Our office works extremely hard and has great success at wining Social Security Disability cases. Our goal is not just winning your case, our goal is also to get you as much back pay as possible when you win your case. Unfortunately, in many instances, the payment of your "retro check" or past due benefits is delayed by the slow moving Social Security bureaucracy. At that point, we get numerous calls from our clients wondering what has happened with their past due benefits. The truth is that we are not always able to explain to our clients why it takes so long to get paid. We can only guess and speculate what might be causing the delay. Here are some likely reasons why your retro check might be delayed and some of the things that you might be able to do to make the process move a little faster:
- My first word of advise is to be respectful of the fact that, if you have not received payment yet, your lawyer probably has not been paid either. Don't be demanding or abusive with your lawyer and/or his or her staff. Keep in mind that they probably have not been paid for their services and that their job was to prove your disability not to untangle the complex payment mistakes often made by the Social Security Administration.
- Make sure that you respond to any inquiries by telephone or mail from Social Security. Keep an eye on your mail and answer all your calls.
- Make sure that you provide the SSA with a routing number and a checking account number to allow them to deposit your check electronically into your banking account.
- Don't call Social Security repeatedly if you are trying to find out the status of your payment. Just call once every 30 to 45 days and politely ask if they are missing any information that they need to be able to process your payment. If they ask you for information, provide it to them as soon as possible. They might need to get information such as: the right spelling of your name, the identities and ages of your children, your tax returns, information on the jobs held during the period of disability, rent payments, welfare payments, workers compensation payments and settlements and income received during the period of disability. Don't question the need for the evidence requested. Don't act as if you don't have to give them the financial information. Don't complain about how difficult it is to get this information. Just get it to them! You won your case already. The time to argue is over. Now, the government has the right to ask you for all this information before they put you on pay status.
- Determine whether your case was an SSI claim or if it included and SSI claim and, whether you received any worker's compensation payments. If your case involved an SSI claim, the SSA will call you to schedule an interview. Be ready to address all your finances on the day of that interview. An ideal claimant should have an itemized statement of his or her finances; outlining all income and expenses made during the disability period. If you had a worker's compensation claim opened at any point in your life, be ready to provide an accounting of every single penny received from worker's compensation and provide a copy of all records in your comp file including any settlements