Approved for Disability

A Notice of Award will be mailed to you!

You have been patiently waiting for months or even years as the case may be and now your Social Security Administration disability claim has been approved. Congratulations!

All individuals who have applied for disability benefits are notified by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This is usually by mail through the US Postal Service. The decision must be in writing. If your claim has been approved, you will receive a Social Security Disability award letter. Otherwise, you will receive a denial letter. Despite the fact that some judges will issue a “bench decision” at the hearing which indicates that you have won your case, it is not “official” until you have received your award letter.

After your Social Security Disability benefits have been approved, you will receive an awards letter confirming that you have qualified for Social Security Disability benefits.

The award letter contains the following information:

  • The date from which you will be entitled to collect disability payments,
  • The amount of your monthly Social Security Disability benefits, and
  • The date your monthly benefit will start,
  • The amount of your Back Pay,
  • The amount you owe your representative if you have one, and
  • The taxability of your benefits.

How long does it take to receive an award letter from Social Security after an application is approved?

It depends. Upon approval of your initial application, you will receive an award letter within three months of filing your application. This time of course, usually varies due to the overload of cases the Social Security Administration is processing.

If your application is not approved until you have a hearing before an administrative law judge, then it will take much longer to get an award letter. You will not receive your Notice of Award until you have received the Notice of Decision from the judge. The award notice usually comes a few weeks after receiving the decision.

When a case is awarded at the hearing level, the hearing office will send the decision to the regional payment center for processing. These payment centers which are often understaffed handle a large volume of cases. This means it will take even longer to receive an award letter.

If your Social Security Disability benefits were approved at some point in the appeal process, your award letter may take a longer time to reach you. In some cases, you may even begin to collect Social Security Disability benefits before you have received your award letter.

It is important you note the date which you became eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, as stated in your award letter.

In most cases, this will be the date you first made your intent to file known to the Social Security Administration. In other words, this is often the day you first filed a claim, though it may be sooner if you contacted the SSA regarding your intent to file for Social Security Disability benefits before actually filing your claim.

The eligibility date on your award letter will assist the Social Security Administration to determine how much back pay you are entitled to. Generally speaking, should you receive an award letter; you will be entitled to Social Security Disability back pay dating to your initial claim. The best and fastest way means of receiving an award letter is to allow a competent and experienced Social Security attorney work with you through all stages of the Social Security Disability application process.

If you are represented by a disability attorney, he will be able to do periodic status checks as to how the processing of your back pay is going.

Contact a seasoned, highly experienced and compassionate disability attorney who is based at San Diego, California, to help you answer any questions you have about your Back Pay, your ongoing monthly benefit, and your fee agreement, in the weeks that follow the receipt of your Notice of Award.