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SSA No response on Benefit Submission

My wife will reach Full Retirement Age later this month. She applied for benefits 9 weeks ago.  


The online status shows the application was picked up in Salinas, CA the same day the application was submitted. The status shows that it will take 2-4 weeks to review. 


Here we are 9 weeks later and there has been no change in status, no request for information or documents, No messages in the My SSA Account Message Center, no phone call, email, or snail mail. No communication of any kind.


Phone calls to the national 800 number never reach a human. We're on hold for a couple hours before giving up. A call to our local SSA office (which is NOT Salinas) was answered after 15 minutes, but they could not help determine what is causing the delay and simply gave us an 800 number for the Salinas office. Calling that office resulted in being on hold for about 15 minutes and then routed to a voice mail box where my wife left a message requesting they call us back. So far no call back and no change in the online status.


1. What is the normal timeline for benefits approval?

2. Is there a Social Security email address that we can use to communicate with the Salinas office?

3. Shouldn't our local SSA office handle this rather than one nearly 1800 miles away?

4. Any suggestions on how we can get more information on the status?


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Regular Social Butterfly

Hi, Robert and Wife!


My SS benefits started 5 yrs ago so some processes may have changed, BUT your post reminds me of what I experienced then.


I finally made an appt w/local office, then everything was done within 2 months, with arrears paid.


I suggest Mrs. try that approach, especially with the backlog they must be experiencing due to pandemic.



Phil Harris, actor and showman, to John Fogerty of CCR: “If I’d known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”
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Thanks for the response. I'm surprised it was that bad 5 years ago. It's worse now due to the pandemic. Unfortunately the local office is only taking in person appointments for "limited, critical, dire need situations." 


So we'll try again with a call to the local office and request that they move the benefit application review from Salinas to the local office. Not sure they will agree since they previously directed us to call Salinas before.

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