Did you call or visit Social Security, and get told something that sounded weird, funny, random, disappointing or untrue? Don’t worry. You still have plenty of options.
If your application was denied:
You can check out this disability timeline to figure out your next steps
You can also do a million, billion things to increase your chances of getting approved
You can request a copy of your Social Security file to learn more about what happened
If your denial was a long time ago, you can start a new application
If you are told you are not eligible to apply for disability
You can check out this list of What to do when you are told you aren’t eligible
If you missed a deadline
If you think someone is telling you wrong information:
If someone is saying “no” to you, when you think the answer should be “yes”
If you call or visit the Social Security office and someone stonewalls you:
You can try saying one of these Magic Sentences To Turn a No Into a Yes
You can try these smart strategies to turn things around
Whatever you do Never Take No for an Answer Over the Phone or in a meeting. If you have not been turned down IN WRITING, then you have not yet even made your request.
You can request an appointment to meet with a supervisor (can be a phone appointment)
You can request an appointment to meet with a service representative who specializes in SSI or SSDI (can be a phone appointment) – they may know more than the random person on the phone or behind the counter.
If magic sentences and smart strategies don’t work, you can:
You can try to Get Help from Your Congressperson. There is a person on staff there who has the job of helping people sort out these kind of issues!
You can fill out a form to Request reconsideration on a decision
You can go up the food chain. Ask to speak to the supervisor, then the field office manager, then the area director, then regional offices. While doing this, also ask for support from your Congressperson’s office, they can be making calls on your behalf.
If the person you are dealing with doesn’t know the policies
You can find them yourself, print out a copy, and show them:
You can read the Social Security disability website for basic info
You can read the Social Security policy manual for complete regs
You can search the Social Security policy manual
If your problem relates to your medical records:
You can also check: How Do I Make Sure My Records Aren’t Lost or Missing?
If you are not happy with something written by your own doctors, don’t approach Social Security about this, you need to address it with your doctor: How Do I Fix Problems in My Medical Records?
If you are not happy with something written by a Social Security doctor, you can bring a copy to your own doctor and ask them to write a rebuttal. Also, you can point out problems or mistakes to your lawyer and ask if they can help you with refuting the report.
If you are having a problem with your SSI check:
You can learn the learn the SSI regulations
If the problem is related to rent, food, or utilities: How Much Rent to Pay on SSI
If you have too many resources: If You Are Over the SSI Resource Limit
If you think your check is smaller than it should be:
You can request an interview to have your SSI redetermined: How to Handle an SSI Interview
If you don’t know what the problem is:
You can check out this list to see what the problem is: How Come My Disability Check is So Small?
If Social Security says you owe them money back:
You can learn: How To Handle Overpayments
If you have been approved for disability or you are being reviewed:
You can learn: Everything You Need to Know the First Six Months
You can also learn: Everything You Need to Know the Rest of Your Life
If you have a problem with your review: How to Appeal a Disability Review
If you have a question and can’t get a reliable answer:
You can ask the Disability Advisor Kay Derochie
You can ask disability lawyers Ask a Question on Avvo
You can ask a former Social Security employee Tim Moore
You can also post your questions in the comments at the bottom of this page.
If you want to seek help from a nonprofit:
You can start contacting local agencies and asking for a referral to anyone who can provide you with legal advice or assistance with a Social Security problem. Call everywhere and keep calling and keep asking.
It is unlikely that people at the programs below will know complex Social Security policies, but they may know the basics and they may be able to help you do things like fill out forms, submit appeals, and make phone calls. You still want to learn as much as you can yourself about what policies apply to your situation.
You can look into: How to Get a Social Worker
You can contact your local nonprofit legal aid center
You can contact your Area Agency on Aging (Call them even if you are young!)
You can contact your Centers for Independent Living
You can try the Eldercare Locator (Again, any age)
You can contact your state’s Disability Rights agency
You can dial 2-1-1 on your phone and ask for poverty and disability agencies
If you think someone at Social Security has broken a policy
You can find out what Social Security office is handling your case right now and call and ask to speak to a supervisor. Try to find the name and number of the policy if possible. Also contact the staff at your Congressperson’s office. They can inquire on your behalf.
You can also try contacting various Social Security agencies and see if you get any response: Office of Public Inquiries, Your Congressperson and/or Senator, Office of Inspector General, Division of Quality Services, Discrimination Complaint, Social Security Support Team, Social Security Regional Offices, Social Security Administrator
Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons: