The Social Security Disability award letter serves as the official notification that an application for disability benefits has received approval. The Social Security Administration (SSA) lets applicants know they will start receiving benefits by sending a letter.
The letter arrives in the mail, informing the applicant of the good news and letting them know the details of their disability award. In most cases, the recipient begins receiving their disability benefits the first full month after getting their award letter.
If the applicant received a denial benefits, they receive a letter explaining the reasons for the rejection.
The disability attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help you understand what the Social Security Disability award letter is. If you received a denial, we can go over your appeals options. Call us today at 866-628-8179 for a free consultation.
What Is the Social Security Disability Award Letter?
The award letter is the official method of communication the SSA uses to notify an applicant that they qualify for benefits. Generally, the SSA does not make phone calls, send emails, or use text messages to notify people of their application status. If you have an application pending, you simply have to wait for an award letter or denial letter to arrive in the mail.
What Information Does the Letter Include?
Your award letter includes several important pieces of information about your new benefits. The most important piece of information is that your application received approval and you will start receiving benefits the following month.
The letter also informs you of:
- The date you are eligible to receive benefits;
- The amount of your monthly benefit award; and
- The date you should expect to receive your first disability check.
Be aware that the date your eligibility begins is usually much earlier than the date you receive your first check—or even the date you receive your award letter.
This is because all applicants are eligible to collect benefits starting from the date the SSA received their application. In other words, if you applied for benefits in January but did not receive your award letter until August—which means you can probably expect to receive your first benefit check in September—the SSA owes you benefits covering the period from January to August.
You receive this money, called back pay, either in a lump sum or an installment payment over three months.
Some applicants are eligible to receive payment starting even earlier, going all the way back to the date they first became disabled. This is retroactive pay. It is payable once the SSA approves your application.
How Long Does It Take to Receive My Award Letter?
The SSA makes no guarantees as to a time frame for benefit approval. In general, however, you can expect a decision within three to five months. Thus, if you submit a claim for benefits in January, you should keep an eye out for an award letter starting in March. Ideally, you should get it by May at the latest. This time frame can change, as it is largely dependent on the volume of open disability applications at any given time.
What If I Receive a Denial Instead of an Award Letter?
If you received a denial, you have the right to appeal the SSA’s decision. The first step is to ask for a reconsideration, at which point a different person at the SSA will review your application. If you receive a subsequent denial, you can present your claim to an administrative law judge (ALJ). Our attorneys can handle your appeal, represent you before the ALJ, and make a strong case for disability benefits on your behalf.
How Can I Schedule a Free Consultation With a Disability Lawyer?
The team at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, wants to help you win the disability benefits you deserve. Our attorneys focus on disability and we have a strong track record of winning benefits for our clients. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 866-628-8179.