The problem with just filling out the forms was that I was supposed to account for work I'd done and they had one year of the self-employment and 11 years of the private disability insurance all as work income. And the form only let me mark Yes or No to whether I'd worked.
So yesterday, I looked up the 800 number and got an agent and explained to her. She said she could get me an appointment and I asked if I could get it at the Manassas office (about half-a-mile as the crow flies, a bit longer to go under the railroad on a road). She said yes and their first was March 12th. Well, that was a lot longer than 15 days! So she suggested I take my chances at the local office today to get instruction in what to do.
I went over to the office today, where the guard was rude to me ("So you thought you'd just come over?" after I explained that the appointment was too far away, and then I told her "That's what the agent said to do" and she said "Hmph"), and checked the Other Business box on the touch screen and got a slip of paper labelled D400. I went to sit in the front row where there were open seats (the seats were pointed perpendicularly to the counters, which they hadn't been before -- more privacy this way) and started reading an old WashPost. I paid attention to the numbers called and realized that the D numbers rotated and as they called 499, I got ready to stand up.
When the agent called 400, I waved at her and said "just a sec" because it was obvious to me that I couldn't just stand up. The chairs didn't have arms and while I have a method of getting up from unarmed chairs, I was afraid I couldn't do it because I'd been sitting up straight for an hour. So while I was trying different methods of getting a stable boost, a nice man behind me came and helped me up and then over to the counter, since I couldn't walk very well after sitting up straight that long, either.
The woman at the counter asked if I had proof that the income listed was private disability insurance and I showed it to her and explained that I had the private ins. before I got the SSA award, so SSA decreased their award when they gave it to me. Then the private ins. decreased their award because I had the SSA (sneaky insurance people!). That should all be in my record. She didn't know what I should do about the form, and went off to ask her supervisor while I leaned heavily on the counter. The supervisor says to make a big mark at that point and attach a letter that explains it all. Now, I had considered that, but I thought someone might have a fit, which was why I'd been trying to call the Greenbelt office for so long. I put my stuff back in the totebag and started to turn and started to fall. I grabbed the counter and didn't fall, and the nice man walked me out to the van. I managed to get in and stopped partway home to sit in the sunshine and let the warmth and a good chair make my back better, and then came home.
When I picked up the mail, I had a new copy of the forms, and a reminder that this was the second set they sent. I will write a polite letter, but I will also explain to them the problem with their phone number.
There was good news today, I got a pair of earrings I ordered from a friend's Etsy site: these but with siam red crystals in the beadcaps. I like the way they hit my neck when I move my head.