A: Fortunately for social Security disability clients, the law is very clear. Unless you and your lawyer agree to a different fee, your lawyer is limited to 25% of past-due benefits, with a cap of $6000. However, your lawyer does not "retain" this amount, as he or she never receives your back pay. Instead, if your fee agreement so provides, the Social Security Administration withholds the lawyer's fee from the back pay that is deposited in your bank account and sends only the fee to the lawyer.
A: Have you asked your lawyer why she took this action? Ordinarily, a lawyer would consult with her client first. She may feel that your case is not ready for a hearing because she only just became involved. I urge you to talk with her.
A: Every state has a number of offices that decide Social Security disability actions. The first place is your local Field office; the second place that a decision may occur is at the Disability Determination Service of your State, and the third decisionmaker is the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review.