Once you have your application for Social Security disability benefits filed, you are going to want to know how the process is going. This means getting information from Social Security. So, what is the best way to do this?
Here Is The Telephone Number NEVER To Call
One thing you do not want to do is call Social Security's national toll-free number, 800 772 1213. This is the number that Social Security wants you to call, but don't do it. I have learned over the years that the people who take calls at 800 772 1213 will tell you
absolutely anything to get you off the line. The goal is to get you to hang up, regardless of whether you got any useful information. I have clients call and tell me what the workers at this line have reported to them. Most of the time, the information is wrong or useless. Just remember: they are trying to get you off the line, not to help you.
Call DDS If Your Case Is In The Early Stages
To get better information about your claim, first, understand where it is. Once your application is finished, Social Security will send it to a state agency, DDS, for work up. You will get much farther calling DDS than you will be calling Social Security. It can take many tries to get through, but DDS can tell you who has your claim and that person's telephone number. You can call this DDS worker for an update. Chances are, however, no one will ever call you back. But, at least you know you are contacting the right person. DDS in southern Arizona is 520 638 2000
ODAR Can Provide Good Information
If your case is awaiting a hearing before a judge, call ODAR. The workers here are generally pretty good about getting you an update. Most of the time the answer will be along the lines of "we're working on it." Even that, however, gives you some idea of where you stand. The Tucson ODAR's telephone number is 888 383 8694
The Appeals Council? Yeah, They Are Not Going To Talk To You
If your case has gone to the Appeals Council, forget it. Those people are not going to talk to you. Ever. Just forget about it and wait for a decision.
If You Can Find The Right Payment Center, You May Learn Where Your Benefits Are
If you got approved and are awaiting payment, you can try Social Security's payment centers. The trick is to find the office that has your claim. It might take some research and a few calls, but you can likely get to the correct office. As to whether anyone there will call you back, let's say it's unlikely.
In sum, when seeking information from Social Security about your disability claim, NEVER call 800 772 1213. Figure out where your claim is and then call that office. Very likely, no one is going to respond. Even if they do, they are unlikely to tell you anything you can actually use. But, if you are going to make the effort to get an update on your case, be as precise as possible.
Have you had luck contacting Social Security? What technique did you use? Did you learn anything? Let me know.