My SSI case is already lasting 2 years. I spent the first 1-1/2 years trying to prove my case medically, which I did, and was found medically eligible for SSI benefits. After that, I had to prove that I was non-medically eligible, which it was a clear-cut, easy case -- or so I thought. But I was denied benefits on those grounds -- non-medical ineligibility -- and was given no explanation of what it was that failed the eligibility test, despite my letters requesting this information and asking the local SSA office to state in writing the rules and regulations I was failing to meet. The SSA office did not provide me with this information. I appealed anyway, and I appealed well within the deadline they had given me. But the local SSA office sent me a letter notifying me that my case was dismissed because I had filed my appeal late and missed the deadline to appeal. I wrote back disputing that claim. In fact I've sent the local SSA office three letters disputing that claim. In my letters I included certificates of mailing for my appeal as well as certificates of mailing for my subsequent letters disputing their claim. I also included a copy of SSA's initial letter of denial showing that the deadline they gave me to appeal is what I claim they gave me, not what they now claim they gave me. I addressed these letters to the district manager. The problem here is that the local SSA office simply won't reply, and it makes no difference that I address my letters to the district manager. I've called the national SSA toll free number and asked how can I report/complaint about this situation and was told that I can't. According to the agent they do not have a system in place for this kind of complaints.
Questions: (1) Would my local SSA office be required to reply to a dispute letter in which I am claiming that my appeal was not late and I am including proof? (2) Upon request, would my local SSA office be required to state the eligibility rules and regulations that they claimed I failed to meet in the initial denial? (3) If SSA office is required to address my inquiries and dispute and is not doing so, is there really no entity within the SSA that I can contact for help sort out this situation? If at all possible, I'd like to avoid sharing with a lawyer the two years of back benefit payments that I believe I'm owed.