Content starts here

Is it always difficult dealing with Social Security offices??


Is it always difficult dealing with Social Security offices??

Here's my frustrating story, I'm wondeing if this is the norm in dealing with ss departments and personnel.


Earlier this month (May) I called SS as I plan to retire (at 65), I told them I wasn't sure of the effective date, it would be either June 1 or July 1 but I wanted to get the ball rolling in case it was June 1.  What should I do, I asked.  No problem they said, use the June 1 date to be safe, make a note in the notes section that it may change and when I'm sure of my date give them a call. I used the June date, entered the note and submitted my application electronically.


Three days later I called to tell them my effective date would be July 1, not June.  The man I talked with said there is no way at all I can change and whoever I talked with before gave me wrong info and I'm stuck with that date, and they will adjust my later checks to take into consideration money earned in June.  As a last resort, he said I could call my local office and if they haven't processed the appliciation they may possibly be able to amend.


Called the local office the next day.  She said she can't amend but I will get a hard copy in the mail which I'll need to sign and return, when I do that change the effective date and enclose a note to let them know.  She assured me benefits will definitely not start until I sign and return the form.


Form never came in the mail as she said it would.  Yesteday I decided to go to the ss website to see if there might be any kind of notification there and found my application was accepted effecive June 1.  Called the main SS office (it was after 4:00, couldn't call local) and was told they never send a hard copy if I sign electronically and there is no way anything can be changed at this point.  Her manner/attitude wasn't the best.  Finally told me I can fill out a form to appeal the acceptance (form SSA-561-U2).


Today I called the local office and was told I can change the date and in order to do so I need to fill out not the above form I was told to fill out but a request for withdrawl form.  So now I'm going to the local office on Tuesday to do this in person.  It's so close to the end of the month, I sure hope I can get it straightened it out.


So far everyone has told me something different starting with the first one who told me to use the June date, no problem I can change it later if I want.  And now I'm going to be penalized for his error.  How the heck does one know what info is right and what is wrong?  Is it always like this?



0 Kudos

Thank you for your response, Gail.   I'm trying to relax about it, not real easy though.  


My complaint is more about the different answers and roundabout I get.


First person tells me no problem, just call and change the date

Second person tells me no way can i change the date, it's set in stone.

Third person tells me when i get my hard copy note the change, sign and return, benefits won't start until they receive my form.

Fourth person tells me I will  never get a hard copy because i signed electronically and it is too late to change but I can try filing an appeal and to fill out form XYZ.

Fithe person tells me I can change but I need to fell out form 123, not XYZ.


Why does everyone tell me the previous answer I received was wrong and give me another answer which also happens to be wrong according to the next person. (purely rhetorical question)  I'm going by what they tell me and it's frustrating when I don't know the answers myself, I'm trusting that I will be getting good info but i'm not. And because of their wrong answers I'm the one paying the price.   Just wondering if it will be like this anytime I ask them a question. 

0 Kudos
Honored Social Butterfly

You seem to be causing yourself some undue stress - relax - (30) days in the long-haul isn't a big deal.


The problem which SSA is having with your attempted date change seems more to do with the (soon) upcoming June 1 date.  It is a bueaucracy and can't really turn on a dime even in our automated society. 


People can file for SS Retirement Benefits up to (3) months before their start date as long as they are at least 61 & 9 months of age.  The calculations of your benefit amount are based on the age at which you will begin benefit.


If you are 65 years old now; if my math is correct, birth year is 1954, your benefits are going to be reduced because you are beginning your benefits early - your Full Retirement Age is 66.  The benefit will be reduced about 13.3% for this early beginning.


Social - 2019 - Retirement Benefits


Social Security pays benefits one-month in arrears - so if you are starting your benefit with a June 1 beginning date, depending on where your birthday day falls, it will not be credited to your bank account until July.  A start date of July 1 would see the benefit begin in August.

Social - 2019 - What You Need to Know When You Get Retirement or Survivors Benefits



If you still want to change the date of beginning benefits, after they have started, although one month isn't gonna make a lot of difference but waiting until your 66th birthday would - refer to this SSA page: - Benefit Planner - Retirement - If You Change Your Mind


If you are going to keep working, there is other info that you need to be aware of also -


You can find a lot of information on the Social website - sometimes it is a bit confusing the way they write it but I think that is because they are trying to cover many benefit types - Disability / Spousal / Survivors / Retirement or Old Age.





It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
Periodic Contributor

Dealing with social security office can be dificult most of the times. But with the help of online location guides you can have easy access to your nearest office. SSA often provides you dates that they changes without any prior notification. 

In that case if you have facility to make an appoitment online then that is really time saving.

0 Kudos
Periodic Contributor

You have explained the topic very well. Value of Social security depends on the age at which you have started earning them.

The ideal age is 66 for people born after 1954. If you started having SS at say 62 yr then your benefits will be much smaller.

0 Kudos
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Need to Know

Flash Sale! Join or renew for $9 per year with a 5-year membership.
Join or renew
and get a FREE gift!

AARP Membership Flash Sale

More From AARP