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.
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.
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)
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...
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
On 3/2/2011 7:09 AM, email@example.com 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.
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
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 ;)
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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)
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)
On 3/2/2011 2:01 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org 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?
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
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...
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