When applying for Social Security Disability Benefits, there are multiple forms that require the claimant's signature. As of 2010, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) requires you to file an original signature, or as SSA refers to it, a "wet" signature, for forms SSA 16 and SSA 827. I submit all the paperwork on your behalf. I fax your entire application to your local/field SSA office, and mail your original signatures on the SSA 16 and SSA 827. I use this same process with each and every claim I submit to field offices located throughout the country. The process works smoothly, that is except for the field office located in Patchogue.
Very simply, all the local office has to do is open the mail that I sent them, take out the original documents that are enclosed, and associate them with the application that I faxed. The faxed documents have a cover letter explaining that while I am faxing all of the attached forms, I am also mailing the original SSA 16 and SSA 827. Incredibly, each and every time we mail the original documents to Patchogue, they claim to never receive them. Is it possible that the USPS has a vendetta against the Patchogue office that results in mail being lost? I don’t think so. No other office anywhere in the country has a problem with receiving my mail, and associating the documents with claim files.
Continuing problems with Patchogue has forced me to contact the Social Security Public Affairs Branch on numerous occasions to assist getting the applications processed. Not surprisingly, shortly after I contacted Public Affairs, I received the "filing" receipt from the Patchogue office, which means they were able to find the forms they claimed to never have received, and process the claimant's application.
Beware when dealing with the incompetents at the Patchogue field office. I now ask my clients to sign the SSA 16 and SSA 827 in duplicate when they live within the Patchogue office’s jurisdiction because I know that Patchogue will claim they never received them. It is noteworthy that Patchogue claims never to have received mail I sent them even when it was sent certified. In fact, it happened so many times that I stopped sending certified mail to Patchogue because it served no purpose. To avoid delays due to Patchogue’s incompetence, make sure you sign extra copies of forms SSA 16 and SSA 827.