24 Magic Sentences That Can Change a “No” to a “Yes”

Robin Mead


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.

Guess what? A lot of the time it is not true! For example, what Social Security says may not be correct. And what Medicaid says may not be correct.

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?

💗 I want to file a formal complaint. I want to speak to a supervisor about it now. I want to be called back by the person investigating my complaint.

💗 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:

Azalea and Marigold Don’t Take No For an Answer

Pansy Did Not Take No For an Answer

Sage Did Not Take No For an Answer

Roselyn Did Not Take No For an Answer

More Ways to Get Help

How to Solve Your Social Security Problems

How To Get Help from Your Congressperson

How to Have a Good, Helpful, Pleasant, Reasonably Successful Phone Call With a Social Service Agency 


7 thoughts on “24 Magic Sentences That Can Change a “No” to a “Yes””

  1. omg this has been life saving info. I need to find my local congress person or representative in my area and I continue my need for immediate release of funds due to my hardship


  2. hen I came into the SSA office to investigate about the suspicious termination of my SSI benefits that was collected on my behalf as a child back from 96-99… The ss agent was annoyed that I wanted to know what happened to it, yes because my disability never ended and at 30 years old I decided to get surgery to try to improve the situation, instead she kept going around in circles telling me that theres not much information besides “voluntary suspension…”

    I already knew what happened before I went in to ask her, but I wanted to see what she would say. My representatie payee simply called back in 1999 to let SSA know that she had received more income that specific month. That was it, they said ok and bye.

    Ive been trying to access my old records to try to figure out what they have on file and what was the actual reason for termination. This is an error on their behalf and nothing prooves this error more when I walked out with a new claim, and got approved for SSDI in less than 2 weeks? Sure Im happy I get it no problem, but what about the abrupt termination that no one can explain? I even called the Social security agent from the SSA.GOV/MY ACCOUNT SITE AND she was kind enough to send me a copy of all that she was able to pull up… A timeline month by month from 1996-1999 of each payment… but no proof of termination…

    Since I was approved SSDI for the same disability… I was partially favored for the SSI, but have a savings account that goes over my resources…

    My question is: is it even worth trying to appeal the onset date to the SSI benefit? If I have that one link back to the original SSI and end at lets say age 19 since I continued higher education… then switched to SSDI as I have been about 8 months ago, would that make sense? Or is it not worth it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your story.

      I could be wrong, but I don’t see any way you can go back to your childhood case at this point.

      If a family has too much income, SSA will stop the disability payments. The payments won’t start again until/unless the family contacts SSA and puts in a new application or a request to restart the payments.

      The reasons someone might appeal an onset date would be:

      1. to get 12 months of retroactive ssdi payments. backpay can be up to 12 months before the day you apply. I don’t know how much you received.

      2. to get disabled adult child benefits, for people first disabled before the age of 22. I don’t know if that is what you are already on.

      If your savings account is over the limit, you might look into opening an ABLE account.

      Hope this helps.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish I had these the other day when the ODAR clerk was telling me the judge DOES NOT do OTR reviews and DOES NOT do rescheduling of hearings and DOES NOT have to follow the rules in the forms that were sent to me…

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s