Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Requirements for Disability
Applications for disability
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after a Denial
Mental Disability Benefits
Denials for Disability
Appeals for denied claims
Disability Benefits from SSA
Child Disability Benefits
Qualifications and How to Qualify
Working and Disability
Disability Awards and Notices
Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys
Social Security List of Conditions
What Social Security considers disabling
Medical Evidence and Disability
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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The Social Security Award Notice after Disability Benefits are Awarded
If the Social Security Administration determines that you are entitled to Social Security Disability and/or Supplemental Security income disability benefits (SSI), they will send an official award notice that provides an explanation of their decision, when you are entitled to disability benefits, and how much you will get each month.
Award letters generally do not include the amount of your back payment, if indeed you are entitled to any. Social Security does not provide this in the award notice because there may be deductions from the back pay amount.
For instance, Social Security pays attorneys or representatives (if the non-attorney has fee withholding privileges, their fee will be withheld from your back payment just as an attorney’s would be) their fees and reduces any Social Security disability back pay amount by the amount of SSI benefits paid to the disability beneficiary. SSI is a need based disability program, so all moneys must be paid back to the program if possible.
There is no way to gauge how long it will take to get your award notice if you are awarded benefits because it really depends upon the level of the Social Security disability process at which you are approved for benefits. If you are awarded disability benefits at the initial disability claim or reconsideration appeal level, there is a good chance that you will receive your award letter within a few days of the medical determination -- unless your disability claim has to be processed at the payment center rather than the automated process.
If your disability benefits were awarded at an administrative law judge hearing, it could take a few weeks to get your actual award letter. Although you may have received a notice of decision from the hearings office already.
The notice of decision will explain the judge’s decision to award you benefits and when they determined that you were disabled under the Social Security disability guidelines.
The actual award letter from an administrative law judge hearing may take longer to receive because Social Security disability hearing awards are sent to payment centers for processing rather than back to the local Social Security office. However, the hearing’s award notice contains the same information as the award notices sent to individuals who are approved for benefits at the initial disability and reconsideration appeal.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria