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How To Make A Friend With The People At Social Security


Making a friend with the person with whom you work at Social Security or the State Disability Determination Service can be important. The more of an individual you can become to the people with whom you're dealing, the more likely you will get what you need, or at least fair treatment. It may be difficult to remember sometimes, but government bureaucracies are people, and people can exercise discretion as to how things go.

Be friendly

  • The person you work with at both Social Security and the state Disability Determination Service are friends, not your enemy...yet.  Be friendly and expect friendliness back. You'll usually get it.
  • Being friendly doesn't mean you shouldn't be assertive. In fact, be as assertive as necessary to get what you want. After all, you did pay into the system.

Engage the person. Open yourself.

  • If you open yourself, the odds are the person with whom you're working will do the same. For example, tell the person what condition you have.  Let him or her know facts that probably apply to them as well such as, "I'm a mom, or a dad..."
  • Empathize with the person at the first opportunity: such as, "Gee, I bet you have a heard job." or "You must be VERY busy. Thank you for being so patient with me."

Ask for help.

It usually works to ask for help.  A good approach could be to tell the person:

  • You are a novice at what you're doing, (you've never done this before).
  • You don't understand the system at all (they assume you don't, but it's refreshing to hear someone admit it), and
  • You know the person with whom you are speaking is an expert.

Use anger sparingly

  • Don't be obnoxious or treat the person as an adversary.
  • There are times when controlled anger works, but use anger sparingly.  Once anger is out of the bag, you can't take it back.
  • If, in reviewing your problem, you feel yourself getting upset all over again, make sure the person knows your anger isn't directed at her personally. "Please don't think I'm angry at you personally, Carla.  I know you're trying to help me. It just gets me so frustrated sometimes."

When you make follow up calls

  • Let the person know that whenever you have questions, you will call him or her. The odds are the person will be more responsible in her dealings with you.
  • When you do make the repeat call, ask for a friend. If she's not available, find out when she will be back and call back, even if it's not until the next day.
  • You won't always make a friend.  Some people just aren't that nice no matter who they work for. You have to decide when making repeat calls whether it's worth asking for this person who already knows about your situation, or starting again with a stranger.

To Learn More

More Information

SSDI 101

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Supplemental Security Income

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