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How will I know whether my application for Social Security Disability benefits has been approved?

By   /  March 3, 2016  /  1,972 Comments

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

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Watch the Video: “How will I know whether my application for Social Security Disability benefits has been approved?”

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 benefits has been approved or denied; however, an approval letter may not be the first indication that you have been approved. 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 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, such as proof of your date of birth, is needed to start disability payments, Social Security will call you. Also, if you have eligible dependents, Social Security may call you or your spouse to make application for the children. For additional information about dependents benefits, visit our article “Can My Spouse and Children Get Benefits If I Am Approved for Social Security Disability?”

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. For information about how to appeal and the deadline for appealing, see our article “I Was Denied Social Security Disability. What Can I Do?”

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1,972 Comments

  1. LaQuitta says:

    Hi im anxiously awaiting another response from the courts after a second denial and a hearing. I feel like i’m losing my mind . Im fighting a losing battle with all the illnesses i have . In the last letter that I received from ssid it stated that I could work up to 20 hrs doing customer service work. Example working on the computer. I had experience doing that type of work over yrs ago. Now I cant sit or stand for long periods of times. It hurts when I try to was to dishes. So I dont. If the doctors state that you cant work or that you will need a break to lay down at least every mins, who is going to hire a person of that statue? The medications that I take have made me fall asleep while I was attemping to drive . So its either Im up three or four days and nights at a time and then all of a sudden the meds finially decide to drop down on me at once and work. I can no longer function like this! Im miserable -which is makikng my family miserabe. I wish I were dead most days. The illnesses that I have are not the type of one that impare the way you look. So WHAT!!!! I dont LOOK like there is nothis wrong with me . Im so tired of Life at this oint , i just wanna take my meds and sleep it all away. Then I take the meds and of course they dont work when I need them too, Who are the judgeds to say who is disablabled? Most times I dont remember the last few hrs , let alone my age and what I had for dinner last night . IM TIRED OF THE STRUGGLE

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear LaQuitta,

      If you are not getting help from a mental health professional now, doing so might help some. Also, you might try to find a support group for individuals with chronic pain. Sometimes being with people who have the same experience can help.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  2. Melissa Ortiz says:

    I applied for ssi for my 2yr old son that has Autism a speech disorder and a sensory disorder. My son recieves ABA OT and speech therapy. I applied June 13 2016. Yesterday i recieved a letter say he was approved for SSP and that his SSP bennifits will start in July and also another letter saying he was approved for Medicaid. Does these mean he was or will be approved for SSI? I’m confused i think its to soon to be approved what does this all mean? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Melissa,

      Sometimes State Supplemental Payments are payable when federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not payable because family income is too high. You should receive formal notification of SSI approval or denial or denial soon. If you do not receive anything within a week or ten days, I suggest that you check with the Social Security Administration to get a clarification.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Melissa Ortiz says:

        Thank you Kate for your reply.. My son was approved for both SSI and SSP i did not think he would be approved so quickly. Maybe his case went so smoothly because i had all the documents and he was diagnosed 8 months ago there was a long enough paper trail. Ty

  3. Lenny says:

    If I apply for SSD online and SSI and RSDI a few months later, How many decision notices/letters should I be receiving in total?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lenny,

      You would receive two letters each for SSD and SSI–one medical and one award letter with payment information–and one for the retirement benefit. (RSDI refers to the entire Social Security Insurance program of retirement, survivors, and disability insurance.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Aminah Majied says:

        What would the bold print titled letterhead read at the top of the notice regarding my SSD decision? Would it be: Social Security Disability or Social Security Disability Insurance?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Aminah,

          The header across the top for Social Security Disability award letters that provide payment amounts is usually “Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance.”

