Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Patchogue Incompetence

Claimants frequently wonder why it takes so long to have their Social Security Disability (“SSD”) applications processed. One reason is that many of the people working at the District Offices simply are incompetent. The worst in the area seems to be Patchogue where even the District Manager is worthless.

I filed a claimant’s application on May 14, 2010 by certified mail. I now use certified mail because too often the District Offices had claimed that they never received documents I sent via first class mail. On July 8, 2010, I filed an appeal on line, for which I received electronic written confirmation of the filing. It took my office four calls and two faxes before we were finally told on October 6, 2010 that the file had not been transferred to the hearing office because Patchogue claimed it never received my client’s application. I immediately faxed Patchogue copies of the letters that they had sent me, including one confirming receipt of the application.

After leaving messages on October 7 and 8, 2010 that went unreturned, on October 12, 2010, a Ms. Greco said they now had not received the July 8, 2010 appeal. Therefore, my office immediately faxed the appeal to a Ms. Shami, and requested a call confirming that she had received it. In typical fashion, there was no return call. On October 18, 2010, two more messages were left for Patchogue, where after being left on hold for 15 minutes, the call was disconnected. A third call and fax to Ms. Fusilli were needed, and the appeal was now sent for the third time. After another call, Ms. Shami asked for some of the same application forms that had been sent via certified mail on May 14, 2010.

The requested application forms were faxed yet again on October 19, 2010, and requested confirmation that they were received, which of course did not happen. The next day, another message was left for Ms. Shami, who again failed to confirm receipt of the prior day's fax.

On October 27, 2010, my office faxed another application form to Ms. Shami, and asked for a confirmatory call. The next day, Ms. Shami actually left a message that she had received the form 4184. When nothing was heard on the claim, on November 4, 2010, Shami was called about the form 4184, and because she was not available, another one was faxed twice, even though she had previously confirmed its receipt on October 28, 2010.

On November 5, 2010, Ms. Shami now claimed that Patchogue never had received the application or appeal, so it was now faxed for the fifth time. Later that day, Ms. Shami confirmed that she had now received everything that she needed to process the application.

On November 12, 2010, two messages were left for a Mrs. Ross because we were told that Ms. Shami no longer worked there. On November 16, 2010, a Mrs. Scott said that she had to speak with Mrs. Fusilli. The next day a message was left for Ms. Scott because no answer was received. On November 19, 2010, Ms. Fusilli transferred my office’s call to a Mrs. Turner, who said she was working on the file, that everything seemed to be there, and she would call the next day.

On December 17, 2010, another message was left for Ms. Turner, which was followed up with a fax. It took three calls on December 22, 2010 to get through to Ms. Turner, including being put on hold for 15 minutes and then getting disconnected. Later that day, Ms. Turner said that the claim had to be appealed again.

On January 4, 2011, a Mrs. Peterson asked for a fax of the appeal, and she confirmed receiving it. The following day, another message was left for Ms. Peterson to make sure the file was being transferred to the hearing office. On January 18, 2011, the hearing office had not received the file, and another message was left with Ms. Turner at Patchogue. When that call was not returned another message was left with her on January 24, 2011, and then again on January 27, 2011.

On January 28, 2011, after sending another fax to Patchogue about transferring the file, my office was told the appeal had been sent to Jericho on January 4, 2011. However, when Jericho was called, they said they had received nothing from Patchogue. On February 1, 2011, Jericho still had received nothing from Patchogue, so another message was left with Ms. Turner at Patchogue, but not before the first call required being placed on hold for 15 minutes and then getting disconnected.

On February 7, 2011, my office spoke with a Mrs. Heeber, who stated that there was nothing in the file. A call was then placed to District Manager Grabiner. My assistant stated that we had sent all the documents multiple times, to which Grabiner said "Jeff Delott always says that". Of course I say that because I send everything to the SSA with fax confirmation, certified mail confirmation, and electronic confirmation from the SSA because of their history of claiming they don't receive documents. Grabiner then said that we had been lying because we had not sent his office any documents. When asked why her calls were never returned, Grabiner told my assistant that it wasn’t his job to know.

In short, rather rectifying the countless errors by those under his charge, Grabiner claimed that no errors had ever occurred because no documents had ever been sent to his office. Moronically, Grabiner said that certified mail, fax, and SSA electronic receipt confirmations did not prove anything. It is hard to imagine a more egregious instance of complete incompetence, negligence, and arrogance by a civil servant. It is people like Grabiner, and his utter failure to supervise those under his charge properly, that results in claimants having to wait needlessly long periods of time before receiving their SSD benefits.

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