ok. after 7 months post hearing I got my approval letter the 26th of last month. heard nothing all month, called local SS office yesterday. they said the lump sum ~ let me repeat this ~ THE LUMP SUM ~ had been released. it's in the bank today( It's so pretty!) I STILL have no written communication; my monthly check should start next month she says and they are deducting Medicare from it (have yet to hear from them either) several people have wondered if he fact that this is an election year might spur things on? and also, all this happened within a month after contacting Sen McCaskill's office. coincidence? I REALLY doubt it.