The Award Letter

Here's what you'll find out in your Social Security disability award letter.

At some point after a Social Security (or SSI) disability claim has been approved, the disability claimant receives a Social Security disability award letter. Award letters generally answer most of the benefit payment questions that disability claimants inevitably have, such as:

  • The amount to be received in monthly disability benefits.
  • What day of the month to expect the monthly benefits.
  • The amount to be received in past due benefits, or back pay.
  • The date that the check for past due benefits will be sent.

Typically, claimants can expect to receive Award Letters within one to three months from the date they are approved, but in many instances, the wait may be significantly shorter, or longer. Unfortunately, as with other aspects of SSA's disability system, the timing in this area is nearly impossible to gauge. For example, in a certain percentage of cases, the claimant will find that benefits have been deposited to his or her checking account before an Award Letter has even been received. In other cases, the wait may seem inordinately long (often due to backlogs at payment processing centers).

Here is a sample award letter.

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