When Your SSDI Award Letter Is Not That Rewarding

When you are approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you might be relieved and pleased. However, many SSDI claimants are more confused than happy when they receive this letter. When issues crop up with your award letter, know where to turn.

Understanding Your Award Letter

This letter usually follows a successful application for benefits. However, it may also follow an appeal for previously denied benefits. These letters are not often timely, and they may reference events that took place many weeks ago. The letter will contain a lot of information such as:

  • Onset date (the date the SSA has agreed that you became unable to work).
  • When your benefits will begin.
  • Back pay, which is a lump sum payment covering the months you are owed since you became disabled.
  • When your back pay will be provided.
  • How much you can expect in monthly payments and when to expect them each month.
  • When you can expect to undergo a review (continuing disability review) of your disability.

When Your Letter Is Problematic

Unfortunately, the SSA can make mistakes and your letter could be wrong about any of the above issues. You may also disagree with the amount you are awarded in back pay or with your regular benefits. Part of the letter will explain what you can do if you believe the letter is in error or want to challenge some aspect of it. You have the right to appeal anything contained in the letter. For example, you might disagree with the amount of your back pay lump sum payment. This payment should consist of your regular monthly payments multiplied by the number of months since you became eligible for benefits. However, the date you became disabled could be up for interpretation. Leaving off a month or two from your back pay could result in a loss of a lot of money.

How to Deal with Award Letter Problems

Pay attention to the appeal deadline on the letter and take action quickly. Speak to a Social Security lawyer for help in getting your benefits corrected. Don't worry, while you are appealing the award, you will continue to receive the benefits as stated in the letter. Once the award has been corrected, a new letter will be issued stating the corrected award along with the amount of the additional back pay that may be owed to you. Your lawyer will assist you during the awards appeal process and help you get your benefit amounts corrected. Speak to a Social Security Disability lawyer and find out more.