Sunday, August 30, 2009

How long Does it take to get a Decision Letter for Social Security Disability?

Social Security has two disability programs, SSI or Supplemental Security Income disability and SSDI or Social Security disability. Although the non-disability criterions are unique to each program (i.e. SSI is a need based income and resource driven disability program and SSDI is based upon the insured status of the disabled individual), the medical determination for both programs is the same.

Social Security claims representatives evaluate an individual’s eligibility for both programs at the initial disability claims level. If an individual meets the resource and income limits of SSI and is insured for Social Security disability, their claim will be sent to the state disability agency as a concurrent disability claim. And, if an individual meets the criteria for one but not the other, their disability claim will be sent as either SSDI or SSI disability claims to the state disability agency for a medical determination.

Once the state disability agency makes their medical determination, most individuals will begin to receive letters. If an individual’s disability claim has been denied, they should expect to receive denial notices almost immediately. Social Security sends denial notices quickly, because an individual has only sixty-five days from the date of their denial to appeal the decision and begin the Social Security disability appeals process.

So what should an individual expect if they are approved for either disability program?

If an individual is approved for Social Security disability at the initial disability claims or reconsideration appeal level, they should expect an award letter within a few days unless there are other mitigating factors to their disability case such as workman’s compensation, capability development, or manual benefit computations (disability awards that cannot be processed through the regular computer process must be input manually be Social Security claims representatives).

Additionally, if an individual is approved for disability at the administrative law judge disability hearing, the award letter may be delayed somewhat due to the fact the judge’s decision must be prepared, then sent to the payment center for processing.

If an individual has a Supplemental Security Income disability or concurrent disability claim (Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income disability), their disability claim is always sent back to the local Social Security office for an end line review known as a PERC.

What is a PERC? This is a follow up interview to review the individual’s income and resources, in order to determine if they are still eligible to receive ongoing disability benefits or if the individual is entitled to receive SSI benefits for the five month mandatory Social Security disability waiting period.

Social Security disability program applicants can expect to receive letters about end line reviews and eligibility letters (either denials or approvals). In conclusion, there are no set times for disability applicants to receive a letter once a decision has been made in their case. However, Social Security attempts to send all disability notices promptly.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

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How Much Can You get in Monthly Social Security Disability Benefits?
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How often will social security review my disability claim ? (continuing disability review)
Herniated Disc, Social Security Disability SSI - Applying for Disability
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Disability Benefits for Mental Illness (bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression)
Filing for Disability - SSD application tips
Filing for Disability - Tips for Filing a Disability Appeal


Blogger She-She said...

My friend received her decision letter on Sept. 14 and still has not received an award letter or any benefits. They also told her that each time she calls and they note it in the system that it causes a further delay in the processing of her benefits and gets handed off to someone new. Is there anything that can be done to speed them along? What are her legal rights?

1:20 PM  
Blogger Disability Blogger said...

Hi, I responded to your questions here: Social Security Disability Award Letter Following an Approval

8:05 PM  

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