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Aminah Majied says:

            What if it wasn’t an award, what would the header across the top read if it was a denial notice for SSD benefits?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Aminah,

            The header would be the same.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

      • Lisha Fields says:

        Hey Kay. Need your help. Had to jump on here. Need support. It’s certainly the most trying anxiety filled feature in my life. I suffered bilateral ankle fractures, comminuted calcaneal. recommended bolts, plates , but the ortho chose to put me in full cast, heal wrong, then do reconstructive sometime later. six months later, I’m finally walking again with a Walker, after months no weight bearing in a wheelchair and ortho boots in a nursing home. I’m 39. There’s also a depression, major, noted. I applied October 2015, denied February, 2016. They say, “although we don’t know what your previous work was, we believe u can do other work”. I felt that was an irrational conclusion to a false understanding of my condition and work history. I appealed immediately. Since, I’d become so desolate, never dependent before, I need my ssdi just to make it to the doctor and try to have surgery to then start to try to live again. I have severe functional defects in walking, standing, must keep elevation in my lower extremities, can’t go to a grocery store without serious aid in travel. My question, why, did they question my work history, when 1.06 in musculoskeletal listings of impairment, this is classified, and is a major joint. I’m approaching September, 12 months since it happened, and, finally got in touch with my adjudicator, and, seems like they are missing the fact it’s been 12 months almost bcz this is July, and it’s a listed impairment, and, I just don’t see the need to get to step 4 and 5 re work history. Last time I talked to the adjudicator supervisor, she said they had their doctors sign off on it, and it would b out of their office by Friday, July 1st. Sent back to the local office? Should I get an approval? If so, when will I receive anything? Do to hardships, how can I speed this understanding if i will get it, and then receiving of benefits up?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Lisha,

          The events as you describe them would point to an approval, but there is no way to know until you get the formal decision. It can take a couple months for Social Security Disability (SSD) to be paid and longer if you are also approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you are eligible for SSI, it will be calculated and authorized by the local office before the SSD. The SSD back pay will be reduced by SSI back benefits paid for the months you were eligible for both SSD and SSI. When you get an approval, you can submit a dire-need statement to the local office, which may speed up processing a little bit.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  4. Karen says:

    I received a voicemail from Social Security this morning informing me that I should file a claim for benefits for my minor child right away. Does this mean that my SSDI claim has been approved? I returned the call, but have yet to receive a return call.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Karen,

      Unless the children’s father also has a Social Security claim pending, yes, I would say your claim has been approved medically.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lauren says:

        I have a question…I became disabled in Jan.2015 and applied then for both Ssi and ssdi. I spoke with someone who told me I had enough credits for ssdi and what my income would be. In December 2015 I received a letter of approval for ssi stating that I was owed back payment and medical review is in 3 years. I’ve been receiving Ssi since then. Today I called to check on ssdi and was told it hadn’t been approved yet and was currently under the review board. Is this normal ?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Lauren,

          Claims are picked randomly for quality review, but usually the review is of the medical decision and would hold up both the SSD and the SSI claims. While it is possible that a quality review is being conducted of the non-medical, final payment authorization, too much time has passed, I suggest that you contact your congressperson’ office, explain the situation and delay and request that they follow-up on getting your SSD payment started.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Lauren says:

            So if I’ve been approved for SsI does that mean my SsDi claim will ultimately be approved? They said the ssdi is still being reviewed and was sent from the DDS on 6/22, and has been sent to some office for a review of sorts. I’m just so frustrated.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Lauren,

            Usually the medical decision for SSI and Social Security Disability (SSD/SSDI) is the same when claims are filed at the same time. However, if you were no longer insured for Social Security when you filed your claims, it is possible to be found disabled on the date your filed your claim but not earlier when you were still insured. So the SSD could still be pending.

            If you have been receiving SSI and then applied for SSD due to becoming insured recently, the medical review will be of your condition now. You could be approved for SSD and continue to get SSI, or it could be determined that you are not disabled, which would result in termination of your SSI benefits. If you get an adverse decision and you disagree, you can appeal.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Lauren says:

            I applied at the same time for both benefits, I’m just really confused.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Lauren,

            Then the first paragraph of my prior reply applies to your situation.

