What Is a Social Security Benefit Award Letter?

A Social Security award letter is the letter a disability applicant receives from the Social Security Administration that advises the applicant that his claim has been approved. The award letter usually arrives a few months after the claim for disability has been approved.

A person who applies for Social Security disability receives an award letter once his claim has been approved. An award letter generally answers most of the biggest questions a disability claimant is likely to have. The letter should outline how much the claimant may receive in monthly disability benefits, what day of each month the claimant should expect to receive payments, the amount of back pay that may be paid and the date when the claimant should expect back pay owed.

A claimant should expect to receive his award letter within two to three months from the date when the claim is approved, but some instances may require more time. It is not possible to gauge precisely how long the award letter takes for the claimant to receive. Some claimants may even find benefits deposited into their checking account before they even receive their award letter. One of the biggest reasons for the long wait is the backlog at processing centers.