Once you are approved for benefits, you will receive a letter from the judge explaining her decision. Your local Social Security Administration (“SSA”) office should receive the same letter. Then you will receive a letter or a series of letters stating how much your monthly checks will be and how much back pay you owe. If you are approved for disability benefits the SSA will contact you to schedule an appointment with them. When you go in for your appointment they will work out the details with you about where your check is going. This usually happens within a month or two of your favorable decision. If it takes more than about 6 months to hear from them about your checks, and you have called them to ask and nothing has happened, then you should contact a lawyer. At that point it might be necessary to start looking into filing a “Writ of Mandamus” through the courts to order the SSA to start your checks. If the lawyer you contact does not know the word “mandamus” then do not hire that lawyer.
Sometimes a judge requires a disability recipient to have a “representative payee”. That usually happens when a person has a diminished mental capacity or a history of severe substance abuse. The disability recipient is able to provide input in the decision making process about who might be an appropriate person. Sometimes a person picks a friend or family member. The SSA must approve your choice. If you do not know anyone who would be appropriate, there might be an accountant in your area who is willing to act as representative payee for folks at a reduced rate. Ask the staff at your local SSA office if there is a person in your area who might be willing to act as your representative payee.