Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Disability Denials and Filing Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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Receiving a Social Security Disability Award Letter
How does Social Security notify individuals that their claim has been approved for Social Security disability? Social Security notifies all individuals who apply for disability benefits by mail. If your disability claim has been approved, you will receive an award letter and if your claim has been denied you will receive a denial letter.
What does kind of information is included in a Social Security award letter? A Social Security award letter will include the following information:
How long does it take to receive an award letter?
Just how long does it takes to receive a Social Security disability or SSI award letter, depends upon the level at which your disability claim is approved. For instance, if you receive an approval for SSD or SSI at the initial claim (meaning the disability application level) or reconsideration appeal level, you may receive your disability award letter within three months.
However, if you do not receive your disability approval until the disability hearing level, you will first receive a letter from the hearing office stating you have been approved. This letter is a Notice of Decision. However, your actual award letter or Notice of Award, that spells out how much money you will receive--and when--may take another six weeks or so to arrive.
Why does the social security disability award letter take so long to arrive when a case is at the hearing level? This is because the hearings offices send all of their allowances to regional payment centers to be processed. These payment processing centers have huge volumes of cases to process and are understaffed. This, of course, means that the time required for receiving an award letter will be longer.
But in some instances, the system is fairly unpredictable. For example, it happens fairly regularly that a claimant who has been approved may even receive their first Social Security benefits before they have received their official Social Security award letter.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions