Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wonderful Social Security

OK, before I get too far, I just want to say this is not political.

On Nathanial’s birth certificate and social security card, someone spelled his name wrong, more than likely the hospital staff. So I ordered a new birth certificate with it spelled correctly and called the federal social security office. First, they told me I had to legally change his name. WHAT?!?!? I think not, it’s ONE letter people! Then, after talking to a few different people, they said once I had the corrected birth certificate, they could call it a clerical error and would fix it without us having to legally change his name if I did it before he was 12 months old and ALL I would need was the corrected birth certificate. The birth certificate came last week, so today I loaded everyone up and headed to the wonderful local social security office. First of all, why do they put the social security office in the MOST unsafe neighborhood??? OK, so I got over that (really I had no choice) and we headed in. We are greeted at the door by a uniformed security guard (gun and all) and asked for ID. I realize after 9/11 they have to do this and I am actually happy that they do do it, it’s just a little scary and I hadn’t prepared Aidan for it so it freaked him out, then he was fascinated by it. There were only two people ahead of us, so I’m thinking Yay!!! I’ll get out of here quick. RIGHT! This is the government we’re talking about, but I conveniently forgot that for a second. I wait and wait and wait for about 15 minutes. Now what I want is fairly straight forward. Change the e to an a. HA! I get up to the glass patrician with the little hole in it to talk to the wonderful lady behind it. I said here is the form and the documents to change the clerical error on his social security card. She looks at me and DEAD SERIOUS asks to see Nathanial’s PHOTO ID!!! I almost laughed, until I realized she was serious. I looked at her and said “um, he’s not even 7 months old…see??” She said she needed a form of identification. I said you have it…his birth certificate! She needed more proof than that, on top of my driver’s license and my social security card. So she wanted to see his Title 19 card. Um, WHAT???!?? We are not ON Title 19! So then she asked to see his insurance card. I said Sure. I whip it out and she said “It says ‘Steve’ on here.” REALLY??!?? I had NO idea! I explained it is a family plan and we are covered under Steve’s name. So then she proceeds to ask for his immunization records. Ah, yes, well, I would carry that everywhere with me of course, if I had one! Whatever! So then she says she cannot process the request because I do not have “proper” identification on A SEVEN MONTH OLD!!!! (OK, so she said Nathanial.) She needed me to go to the doctor, have him write a letter with Nathanial’s name (spelled correctly of course), birthdate, patient number, on his letterhead. It’s a good thing we go to a small practice and I know everyone there, because this is sooo stupid I honestly didn’t think anyone would believe me! Then I asked if he could fax it. Oh, no, cannot do that…it has to be the original letter and I need to drive it back down there (mind you, they’re an hour away, in a nasty neighborhood). I said you have GOT to be kidding! I have five kids, three of whom are seven months old, one who is four and having a BLAST in your waiting room, and an autistic 12 year old…did you not SEE how much fun we had today waiting??? At this point, Aidan was UNDER the stroller making loud car noises and everything else. And, yet, I am supposed to gather them ALL up and take them back?!?!? After I pointed this out to her (politely, I honestly was very polite through all this), she said that she could “authenticate” the birth certificate and form right there and then I could mail the letter back certified mail in their envelope. Fine, whatever, do it. So that took her another 30 minutes to just do that! I got back in the car to call Steve (told him he wouldn’t believe what we had been through) when I looked at the clock and saw that we had been in there an HOUR and a HALF!!! No wonder Aidan was no longer sitting still and Noah was having a tizzy! I called the doctor’s office and I do, indeed, now have the letter in my possession and it is getting mailed today.

No comments: