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Social Security Disability Award Letter Following an Approval



 
"My friend received her decision letter on Sept. 14 and still has not received an award letter or any benefits. They also told her that each time she calls and they note it in the system that it causes a further delay in the processing of her benefits and gets handed off to someone new. Is there anything that can be done to speed them along? What are her legal rights?"

It is difficult to give you an answer to this question because I do not know at which level in the disability process your friend received her decision letter. I find it hard to believe that she would get approved at the disability application or reconsideration appeal level, receive a letter 09/14, and still not be in pay status. Which, leads me to believe that your friend received her decision from an administrative law judge and that her claim was forwarded to a payment center for processing.

Most hearing decisions have to be manually processed by payment centers, and there are things that can delay processing. For instance, did your friend have workman's compensation benefits or has she received anything from the SSI program? If an individual receives any benefits from the SSI disability program it creates a windfall offset that could take more time to process. Or, if she has received no pay, has any additional information been requested from her?

Unfortunately, she has no legal recourse with this kind of situation and there may be some truth to what you mentioned, that every time she calls there may be more of a delay in the processing. When calls are received, there is an automatic input to get someone to take a look at the situation and that may mean it gets passed on to another person for review. They may not be saying that as a "threat", it may simply be the truth.

It is unlikely at this point that there is anything she can do to speed the processing along. She could have her congressperson check the status of the claim...there is no guarantee this will speed it along but sometimes it does help once a medical decision has been made.

Like I said, this is conjecture as I have no specifics about your friend's disability claim.

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For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.