So, you’ve applied for Social Security disability. You’ve gone through the process of applying and have been patiently waiting for your case to be reviewed. You may find yourself wondering, “How do I know if my disability is approved?” The disability approvals process can be long and complex, so it’s important for you to understand the best way to check your application, what it will look like if you are approved, and what to do if your claim is denied.
How Can I Check the Status of My Application?
After you fill out and submit your initial application, there are several ways for you to check in on the status of your claim. In fact, this is recommended – by checking in periodically, you will be able to quickly know if your claim is delayed for any reason or address any additional needs from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
You can check the status of your application in any of the following ways:
- Reaching out to the examiner assigned to your case. You can usually find a name and phone number at the end of the notices you receive after filing your claim;
- Contacting your local SSA office;
- Checking your claim online if you submitted it through the SSA website.
Additionally, if you are being represented by a disability lawyer, they will also be able to do status checks to determine how processing is going.
How Do I Know If My Disability is Approved?
Whether your claim is approved or denied, you will receive mail notifying you of the SSA’s determination of disability.
If your disability application is approved, you will receive one or more Notice of Award letters. If your claim is denied, you will receive a denial letter titled Notice of Disapproved Claim.
The Notice of Award letter will contain the following information:
- Date from which you can start collecting payments
- Amount of benefits you are entitled to receive
- Amount of back pay you are entitled to receive
- Amount you owe your legal representative (if applicable)
- Taxability of your disability benefits
Noting the date you became eligible for disability benefits is essential, as this will determine how much back pay you are entitled to. This date is often the date you made your first intent to file a claim with the SSA, but you can sometimes be eligible for benefits up to one year prior to your application. Working with an experienced disability attorney before you reach this stage of the process is extremely helpful – they will be able to help ensure you’re receiving the benefits you are entitled to receive.
How Long Does It Take to Receive the Approval Letter?
How long it takes to receive an approval letter from the SSA can depend, particularly on the volume of cases they are processing. You will typically receive either a Notice of Disapproved Claim or a Notice of Award within three to six months of submitting your disability claim, though if your claim requires a hearing before an administrative law judge, it can take much longer. If that is the case, you can expect to receive the Notice of Decision from your judge first, followed by the Notice of Award several weeks later.
What Should I Do If My Claim is Denied?
If your claim is denied, don’t panic – denials are very common with disability benefits. Once you receive notice that your initial claim has been denied, you have 60 days to file an appeal, so it’s important to work quickly.
The attorneys at Woodruff & Mathis can work with you on the next steps in this process: obtaining additional evidence needed, pulling records from medical providers, and helping you submit a Request for Reconsideration.
If you are working through the Social Security disability process and find yourself wondering, “How do I know if my disability is approved?” look no further than the attorneys at Woodruff & Mathis. Request an appointment with us today!