            Sincerely,,
            Kay

          • Lauren says:

            My SSI benefits were suddenly stopped six months after being approved, I was told review would happen in 3 years. I didn’t get a letter or explanation.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Lauren,

            Go to your nearest Social Security office right away to find out why benefits were stopped. Some sort of clerical error could have been made. If there was a decision to suspend or terminate your benefits, you have the right to receive a written notice and for sixty days after that the right to appeal.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Shell says:

            Hello Kay I didn’t know how to ask you a question so I had to hit the reply button, sorry. I received a medical approval letter for SSDI but when I go to the websiite and click check my status, it doesn’t say I was approved it still says “We are still examining the medical part… I also called the number and the number says the same thing as the letter. Which is correct? Thank you!

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Shell,

            The written notification should be correct. Apparently, the online record was not updated. The call center at 800-772-1213 would be looking at the online records to respond, so they would say the same thing.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

      • Mel says:

        Kay,

        I applied for disability at age 19 for bipolar disorder and was denied, never pursued it further.
        I am now 28 and have applied agaon for bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, etc.

        I spoke with my DDS examiner who told me she would have a decision in a few days, and was in the process of completing a MIRS.

        My question is, why would she be completing a MIRS if I’m not on disability? Isn’t that only for continuing disability benefits? I’m so confused and I don’t know of this is a good sign of approval or not.

        Thank you,

        Mel

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Mel,

          What does the acronym MIRS stand for? With that information, I may be able to respond.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

        • Tonya Caines says:

          Hello Kay. I’m sorry I couldn’t find a link to post a comment, so I had to hit reply instead. I’m 37 yrs old and have been fighting for my ssdi for about 3 yrs. I have crippling scoliosis, seizures, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I went for my hearing on June7, then the alj sent me for a psychiatric evaluation July22, & the only thing I’ve heard since then is, my lawyer and I received a letter stating he received my reports for the evaluation and was reviewing them. Do the alj send claimants to an evaluation after their hearing often & do u know if it’s a good or bad sign? Thank u so much

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Tonya,

            I do not have statistics on the number of exams judges order, but it does happen occasionally. It is a good sign in that the judge is looking carefully at your appeal. Whether or not it contributes to an approval of your claim will depend on what the consulting physician found and reported.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  5. brad says:

    I have a question. I have been waiting for an answer from seeing the judge over six months ago. my case says it closed on Friday the 1st of July and now I have my estimated benefits showing up online again. Also there is a letter saying I’m not receiving benefits like it always did. when I click on generate it doesn’t say I’m getting or not getting benefits. I’m just curious if this is good or bad since the letter still says not receiving and I have estimated benefits if I become disabled today.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Brad,

      I can’t say for sure, but I think that the hearing decision may be a denial because estimated benefits show again online instead of a pending claim. Please let me know if that is not the case and you are approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • K says:

        Hi..sorry, couldn’t find a link for a new comment. My husband had hearing on June 17. VE answered no to two hypothetical questions…both for light work, his RFC is for sedentary work. ? Learned that his file is with a decision writer and may be going back to the judge this week. ODAR rep said to call back at the end of the week…which is four weeks from his hearing date. Do ODAR reps reveal decisions over the phone? Is the quick review more likely to be a denial or approval? How much weight will the VEs testimony carry? Thank you for your time. K

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear K.,

          ODAR representatives will not tell you the decision over the phone. How long the decision takes is not an indicator of approval or denial. The vocational expert’s testimony is quite important. It is possible the VE couldn’t locate any sedentary occupations that your husband was qualified for, so the testimony was about light occupations.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • K says:

            Thank you very much Kay for your response.

            In your opinion and experience, with the VE’s testimony of no with a higher than sedentary RFC for his qualified jobs, could it be an approval?

            Have you seen cases where the VE said no, but the case is denied based on other work available to the claimant?

            Thanks again for your time.

            K

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear K.,

            As indicated in my previous response, it is possible that the VE looked for sedentary occupations and could not find any given your husband’s educational and occupational history. If that is the case, his claim would likely be approved. Absent other vocational documentation in the claim file, the VE’s testimony is governing regarding the claimant’s employability. While a circumstance such as you describe could occur, I have not seen it.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • K says:

            BTW, he is one month shy of turning 51. If age comes into play with decisions.

