What Is Covered in a Disability Award Letter?

If Social Security approves your disability claim, it will send you an award letter. A disability award letter will include:

  • the date from which Social Security will begin paying your benefits (your established onset date)
  • the amount of your monthly disability check
  • the amount of any retroactive benefits (backpay) that Social Security owes to you, and
  • the date you will receive your first payment.

The award letter will also tell you about your right to appeal if you disagree with the award. (You might believe your onset date should have been earlier and thus the amount of your backpay higher.) You have 60 days from the day you receive the letter to file a request for reconsideration.

If you misplace your award letter, you might find that you need another copy later to prove your income when you apply for other benefits or for consumer credit. You can request a proof of income letter online or from your local Social Security office.

Learn how long it takes to get an award letter from Social Security.

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