Tips when going to the Social Security Administration office

Tips and suggestions when going to the Social Security office to make the wait easier

I hear a lot of horror stories about going to the Social Security office.

If you need to go to the Social Security office to get a replacement card, change your name, or try to straighten something out with SSA, here are a few tips:

If you still need to go to your local office, here are some tips to help you survive:

  • Get ready to wait. Depending on how busy it, you may be there a while. Seriously. You may be there the entire morning or afternoon. 
  • Consider bringing the following:
    • Bring a book, newspaper or magazine.
    • Bring water (note some offices may not allow this).
    • Bring a snack.  Even if you are not allowed to eat at the office, you usually can eat just outside the office. This is especially important if you have diabetes or have problems with low blood sugar.  However, everyone should consider this as you may be there for more than 3 or 4 hours. 
    • Bring a cushion if you have trouble sitting for extended periods.
    • Bring a friend. It will help pass the time and you have someone to make sure you are not skipped while in the bathroom or on a cigarette break.
    • Bring a walkman, or mp3 player.
    • It can get noisy, so consider bringing earplugs.  BUT, don’t miss your name or number being called!!!
  • Show up early.  Many offices open at 8:30 but some do not open until 9:00 AM.  Use the office locator to find out the opening and closing times for your office.
  • Show up late. Many offices have a policy that if you are in the door before closing, you have to be seen. The flip-side of this is that if you have a difficult problem or you need someone at Social Security to be in a good mood and want to help you, showing up late may not help. 
  • Ask the security officer for the best days or times to come back. If you cannot get your problem resolved, the security officer often knows the best times to return to minimize your wait.
  • Do not bring a weapon (even if it is otherwise legal). This includes the pocket knife you bring everywhere or pepper spray. Going to the Social Security office is enough of a chore without getting arrested too.

Do you have any tips for surviving a trip to Social Security?  Tell us in the comments!

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Disclaimer: This is NOT legal advice. This site provides general information about Social Security disability cases in Colorado. To discuss your particular circumstances, please contact a lawyer in your area. Please review the full disclaimer .

About Tomasz Stasiuk

Tomasz Stasiuk is a Colorado Springs Social Security disability lawyer and the founding attorney of the Stasiuk Firm - a law firm specializing in Social Security disability cases in Colorado. Follow Tomasz Stasiuk on Google and Twitter

  • http://www.socialsecuritydisabilitylawyer.us Gordon Gates

    For those of us who live in the snow belt, go to your local office on a snow day! After the blizzard that hammered the Northeast recently, there was no line at the local SSA office.

  • http://www.SocialSecurityInsider.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    Apporve

  • http://www.StasiukFirm.com TomaszStasiuk

    Apporve

  • http://www.socialsecuritydisabilitylawyer.us/ Gordon Gates

    For those of us who live in the snow belt, go to your local office on a snow day! After the blizzard that hammered the Northeast recently, there was no line at the local SSA office.

  • http://www.colorado-rehab.com Colorado Rehab Facility

    nice read… thanks for the post….:)

  • Mo

    These instructions are kind of lame to be honest. Just filling up the page with junk basically when it can be summed up in two sentences.

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    Really? What are those two sentences? I just re-read the post and I think it has useful information on how to avoid having to spend 4 hours at the funnest government office that isn’t called the DMV.

  • Kathy in Texas

    I think it is good information for those who don’t know what to expect. I was looking for a “magical” day or time to go…maybe there isn’t one. Calling the Social Security office number is futile. The program basically hangs up on you no matter how you answer the questions. The best advice I see in this post is DON’T GO unless there is no other option.