OT: Shut down the %#@*& government

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I sent paperwork to Soc. Security to effect an important change in my status. Mailed on November 9, 2010. Waited a long time, decided to phone them (I'm an hour from the SS branch)...dialed the nationwide phone #, sorry, we have no record of receiving it. That, about 3 weeks ago. About 10 days ago, dialed the number for the branch office to which I mailed paper sufficient for someone to steal my identity if it fell into wrong hands...disconnected the first time I dialed, after punching in all the stuff the robot asked for. Dialed again, repeated the process and reached a human. She was confused as to which person of the same name I was, although my middle initial was different and I had punched in my damn SS number before reaching her. She was nice. Took my number and promised a call back by the next day..."the system is down" so she could not look at my record. I asked whether my paperwork might have been at the office since November and not been acted on....she sort of admitted that was possible. I didn't get the promised phone call, but did get her name. Yesterday, the mailman brought my paperwork back, along with the form letter advising they want a picture ID. If it quits snowing, I'll bring them my picture ID, although they should know by what I submitted that I am who I claim to be.
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As narrated, this suggests 1. High praise for the US postal service, which returned intact an undelivered (but unregistered) item. 2. Blame for the US SS system, which did not document its requirement of a photograph.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
  Click to see the full signature.
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On 3/2/2011 8:19 AM, Don Phillipson wrote:

Nooooooooo...the documents that I mailed were delivered. They were mailed back to me after almost four months with the form letter requesting other documents. I have no problems with the USPS, other than the tons of junk mail they deliver...I mailed the original material at the local PO, had them affix the postage, just to be sure they got a proper send-off :o)
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wrote:

You can thank budget cuts for that... Fewer people opening the mail, fewer people to sort and organize it... Even the IRS uses "seasonal" clerks to open and process the returns into the master computer which enslaves the entire IRS agency...
Be glad that they sent back your documents... They could have quite possibly LOST them inside the office if they had held onto them...
~~ Evan
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He obviously stated in his explanation that he got a form letter from the Social Security Administration informing him that his intended request was considered incomplete... This means that his mailing was received, opened, looked at and then rejected due to its incompleteness and then put aside for the person who deals with the rejection exceptions to the normal flow control in document processing...
The postal service doesn't return anything once it has been opened, and the SSA could not determine the request was incomplete without opening the envelope... So what he received back was a new letter from the SSA returning his submitted documents to him for resubmission as a proper and complete request rather than holding onto them at the office and waiting for him to mail back what was needed...
Many government departments have cut back on staffing and usually the first people to go are the ones who answer phone calls and the people who sort and organize the files...
~~ Evan
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On 3/2/2011 7:09 AM, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Filing for SS with the local city office was a horrible experience. There was armed security at the door and you went through a scanner. Clerk was dumber than dirt and gave me a hard time about my part time earnings being too high and failed to understand that I could earn what I wanted and either pay back or keep at minimum. I could have driven 5 miles further to a better office and not put up with the crap.
Then years before, when my father died, I called SS to tell them and just gave them his SS number to stop money accumulating in his account and me having to send it back and that was all that was required was his SS number. No other proof. Think of the mischief you could cause if you had someones SS number.
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On 03/02/11 09:20 am, Frank wrote:

No problem at all when visiting my local SS office.
Perce
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I got it done but the clerk was a PITA. Friends had told me that experience would be more pleasant if I had gone to office over the state line. You do not need to deal with local office. The city office I had gone to looked like all the people were applying for welfare. I heard that 40% of SS goes to widows, orphans and disabled.
I'm reminded of 55 year old on SS disability that went bow hunting, climbed tree with climbing tree stand, shot a deer, went and got his cart and hauled it out to take home and hang, went back hunting and got a 2nd deer took it home and butchered both. Poor guy had to go on SS disability because of bad back. Oh, and by the way, he has a green card but is not a citizen ;)
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Ditto Here. The Pittsburg, Kansas SS office was more than accommodating and professional. In fact they lined us up with a young lady that specialized in self-employment issues who explained my options well. They have been quick in getting some minor changes implemented.
HOWEVER, My dad was under the Railroad Retirement / SS system years ago. He was warned to begin the process at least a year early because it would, without doubt, be screwed up. Good advice. After nearly a year a friend who worked veterans benefits for the VA put them in touch with a rep from Senator Dole's office. A letter under the senator's name fixed the problem quickly. This was when Dole was heading into the presidential race.
From what I hear RR retirement is still screwed.
RonB
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On 3/2/2011 2:10 PM, RonB wrote:

