Learn how you will find out whether your application for Social Security disability benefits has been approved, and what to do if you are denied.

Disability Approval Letters and Other Indications of Approval

The Social Security Administration will send you a letter telling you whether your application for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits has been approved or denied; however, an approval letter may not be the first indication that you have been approved on initial claim or reconsideration appeal. 

If you gave Social Security your banking information for direct deposit, you are likely to receive a deposit to your bank account before you receive a letter. So, if you think that it’s about time for you to get a decision, check your accounts every few days for a deposit from the U.S. Treasury. If you applied online, you can check the status of your claim by going to your“My Social Security” account.

If you get a payment before you receive a letter, you can either wait for the explanatory approval letter, which may come up to two weeks later, or you can call the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 for an explanation of the deposit and information about your ongoing benefits or back pay.

Another way you may find out about your approval is by a phone call from the Social Security Administration. If some additional information or documentation is needed to start disability payments. Also, if you have eligible dependents, Social Security may call you or your spouse to complete an application for the children, which, of course, is a sign your claim has been approved. 

Hearing Decisions

If your claim is at a hearing level appeal, you will always receive the hearing decision in a letter mailed to you well before payment is sent.

What If I Get A Denial Letter or a Partial Approval Letter?

If you receive an approval letter that is only partially favorable or you receive a denial letter, review the letter carefully. If you disagree with the reasons for denial or limitation of your claim, you have the right to appeal or have an attorney appeal your application for Social Security Disability benefits. 

Will the Social Security Administration contact me after my disability benefits start?

See when the Social Security Administration may contact you and learn about precautions you can take against identity theft.

Notification of Benefit Changes

The Social Security Administration will contact you by mail to notify you of increases in your benefit amount caused by a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) or the crediting of additional earnings. 

Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR’s)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will also send you a letter and may call you when they need to verify that you are still disabled and eligible for disability benefits. 

SSI Redeterminations

When you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), SSA will typically contact you annually to conduct a redetermination of your financial eligibility for SSI benefits.

Other SSA-initiated Contact

Representative payees are contacted annually to account for the use of benefits that they are receiving on another person’s behalf. If you work, you may be contacted to provide more information about your work activity especially if you did not report the work.

On rare occasion, a representative of Social Security might visit you at your home, but it is a good idea to be alert to possible scams. If someone claiming to be a Social Security representative shows up at your door and displays a Social Security Administration identification badge (anything is easy to counterfeit these days), it’s a good idea to verify that the person is really from the SSA before letting them into your home or providing any information. 

Similarly, if someone phones you and asks for your Social Security number, do not reveal it. SSA employees will not ask for your Social Security number. For security, call or visit your local Social Security office and ask if someone was actually sent to see you or called you. (If you are doing business with an organization that already has your Social Security number such as a bank and you are asked to verify the number, verify only the last four digits and not even that if you feel uncomfortable.)

The Social Security Administration never contacts you by phone or email to ask for your Social Security number, to say that your Social Security number has been compromised, or to otherwise scare you into responding. Such calls or emails are likely scams. If you have any doubt about a call you receive, do not provide any information and contact your Social Security office to see whether they have any inquiry in process that you need to respond to.