            Thank you.

            K

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear K.,

            Age is considered in determining whether a person can work in a new occupation.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Tammy Konjer says:

            Hello i have a question about ssi… i applied for my disabled daughter who has adhd,odd,panic without acrophibia, depression and is learning disabled and mood issues she is a year behind in school because of her disabilities she was denied her first time so i appealed it and its been over a year but yesterday I received a letter saying they are reviewing the case to see if they can give it a favorable decision instead of going in front of a judge… does that mean there is a high possibility she will be approved the school said that she would not do very good on her own and she is 17 and she don’t understand things very well anyways hope u can help me thank u for your time…

            Tammy

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Tammy,

            Your daughter’s claim has had a preliminary and limited review in which the claim was identified as having characteristics that might allow an approval without a hearing. If her claim cannot be approved based in the information in file, she will still get a hearing.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  6. Suzanne Smith says:

    If my estimated earnings are visible again does that always mean a denial? I was told a descison was made on July 11. I checked on My SS and it has my estimated earnings again. Is that for sure a denial? Anyone else able to see earnings again and was approved. Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Suzanne,

      The online information going back to estimated earnings does not seem to reliably reflect the decision. I suggest that you check with your local office for clarification if you do not have a letter by July 20.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  7. L says:

    My claim was initially denied based on SS not using my diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis. I have been diagnosed with PA and have been seen regularly. The case file showed at a stage for light work, but not at sedentary? I filed the appeal myself, with an assessment (time/work restrictions) filled out from my physician showing less than 6 hours per day work approved and that I would miss many days per month due to imflammatory arthritis and others. I was told by an attorney that he would take my case but it would be at least 2 years to wait on approval and he has terminal people being denied and passing while waiting for their hearing. I work up to 15 hours per week, as able and have documentation from that employer, out of my field that I miss work, can’t work a regular scheduled and that they allow me flexibility with hours and allowed work because of my health concerns. The attorney wanted me to stop that and since I am used to making much more working in nursing the past 20 years, and on decent days when I can send a few emails out or a coupon out, and with the potential that he said it would be a 2 year wait if denied at recon…..I wasn’t going to quit a position that I can go without working when I need, work as I am able, and they completely understand and it’s always less than 15 hrs per week…..no where near the max SGA! I just decided to do the recon without the mentioned attorney, but still feel like with an attorney flat out saying they are denying terminal clients, leaving people to die waiting, my guess is even though I have been unable to work full time for 2 years this recon will be denied? My letter online just says there was no increase this year, it doesn’t list me as having an amount, and I check the status and it says all the time to check back. Recon was sent in 5/31, any advice?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear L.,

      Get a statement from your current employer that lists the special accommodations that you are getting. If “diagnosed with a PA” means a physician’s assistant did the diagnosis, try to get evaluated by a physician, preferabley a rheumatologist, both to confirm the diagnosis and to get a statement regarding your limitations.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • L says:

        Diagnosed with Psoraitic Arthritis, already see a rheumatologist, but my primary Doctor completes forms; specialists here do not. Employer sent in a letter with appeal. Any thoughts?

      • Rhonda says:

        Kay,
        I called the National Social Security number in June and found out that my son was Approved April 28, 2016 for SSI benefits. The initial clam was started December 2015. I have not received an award letter, phone call or anything from my local office. I was told that the only person who could help me was the case worker who’s phone is set on do not disturb and even though she says she will call back in a couple of days on the voicemail message she doesnt. I have left her several messages over the last month and still nothing. Is this normal? Is there anything else I can do? I don’t want to have to wait for hours in the office since she probably won’t be able to meet with me as a walk-in.
        Thanks, Rhonda

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Rhonda,

          I suggest that you go to the local office and be there fifteen minutes before they open. You should be seen in about a half hour that way. when your number is called ask to speak to a supervisor because you were medically approved for SSI three months ago and have yet to have a financial update interview or to receive payment and your calls are not returned by the claims rep. in charge of your claim. Be calm and courteous, but simply don’t leave until a supervisor or manager speaks with you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Vivian Gorman says:

      Hi Kay my hearing with alj was June 22 it’s now July 21 I haven’t heard anything yet but was wondering if you could maybe give me hope I’m 50 years old I have spinal stenosis, fibermyalgia, detering disc, depression buldging/ herniated disc I had a lawyer what are my chances of winning case?

