally are less busy during the early morning from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and in the late afternoon and evening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  We encourage people to call during these times to avoid busy signals and extended wait times.

Our phone lines are also busiest early in the week and early in the month.  Call volumes are also highest during the first three months of the year.  However, if you’re planning to file for benefits, you should call us as soon as possible.

If you call, we can serve you better if you have the following handy:

–Your Social Security number;

–A list of questions you want to ask;

–Any recent correspondence you have received from us; and

–A pencil and paper to make a note of the information we provide.

People who are hearing-impaired may call our “TTY” number, 1-800-325-0778, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on business days.

Callers from Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands may receive different “live” service hours.  However, they will continue to have automated services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can obtain the address and directions to the nearest Social Security Office on our Web site at the following Internet address:

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/locator

MY RESPONSE:
On the contrary….

With all due respect, the questions that I submitted were NOT of a personal nature, but rather they were of a general nature regarding a simple change of address. I did not even submit the name of the payee. I am disabled and I do NOT have time to sit on hold, IF, that is, I am even able to get through by telephone on your understaffed line.

Let’s try this again — and I’ll let you tell me exactly what is of a personal nature if you still disagree:

THE ISSUE:

My mother (not me) is changing her physical address.  She already is a SSA payee and receives her SSA by direct deposit. She is not changing banks.  (There is no need for me to provide her name, address, SSN or the name of her bank. Now  that  would be personal information.)

THE NON-PERSONAL QUESTIONS:

1.  Does she need to report her physical address change to you? (This question requires a simple yes or no answer only.)

2.  If the answer to question one is “yes,” then what form must she use to report this change? (Requests a form name and number only.)

Thank you for expediting your next answers to my original inquiry.

<shaking head incredulously>  ’nuff said ??

More than likely, I will be hung for treason for having the sheer audacity to address such an impertinent response back to SSA Representative O’Rourke.

I would imagine that Representative O’Rourke’s great grandpappy is rolling over in his grave somewhere in Ireland at the thought that his or her great grandson or great granddaughter is quite so freakin’ STUPID !!!

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This entry was posted in Aging Parents, Bureaucracy, Complaints, Gripes, Humor, Inefficiency, Rants, Social Security Administratioh, Wasting Time and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Social Security: Not Social, Not Secure

  1. Isabell says:

    Thank you for your blog article. Really Cool.

  2. Archon says:

    And O’Rourke isn’t stupid. If (s)he doesn’t do anything, (s)he doesn’t have to DO anything. More time for filing nails instead of files. Packed so tightly with self-importance, if (s)he farted, only dogs could hear it.

    • cwc6161 says:

      Loved your quote on bureaucracy, Archie/Arkon 😉 And you were right about O’Rourke. His/her response to my e-mail rant was to not DO anything but re-send his/her original form reply. My response to that was to call the local SSA office. I got through and had my answer within 2 minutes flat. Learned a lesson there. Shot back a quick reply to O’Roure (O’Jerk?) in which I simply said that I shoulda bothered the locals first. *End of saga*

      btw, I saw Chuck of Kitchener tonight and told him of your interest in who he was and what he was doing in Kitchener. He laughed and immediately said that you probably thought he was visiting there for Oktoberfest ! LOL Said to tell you he is a real Canadian citizen. Name’s Chuck Waldron, he’s an author (in case you wish to Google him.) He also told me an expression that he said you’d know about Oktoberfest, but that was several hours ago and my aging memory is failing me. I’ll get it from him in writing tomorrow and update you! Apologies for not replying sooner. With ongoing NaNoWriMo, chemo yesterday and writers’ group tonight, my cup runneth over.(But, the good news is that I got to over 20K tonight on NaNo, which was my goal, so I’m a happy camper.)

  3. Archon says:

    I read somewhere, that there are two kinds of bureaucrats. There are the ones who, no matter what the request is, the answer is NO! There are others who will spend the time and energy to search through a mountain of regulations, until they find the exception which will get you the result you so desperately need. The writer opined that there were 100 of the first for every one of the second type. That reference is thirty years old. In today’s Sargasso Sea administration, I expect that the ratio is closer to 1000:1. Keep fighting the good fight. I’ll even email you in prison.

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