SPRING HILL, Fla. (WFLA) — Like many new brides, nurse Kelle Derrickson wants to change her last name to share her husband’s name. Her quest to do so hit a dead end at the Social Security Administration office in Dade City.
Derrickson and her husband Stephen Stanforth called the office to find out how to proceed, since obtaining a social security card with your married name is the first step in legally changing your name.
The office was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and remains closed, in part because of extensive renovations. The solution, she was told, was to mail her original to their office, which she did.
After months of different answers about why she had not received her social security card and marriage license, she says a manager told her it had been “misplaced.”
“’We are doing renovations,'” Stanforth said she was told. ‘”Your document is in a box somewhere, and when we are finished with renovations…we will find it.'”
Without the original marriage certificate, the government would not issue a new social security card with her married name. And without that, she could not change her name legally on everything else like her driver’s license and her professional license as a nurse.
So she turned to Better Call Behnken for answers. The manager at the Dade City office had no interest in speaking with Investigator Shannon Behnken, but a spokesman at the Atlanta regional office for the Social Security administration did.
“It’s unfortunate,” said spokesman Frank Viera. “We’ll make sure we get in touch with her to resolve this issue.”
Within hours, Derrickson says the manager from Dade City called to say her certificate is in one of about 80 boxes, but she has not found it yet.
After questions from Better Call Behnken, however, a compromise was offered. Derrickson says she was told the office would make an exception. After obtaining an official copy of the certificate, they will issue a social security card with her married name, and then continue looking for the original.
“I feel like we’re making progress,” Derrickson said.
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