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Vivian,

        I have insufficient information to predict the outcome of your appeal. You might ask your attorney for his or her opinion. The guideline for getting a decision to you is sixty days, but it can take longer.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Vivian Gorman says:

          Hi Kay I was told today it went to the underwriter and I should hear something in about 3 weeks. I hope it’s good news since my last facet block injection I have been having pain down my right leg like numbing pins and needles can’t sit or lay down with our some kind of pain. Thank you for getting back to me.

  8. Jenn says:

    I went to court for Ssi this past Thursday. She asked my attorney when my date of onset started since he didn’t come up with one she said she would. I’m assuming that’s a good sign? Then the vocational expert gave three jobs I could do and the judge asked if I could miss work once a week and still perform the job and he said no n that’s another good sign? I’ve been fighting for five years n that was my second court hearing. I’m stressing. Does it sound promising with those couple things I mentioned.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jenn,

      The information you shared sounds promising for an approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jenn says:

        Thanks for your feedback. I will keep you posted.

      • Jenn says:

        I received a call from my attorney today saying I was approved but they changed my onset date to Jan of this year. I’m not going to fight it. I’m just going to take what they give me. How long should it be before I start receiving my benefits and the back pay? My hearing was on July 21st so it seems to be moving fast. Thanks again for your help.

        • Jenn says:

          Also I have a 2 dependent that’s not receiving benefits and my spouse will they get something too?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Jenn,

            If your Family Maximum Benefit (FMB) is more than your own benefit, your children will be eligible for benefits. Your spouse may be eligible if he or she is age sixty-two or has a child of yours under age sixteen in his or her care and is not earning too much to receive benefits. Your dependents, if eligible, will be paid for the same months you are. (See my response to your first post).

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Jenn,

          The only back pay you will get will be for July 2016 and maybe August 2016if they do not process payment much more quickly than usual. The reason is that Social Security Disability (SSD/SSDI) is not paid for the first five full-calendar months of disability (February through June). If you were approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI will begin) January 2016 if your disability date is January 1, otherwise SSI will begin with February. SSI will take from a couple weeks to six weeks to reach payment. Social Security is likely to be a two-to-three-month wait.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  9. Madeleine Bergeron says:

    Hi! I applied for SSDI in early May and received a function report and work history form I filled out both and returned them
    I spoke with the DDS worker recently and was told that my case was being packed up. I called the main 800# and that nice lady said letter was mailed and I should get it by Aug 2, 2016. Meanwhile my social security is all back together but still states I do not current receive benefits. Is this an indicator of denial? Thanks for your immense amount of information!
    Madeleine

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Madeleine,

      If by “all back together” you mean that estimated benefits are showing, your claim has probably been denied. Usually benefit amounts don’t show while the claim is pending; and then when payment is being released, exact amounts and dates show.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Nikki says:

        I filed for social security in 2007, after being involved in a pedestrian/motor vehicle accident in late 2006. I was denied right off the bat, so I decided to get an attorney well long story short, after years of dealing with incompetent and bias doctors, a surgeon who commited fraud and is now in prision, a lawyer who lost my file, and a bias judge who in his defense was not given enough info to make a good decision to a judge who was seems to have me confused with someone else I am extremely frustrated to say the least.
        Now, I have a much better attorney, and with his help I refilled (because my last attorney let the time run out to do so) and am appealing that denial, which I received Dec 2014.
        I was told my apeal would take between 12 and 15 months, it has now been 18 months and both my new attorney and I have been calling to figure out what is going on, but just keep hearing it’s pending.
        Then Friday I finally hear something positive, I think. I have called both the review board in Falls Church VA and the 1 800 number for social security, but I always get a different answers, one says pending, the other says under review. Then the other day the lady told me it said pending, and I explained how long I had been waiting and asked how much longer I can expect to wait. She then told me she would send an email, which she did, but was having issues and suddenly says “favorable, what, I didn’t put that there, let me try again” She said she had never had that happen before, of course I said “it’s because that’s where it should be” and after 3 tries it kept moving her to the “favorable” file. We discussed it for a while, but she said she couldn’t tell me for sure it was favorable because the other still said pending. Have you come across this before? Doesn’t that seem to be a good sign that it has been approved? Why else would it pop up favorable?
        Thanks
        Nikki

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Nikki,

          Unfortunately I can’t help clarify the inner workings of the Appeals Council’s computer programs, especially when the representative there could not explain what she considered to be an anomaly.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Brenda Carter says:

        So, I guess I will get a denial letter also.. My information is showing up and they have made a decision but I haven’t received a letter

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Brenda,

          That could be the case when benefit estimates appear again with no specific payment date. If it turns out that you are approved, please let me know.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Kevin says:

      Kay. I filed for Sadi in May. Received 2 calls on medical and clarified a few things. Then a few weeks ago received call about work history. I answered questions wrong I spoke of responsibilities not activity. She called a week later and we clarified what she was looking for. She send me new work history forms. I completed and called Thur and asked if I could attach a detailed work history/description. She said oh that’s great. She said attach, sign each page and put claim # in. I faced everything by noon Thursday Aug 4. I called Friday Aug 5 and was told we have everything, a decision has been made and you will get letter. They did not tell me decision.
      I looked at the original form I sent and realized the mistake I made. For standing, sitting, walking and all activities I put down 10 hours a day. They wanted an exact hour breakdown by day. It was obvious to me why the calls and requests.
      What do you think? It sounds like the activities were critical to their decision.

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Kevin,

        I suggest that you wait for the decision letter because it is too late now to correct the record. Even though you made an error, the job description you sent may have been sufficiently clear. If you are denied and appeal, you can correct the information at that time.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  10. Kay Kay says:

    Hi I filed for disibility for my 8 year old who was diagnosed with ASD, anxiety, ocd, tourettes syndrome back in May. While I was applying in the office the lady gave me all the paperwork afterwards that had all the info from where I filed. The top page was a paper from the social security administration that stated my son may be qualified for benefits and that I needed to schedule an appointment to file. I found that very strange due to the fact that I was there filing. Is this something normal? Or does this mean my son will qualify for benefits?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kay,

      The paperwork you got seems to be mixed up. I would have expected for you to get a claim receipt showing that you had filed a claim. The papers were likely computer generated and the representative may have hit the wrong automated choice. Nonetheless, I suggest that you double check that the claim has been filed and is pending in the Disability Determination Services.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  11. Andrew Link says:

    I applied for ssi back in Feb. I was told that my case reached the dds last week, how long does it usually take for them to make the medical decision? It gets confusing due to the ssa site saying my claim has a decision but then i call and they say the ssa site if wrong. should i just wait for a letter? every time i call they seem irritated with me :/

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Andrew,

      Your claim should have been forwarded to DDS much sooner than it was. It can take a couple months or more to get the medical decision. The DDS examiner is likely to want a medical update if you have had any changes since February.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  12. Melissa says:

    I filed for ssi for my son a few months ago and then he was sent to go for an evaluation. August 1st i received a call from somebody from SSA claims unit saying they need alittle information about me and my son and that she has the decision as well. On your thoughts, what do you think about this and is there any possibility that he will be approved?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Melissa,

      If the call came from your local Social Security office and not the Disability Determination Services, I think that your son has been medically approved and that the call you received was to update your son’s claim related to financial eligibility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Joyce says:

        Back in 2012 my son received benefits for a few months and then cut off due to my increased work j come . He is now 18 and I’ve applied for adult child benefits I guess and we’ve been to their doctor . I filed in April . I haven’t heard anything until today . I had a message from social security on my phone . They r closed today so I have to cal back Monday . I went a head and called number back . A decision has been made on the claim . I also went on line and it says the same thing . Do they call u if u r denied or is there a good possibility that he has been approved ?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Joyce,

