After the Social Security Disability Hearing

When You Get Your Decision

When your decision arrives, make sure that your lawyer received a copy. Your copy and your lawyer’s copy of the decision are supposed to be sent to each of you on the same day. However, every once in a while, because of a hearing office mistake, your lawyer may not be sent a copy of the decision. When this happens, your lawyer doesn’t know what is going on in your case. Your lawyer won’t know, for example, whether the favorable decision contains an error that needs to be corrected right away; your lawyer won’t be able to monitor payment of your benefit; and your lawyer won’t know if you received a denial decision that needs to be appealed.

So, win or lose, call your lawyer’s office when you get a decision to find out if your lawyer received a copy.

If You Lose

Sometimes good, well presented cases are lost. It is hard to figure out why, but it happens. There are usually some possibilities for appeal. If you lose, be sure to consult with your lawyer right away about appealing your case. Do this as soon as possible. It is absolutely essential that you appeal to the Appeals Council within 60 days of the judge's decision or you will lose your right to appeal.

Attorney Fees

If your fee agreement with your lawyer calls for the attorney fee to be 25 percent of back benefits up to a maximum amount set by the Commissioner of Social Security (currently $5,300), the Social Security Administration will withhold the attorney fee and, assuming neither you nor the judge objects to the fee, SSA will send that money to your lawyer. Although it's your money, you're not involved in paying it. But you will have to pay expenses directly to your lawyer if your fee agreement calls for you to reimburse your lawyer for expenses..