What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
The Social Security Award Notice after Disability Benefits are Awarded
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
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: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials