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How to Read a Social Security Disability Award Letter in New Orleans
If you get a Social Security Disability award letter in the mail, it means you’ve finally reached a positive end to a hard process after months or maybe years of waiting. What a welcome relief.
You may think there’s nothing left for you to do. But there are some things you need to know to make sure your benefits get started correctly.
For more on understanding the Social Security disability award letter, keep reading.
What’s in the Social Security Disability Award Letter?
You could get the award letter after your initial application. Or maybe you’ve already appealed a denial and spoken to an administrative law judge before you receive the award.
The letter contains important information about your back benefits and your benefits going forward.
Your letter will include most or all of this:
- The date when Social Security determined you officially had a disability
- The date when you qualified to start getting benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, which falls 5 months after the date when you officially had a disability
- The amount of back benefits you will receive to cover any time you’ve been waiting since the date you qualified for benefits
- How your payments are calculated
- The date when you should receive a lump sum payment of your back benefits
- The amount of your monthly benefits going forward
- When your monthly payments will begin
- The date when you will be eligible for health care coverage through Medicare, which falls 29 months after your first official disability date
- What year your disability eligibility will come up for review
What Do I Need To Do Now?
You’re mostly set to start receiving the disability income you need to steady your life after health problems disrupted it.
You may, however, still need to do a few things:
- Update your contact information to be sure Social Security can continue reaching you about your benefits.
- Give Social Security your banking account information, so they can electronically deposit your money. Social Security might already have your account number if you provided it with your initial application. If not, you can call or visit your local Social Security office, and tell them your banking information.
- Pay attention to whether your benefits start within 30 days. If your payments don’t start coming in a timely fashion, it means officials at Social Security forgot to activate your benefits. This is a simple step for them, but sometimes they overlook it. You need to call your Social Security office to remind them. Or, get your disability advocate to call. A disability advocate like Gary Sells knows what to tell the Social Security office to get your benefits moving.
When You’re Getting Both SSI and SSDI
Often, the first part of your payments will come from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which is one of the two disability programs run by Social Security.
SSI is designed for people with limited income and resources, who often don’t have a recent history of working and paying into Social Security. The other disability program, SSDI, is for people with more significant work records.
- But even if your main benefit will be SSDI, you may qualify for SSI for the months when you couldn’t work — and had little or no income — but you had not yet reached the five-month basic waiting period for SSDI.
- After the five-month SSI payment, most of the time, your SSDI payments kick in and you stop receiving SSI.
Get Help Getting Your Benefits Started
Disability advocate Gary Sells knows how this system works and can make sure you get the payments you’re supposed to get, when you’re supposed to get them, after you receive your long-awaited and much-needed award letter from Social Security.
Gary Sells and his team also help if you still need to apply for Social Security Disability benefits in the New Orleans area, or appeal a denial.
Gary has helped thousands of people get the financial help they need to put their lives back on track after a health crisis.