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Understanding a Social Security Disability Award Letter

Published on January 10th, 2018

After being approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for disability support the claimant will receive a disability award letter outlining some key information. These letters are supplied regardless of whether the program being used is Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Disability Award Letter

The SSA notifies the approved individual by mail, and they usually include the following areas of information to help answer questions the recipient may have on their mind.

– How much will be received as a benefit every month

– What day of the month the payments will be issued on

– The calculation for any past-due benefits that were authorized

– The date when the first payment, including the past-due amount, will be sent

If applicants have further questions about the payments, they can contact the SSA via their website, customer service telephone number, mail or in person at a local field office and someone will help answer those questions as swiftly as possible.

One thing to keep in mind about receiving a disability award letter is that it may take some time from the approval until the letter is sent out and received. The most common time frame is between one and three months from when the decision has been made. In the meantime, keeping an eye out for a check from the SSA or a direct deposit can be proof of authorization for the award before the letter has been received. While it’s not common to start receiving payments before the award letter has been sent out, it does happen from time to time, depending on the backlog within the SSA.

If the award is less than the recipient believes they have proven they should be receiving, they can appeal to the Disability Determination Service (DDS). The manner in which an appeal can be carried out will be included in the award letter. Both the size of the monthly payments and the amount of any retroactive payments can be appealed. It may be in the best interest of any Social Security disability payment recipient to seek out legal advice from an experienced attorney if they need to proceed with the appeals process.

If an appeal for the established award is filed, the SSA will make the payments as determined in the award letter until the appeal has been satisfied. Payments won’t be stopped or altered due to an appeal, and any adjustments will be determined after the appeal has been finalized.


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