Episode 26: Who You Should Talk To At Your Local Social Security Office

This week, Devin and John talk about the best way to get help from your local Social Security office.  Unfortunately, you can’t count on the people working at the agency to know the things they need to know.

You can’t go into the Social Security office without knowing the process and the rules as they apply to you.  You need at least a basic understanding of the benefits and the process.  And sometimes you need to get some outside help to figure out the appropriate rules and regulations that apply to your particular situation.

First, Devin interviews a client, Nancy, who was having some trouble with her local Social Security office.  Nancy visited and called the Social Security office several times, and was getting inconsistent information between the visits and phone calls.  Finally, Devin was able to help her cite the rules and get the situation cleared up for Nancy.

The most important thing from this story:  If an employee at an agency tells you that you can’t do something, don’t necessarily believe that this is completely true.

Then, Devin talks about how to improve your chances of getting the right answers.  It helps to understand the different levels of employees at the Social Security office.

The first person you’ll probably talk to is a Service Representative.  These are the people who answer the phone, make appointments (if your office will make them,) and handle other basic service-related issues.

If you are filing a first time claim, you will work with a Claims Representative.  While all of their applications get reviewed, the way your claims representative inputs your information can impact your claim.

If you have a difficult situation, or something unique, then you may want to get additional assistance.  The person you want to ask for is the Technical Expert.

Then, John gives a great example of why you want to be knowledgeable about the Social Security process.  John points out that you wouldn’t go to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and ask them to figure out your income tax liability, and other government agencies should be the same.

Lastly, John discussed the possibility of getting help from the office of your legislators.  While that’s probably a last resort, it is an option available to you.

This jam-packed episode is full of useful information and tips for navigating your relationship with your local Social Security office.  You don’t want to miss it!

Devin and John have a listener questions episode once a month.  If you’d like to have your question addressed on the air, send it to questions@bigpictureretirement.net.