When you call a Social Services agency, you may have the experience of being told “No” or “That’s Not Possible.” This can happen at Social Security, Medicaid, Housing Agencies, Social Services or many other agencies.
If someone is saying no to you, here’s some things you can say that may magically change the answer!
💗 Thank you. May I get your decision in writing so I can appeal?
💗 Thank you. Can you please tell me how I can make my request in writing and get your decision in writing?
💗 Thank you. Can you please give me an appeal form so I can appeal your decision?
💗 Thank you. I would like some additional information. Is there someone in your office who specializes in this area? How can I reach that person?
💗 Thank you. I am looking at policy XYZ number 123 page 55. Could you look at this policy with me and let me know how this applies to my situation?
💗 Thank you. Can you please show me the name and number of policy that makes this not possible, and which page or section you are referring to, and how I can get a copy?
💗 Thank you. Here is a written copy of the policy that is relevant to my request. Can you please let me know what I can do to make sure this policy gets followed?
💗 Thank you. I am requesting a disability accommodation. Can you please tell me your policy for how I can request a disability accommodation? (Only ask this if your request is related to your disability. For example, if you are homebound and they are insisting you come to their office in person).
💗 Thank you. I am making this request as a disability accommodation. Can you please let me know the name of the person who handles disability accommodation requests in your office?
💗 Thank you. If you are denying my disability accommodation request, could you please give me that denial in writing and let me know my rights to appeal?
💗 Thank you. I do not think what you are saying is following the XYZ policy. Can you please let me know a good next step? Is there a way I can file a complaint or grievance?
💗 Thank you for helping me with this. Can I please speak with a supervisor or someone else who can answer a few more of my questions? (Note this does not have to be a complaint. You can just make your request to the supervisor, as they may know more or be or helpful).
💗 Thank you. I would like to inquire further about this matter. May I please have your name and contact information, and the name and contact information of a supervisor I can speak with?
💗 Thank you. I do not think the policy is being correctly followed. Could you let me know the contact information for the state or regional office for this program?
💗 Thank you. I believe that this may qualify as disability discrimination. I would prefer not to file a disability discrimination complaint, is there another way we could resolve this?
💗 Thank you. Can you please put me in touch with the person who handles disability accommodation and disability discrimination reports?
💗 Thank you. Could you please explain to me what the criteria is to qualify for this program? Is there some way that I can view these policies in writing?
💗 Thank you. Are you the person who is authorized to make final decisions in this matter? Do you know how I could get in touch with the person who has decision making authority?
💗 Thank you. Is your program’s policy manual available online? Can you tell me where I can find it? Can you help me locate the policy that relates to my situation?
💗 Thank you. Can you please put me in touch with someone who can speak with me about why the policies are not being followed correctly on my case?
💗 Thank you. I would like to inquire further about how this matter is being handled. Can you please tell me: What agency audits or monitors your department? What agency provides funding for this program? Is there a board or advisory board that oversees this program?
💗 Thank you. I believe your office has not correctly followed the policies on my case. Can you please tell me if there is a way to expedite this decision, since it has been slowed down due to mistakes?
The Golden Rule
Never take no for an answer over the phone. If you have not been turned down in writing, you have not been turned down. Period. Read a few great stories from a few smart chickadees who learned to never take no for an answer over the phone:
More Ways to Get Help