How to Take it with a Grain of Salt


“I kept careful records of each call to Social Security and each answer I was given. I found the information was accurate 50% of the time.” – RL

“They kept telling me different amounts: $900, $1450, $1100, $980. Finally I  downloaded the detailed calculator and figured it out myself: $1522. Today I got my award letter. Lo and behold…. $1522!!!” – Aster

“I’ve been on disability for five years and this website is the first time anyone ever told me I could enroll my kids. I made an appointment and two weeks later they sent me $20,000.” – Lilac

“If I had listened to the woman as Social Security, I never would have applied. That’s $200,000 I would have walked away from.” – Sage

“I called and visited for 7 months and they said there was nothing I could do but wait.  After finding this website, I contacted my congressperson. The check was in my account in 4 days.” – Roselle

“If Social Security tells you you’re dead, don’t believe them.” ~ Laurence Kotlikoff, Professor of Economics

🍉 The Life of a Caseworker

I know someone who had a caseworker job once. One day the air conditioning broke. When the repairman removed a ceiling tile, a bunch of files fell on his head. The last caseworker had been so overwhelmed, he started hiding files in the ceiling.

From what I have heard, being a caseworker is not always the greatest job in the world. You are buried in paperwork. You can never get it all done. On top of this, all day long you see people who are upset or desperate or scared or pissed off at you before you’ve even said one word.

I am sure many people who work at Social Security are good people who want to help. They may not even realize they are giving you the wrong information. The regs are very complex, and often it would take many, many hours — or many, many days — to truly understand all of the factors at play for one person’s case.

Social security employees don’t have that kind of time. They are just going to give you an answer quickly, and the answer may be wrong.

🍉 Meet Sage the Ex-Marine

Here’s one of my favorite stories ever. Meet Sage the ex-Marine. He got some bad intel from Social Security when they told him he could not apply. But you know what he did…. He ignored them and applied anyway. And you know what happened…. He won his case and got over $200,000 in backpay. That’s right, boys and girls, $200,000! Read Sage’s Story

🍉 Be Like Sage

Here is the golden rule you must always always remember and always always believe when dealing with Social Security:

If you have not been denied in writing, you have not been denied at all. Never ever let someone say “no” to you over the phone or during a meeting. That “no” means nothing.

Please don’t give up and please don’t lose hope. Calling Social Security may be a dead end. But no matter what your question is, and no matter what your problem is, surely there is some way in this world to figure it out

🍉 More Stories

“She said it was very difficult to get a case reopened and I shouldn’t bother trying. Next time I went back, I met with a different person. He said it was no problem and reopened my case in ten minutes” – JO

“The woman on the phone was very friendly and nice. She said going back to work was no problem. Six months later, they sent me a letter that I owe back $7,000.” – LR

“I called a year ago and asked to add my kids to my application. They said everything was fine. Now they say my kids won’t get any backpay because I have no proof that I called.” – GP

“The letter said I was denied. I was so discouraged, I didn’t even appeal. A month later, I opened my bank account one day and there was $6,000! My first check and backpay.” – MP

Updated March 2017 🍉


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