How Do You Know If Your Disability Claim Has Been Approved?

The Social Security Administration provides links online to check the application status of a disability claim. Enter the social security number and confirmation number of the applicable claim to receive the current status. Applicants will also receive a letter from the Social Security Administration whether benefits have been approved or denied. An applicant who provided bank deposit information may receive payment prior to the decision letter.

The Social Security Administration can be contacted by phone for an explanation of deposit and information about ongoing benefits and back pay. To receive benefits, an applicant must be disabled for at least five months prior to receiving benefits. Under the federal Social Security Disability Act, disability is defined as "inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physician or mental impairment which can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months or result in death." Processing time for disability claims can vary from one claim to another, but most claims are decided within 90 to 120 days. It is unusual to wait more than a year for a decision. About 70 percent of initial claims are denied, depending on the state in which the applicant lives. With legal representation at a hearing, the chance of winning disability benefits increases to about 40 percent.