April 22nd, 2016

Social Security is a pain in my ass.

So, I am (now officially) disabled.  I've got scoliosis, fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease... PTSD, bipolar, panic disorder... and a few other things too.  So yeah, I'm a hot mess, and a walking pharmacy.  As a result, winning my disablity case this past October, after a year and a half of jumping through the usual hoops (and subsisting on a $200 monthly stipend known as the Aged, Blind, Disabled, aka ABD, benefit and food stamps), wasn't surprising at all (though it was definitely a relief).

The way my benefits/back pay work is that I now draw my normal monthly check from Social Security Disability Insurance (aka SSDI), and SSDI paid me their portion of backpay a few days before Christmas (so it was a NICE Christmas this year, new computer yeehaw)--after they had made sure that my attourney had been paid their portion.  Supplementary Security Income (aka SSI), was then to cover the rest of the back pay, after a redundant check to make sure that anything due to any other parties (like my attourney or the ABD) was paid.

And therein lies the bad_service.

See, normally, they woiuld have checked all that stuff, and set up a payment schedule in their computer system, set to dispense payment every six months until the back pay was paid back in its entirety.  But for some reason, they never did.  They didn't do ANYTHING to my account.  They didn't investigate and/or confirm the fact that I didn't owe anyone any money.  They didn't set up my account to start giving me chunks of my back pay.  Nope, they didn't do ANYTHING.  So my account has just been sitting there, gathering dust, while they remained inactive.

I have called, and called, and called.  Every time I call (and wait on hold for at least an hour), the person I speak to expresses confusion as to why my account hasn't been touched.  One of the last people I spoke to on the phone submitted an official letter/request for them to take action on my account--and the last person I spoke to on the phone expressed disbelief that they hadn't even bothered to read it yet (after being submitted a month earlier..).

When nothing happened and then kept happening, I finally decided that I had had enough of waiting on hold, and I went down in person to the local Social Security office.  Had a line out the door before it even opened, took me 45 minutes to finally get my turn with one of the reps at a window once it did open.

The window rep was extremely condescending, he spoke to me like I was an idiot, explaining to me that they always hold the money until they confirm that no more is owed from my backpay.  I told him I knew this, and that I didn't owe anything else.  That my attourney had already been paid and that I didn't owe anything to repay the ABD benefits I had received (because receiving SSDI automatically negates a repayment).  He then looked at me and just... walked away.  Didn't tell me where he was going, didn't tell me he was leaving, just... walked away.  And left me standing there wondering just what the frell was going on.

He came back a few minutes later, and he had AMAZING news!

"I just went back to speak to my supervisor, and this is an amazing coincidence, but she was actually working on your file!" he delivered without a hint of guilt--I think he honestly believed he could make me believe that line of bull.  "So we should have this all taken care of by the start of next month.  If you don't see anything has been done by then, come back to this office and we'll investigate."

... So that is basically where I am at right now--relying on the word of a man who is clearly well-versed in the art of deception.  ("Just happens to be working on" my file my lily white butt.)

But why am I getting so worked up about this?  I'll get the money eventually, right?

Because they are, quite literally, holding onto $14,000 for no good reason.

That's right; $14,000.  FOURTEEN-THOUSAND DOLLARS.

I have people I owe money to, and I have work that needs done on my car.  I have other things that need tending to, as well.  So, I need that money.

But even if I didn't need it?  Dude, stop holding my back pay hostage and giving the government an interest free loan for (at this point at least) 7 months.

Social Security, your horrible service makes me sad and angry.  D:<