I've never had a problem making the normal changes to my record...they started payin' me with much more ease than making the change for life event. Gov't has little issue with sending money :o)
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On Wed, 02 Mar 2011 09:20:16 -0500, Frank

I filed for my SS online. No problems at all. ... and to all of those people who have been warning me all these years, NO I did not have to show anyone my SS card that I lost in 1963. All they wanted was my DD214. I never sent any copies of any photo ID.
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I still got my original paper one, gotten about 1960. The one that says "NOT TO BE USED FOR IDENTIFICATION PURPOSES". Then I laminated it, and was told it was no longer legal. Shit, they give you a piece of paper, and it's supposed to last a lifetime.
Steve
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On 3/2/2011 2:07 PM, SteveB wrote:

I've hung onto my original, too. Laminated mine, as well, although I think that's against the law :o)
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wrote

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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Probably no more illegal than laminating a dollar bill...
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On Wed, 02 Mar 2011 09:20:16 -0500, Frank

What were you submitting paperwork for? When I was old enough and submitted my claim for social security, I did it online with no problems at all. The software was well written, displayed a summary page of the answers I'd given, enabled me to go back and change any answer I gave, and none of the questions were hard anyhow.
It didn't require any picture ID.

There is security at most federal buildings lately. Do you blame them?
I too lost my soc sec card about 30 years ago, and I didnt' need one to file for soc. sec, but I did for some other reason I forget now. I went to the national office of soc. sec. which is in Baltimore on Security Bouldevard, a street a couple miles long named after it. I had to get a pass in the lobby and could only go to one room, where they told me they don't do that there, and they gave me the address of an office about 2 miles in the other direction, where I waited 5 or 10 minutes, handed in a form, and got the card in the mail soon after.
I had allowed my passport to expire, and then lost my wallet, so I had nothing current. The driver's license people wouldn't accept my previous (expired) photo-id driver's license as proof it was I. It was hard to figure out the right order to replace these things, but if the passport had been valid, it would have been much much easier. I think someone wanted to see the SocSec card, but SocSec itself did not.

This is why in some places one can no longer cancel utilities with a simple phone call. People were cancelling others' utillities for revenge, and why mailing lists send you an email to make sure you really signed up for the list. Trouble-makers cause inconvenience and expense for all of us.
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On 3/2/2011 11:00 AM, mm wrote:

I mis-stated - they want a document (drivers lic.) that shows my birthdate. I had sent an official copy of divorce decree, which gives my married name and name change. Their records should show the post-divorce name, which was same as prior to my marriage. Gotta be careful of the sequence that one does these things...s'posed to get a drivers lic. in the state where I now reside within 3 mos, but don't dare do that or my bank records will differ from ID. Bank wants new driv. lic. for proof of name change, but I don't want to change the bank until SS is changed. Driver license wants divorce decree and one or two other items, such as utility bill, for proof of addy and name. Is this what is meant by going in circles? :o)
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wrote:

The Real ID law will certainly make that more popular. Simply to RENEW you driver's license when you convert to real ID you need a copy of every marriage certificate and divorce decree if you had a name change. As long as your DL matches your birth certificate you are good to go. Men who have not changed their name do a normal renewal. (picture, eye test and now a thumb print)
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On 3/2/2011 2:01 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Too bad they were too stupid to give the states read-only portals to the various secure federal databases behind the federal ID cards of various flavors 2-3 million of us already carry. The HSPD 12 cards EXCEED 'Real ID' standards. I once submitted a suggestion through channels that TSA recognize the Federal ID cards for their now-dormant 'trusted traveler' program. (In DC alone that would speed up the airports a bunch.) After about a year, I got a reply back that it would be impossible, because TSA couldn't trust the background investigations done by other federal agencies. Your tax dollars at play.
Always grates on me a little at airports, that a glorified rent-a-cop with less of a background check than I had, is frisking ME?
--
aem sends...

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There are only about three federal agencies that actually do any background checking... Most of it is handled by the FBI... Then there is the Diplomatic Security Service at the State Dept, and the Secret Service at the Treasury Department...
If the TSA can not trust the FBI then there are serious problems, as the FBI has MUCH HIGHER security clearances than any TSA agent has -- every agent in the FBI has at minimum a Top Secret clearance and the background investigation for that goes back to kids you used to play in the sandbox with in kindergarten...
The military has its own background checking folks, and they do about as rigorous a job as the FBI does for civilians...
All the TSA amounts to is a force of rent-a-cops who are very poorly trained and not given much authority to actually use what limited brain power they possess at all... Not many TSA agents are armed -- that portion of airport security usually falls upon the State Police or transportation authority operating the airport to provide that function...
~~ Evan
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