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Once You are Approved for SSD Benefits: What Happens Next?

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

Going through the application process for Social Security Disability benefits can be draining and time-consuming.

However, after a long waiting period, the Social Security Administration (SSA) notifies you that you qualify for social security disability insurance (SSDI) based on your disability claim. But what happens next?

Notice of Decision

After you receive approval for social security disability benefits, the SSA will send you a Notice of Decision. There are two different approval decisions. One is fully favorable, and the other is partially favorable. You can determine which of these you receive by looking at the Established Onset Date included in your notice.

A fully favorable decision means that the onset date chosen matches the date you stopped working. If the letter lists a different onset date, then you have received a partially favorable approval decision.

Notice of Award

Within one to three months following approval of your claim, you will receive a Notice of Award. This document provides more information on your award, including:

  • Amount of monthly benefits
  • The month you will begin receiving disability payments
  • Any lump sum payment due you for past-due disability back pay
  • When to expect lump sum payment
  • A schedule of continuing disability reviews

You can select to receive disability checks into your bank account through direct deposit or have them added to a payment card similar to a debit card. You’ll receive your first payment two to three months after receiving the award letter.

Consider if You Need to Appeal the Award Decision

Review the notice of award carefully, and if you disagree with any of it, you can appeal the decision by working with an experienced SSDI lawyer or law firm. If you believe the monthly award is too low or the back pay amount should be higher, contact a lawyer at our law firm who can advocate for you to receive the correct amount of benefits. However, you can only receive back pay for 12 months.

During an appeal, you will continue to receive the awarded amount, and if you win the appeal, they will adjust the amount you receive.

SSD benefits

Pre-Effectuation Review Conference

If, in addition to receiving SSDI benefits, you are approved to receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income SSI), you will be required to attend a pre-effectuation review conference, also known as PERC.

This conference confirms you are continuing to meet SSI’s financial eligibility guidelines.

Continuing Disability Reviews

Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) help the SSA determine whether your particular disability continues to prevent you from being gainfully employed. While you may become anxious about these reviews, most SSDI awarded recipients are approved for continuing benefits.

How often you need to attend these CDRs depends upon the medical category the SSA has assigned you to. They can fall anywhere between once every five to seven years to once every six to eighteen months (for medical improvement expected status).

Update Your Information Continuously

If any changes occur, that could affect your benefit eligibility, keep the SSA informed when they happen. These include changes in your medical condition or a change in your income status. Another area to keep SSA informed of is any benefits subject to offset, such as a workers’ compensation award.

Contact a Michigan SSDI Attorney for Help

While receiving notice that you’ve been approved for SSD benefits can be a relief, keeping up with what comes next can be challenging. The Social Security Disability attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help you stay on track and keep your benefit eligibility. Contact our law offices today at 866-MICH-LAW for a free consultation.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Emily is a writer and legal professional with experience as a law firm paralegal and non-profit legal administrator. Prior to her legal career, Emily earned her Bachelor's Degree in International Affairs and worked with a government consulting group out of Washington, D.C. Today she splits her time between the Florida coast and the North Carolina mountains.



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