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Friday, February 09, 2007

Social Insecurity, Part II


Winheld's World was not a very happy place this morning. The other day, I sent in the money I owed to Uncle Sam (see my post from 1/10/07) So I was less than pleased this morning to open my mail and find a letter from the Social Security Administration, telling me that my disability payments were being reduced because I had not paid them back.

But when I was first was notified that I owed money to the government, I was told that I had 60 days to respond before they cut my payments. When I called to find out why I had received this letter so soon, I had a riveting conversation with a Social Security representative -- we'll call him Pencil-Pushing Bureaucrat (PPB)-- the highlights of which follows:

Me: I've just sent my attorney the check to pay back what I owe to Social Security and he's going to send it in along with the form--
PPB: What form? Do you mean the appeal form?
Me: I'm not sure. I guess so.
PPB: If you're paying back the money, then why are you appealing?
Me: I'm not appealing, but I still have to fill out the form and send it with the check.
PPB: No you don't.
Me: Um, I'm looking at it right now. It has option to check to pay back the money.
PPB: You don't have to send in the form unless you're appealing. Who told you that?
Me: My attorney. Look, it's not like I would lie about something like this.
PPB: (with heavy sarcasm) Oh, then I'm the one that's lying! (hangs up)
Me: What the hell -- You #$%@&&!

Fortunately, I reached another representative on a subsequent phone call. She told me that it would probably take three to four weeks to process my check, so it would not be in time to stop them from temporarily reducing my payments. So much for 60 days!

And that, my friends, is your tax dollars at work. If you live outside of the U.S. and are reading this, I can only hope you don't have to deal with such ridiculous bureaucracy.

1 comment:

The English Courtesan said...

Oh Lorrrdy, that's so scandalous that it's actually funny Josh! That was some customer service bad hair day. I just hope you made a note of their name and called their supervisor to highlight the 'training need' (and get their name on the compulsory redundancy list)... :-)

Livvy xxx