          Your son has probably been approved, and the call is probably to set up an appointment for a financial update so benefits can be calculated.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  13. Aris says:

    Hi,
    I had my hearing August 1 and felt a little unhappy. I suffer from anxiety, depression, anger and crying. I also see and hear things that aren’t there. I was told I have right side sciatica. The judge was very nice and seem to care. She was very patient and helped me remember times and dates. But at the end of my hearing she asked can I lift a gallon of juice. I told her yes but I would feel it in my back. The vibe I got from her didn’t feel good. Can lifting a gallon of water and the VE finding two jobs he think I can cause me a denial?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Aris,

      The testimony of the vocational expert may result in your claim being denied because you must be disabled from all occupations that you could otherwise perform if you did not have limitations.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  14. Sharon says:

    Hi Kay – I applied for SSDI January 2016, I fell at work and broke my hip 10/2015. I went for my CE on 4/15/2016. I have a physical job as a tractor trailer driver, I have been doing it for the last 10 years. I am unable to do it now, I’m 54 years old. I received a call from my disability examiner back in June, she wanted the follow up records from my Doctor. I got them to her in 5 days. I have been calling for about 3 weeks leaving messages and can’t get her to call me back. I also go to a psycharist for depression and anxiety. I have active Crohn’s disease. I had a heart attack on 7/3/2016. My Primary care Doctor sent those records as well. I am on a bunch of meds and gets tired quickly where I have to take a break and lay down. My Cardiologist said there is “No chance for Recovery” at this time. Do you think SS is waiting to see if i get any better before they make a decision, since I have multiple things going on that prevents me from working? When the the grid rule come in as far as my age?

    Thank you,
    Sharon J

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sharon,

      I think it is more likely that your claim has not been fully reviewed after the more recent medical information was added to the claim. Your age and most recent occupation together with your medical conditions would be supportive of disability, but your ability to perform occupations you performed before being a tractor trailer truck driver will be considered also.

      If you are denied, I suggest getting a copy of the denial so that you can see the exact reasons for the denial and tailor your appeal to those reasons. I also recommend that you hire an experienced Social Security attorney to help with the appeal. When you hire a Social Security attorney, you do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge, and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award before they send your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  15. Nicky says:

    Hi Kay,

    I had my hearing today I’m 32, I have degenerat disk diease and panic attacks with severe depression.
    I have been in pain management for 5 years and am on a high dose of hydrocodone and Xanax.
    I have very detailed medical recordsanf lawyer, also a letter from my pscystrist saying in disabled and gave very keep pounts and a very detailed letter to why and so fourth.
    The judge asked me the basic questions and my lawyer as well and then the judge started asking the person about job things kinda in code?
    They went from like 5000 then he would say and then hypothetical the gave a code then partial or something then it kinda got less and less. Then my lawyer came back w toleration or absents and panic and so forth.
    After he said it went well. He’s not much of a softy.

    What could all this mean to u? Approved chances to denied?

    Thanks so much!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nicky,

      If the hearing got down to the vocational expert saying that there are no occupations you can perform with frequent absences and panic attacks, the judge will approve your claim if he or she decides that the medical information supports the symptoms and limitations you claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Tony S says:

        Hello i do not knkw how to start a new thread… i applied for ssdi on may 17 and was told today by the 1800 that my claim was sent for Quality Review after hanging up with them i called ny case manager she would not tell me the descion that was maxe before being sent to QR.. is this a good or bad sign?? Please help!?!?!

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Tony,

          Social Security does not give out decisions verbally, so it is routine that the examiner did not tell you the decision she made. Your claim was selected randomly for a quality review, which will either uphold the decision, overturn it, or send the claim back to the examiner for more investigation.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Tony S says:

            Hello again sorry to ask so many questions i recieved an approval letter that says ive met the medical requirements… whats next im concerned and dont exactly know what to do

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Tony,

            Notification of your approval will be sent to the local Social Security office and the payment center. If your medical approval was for both Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the SSI will be authorized and paid from the local office; then the payment center will process and authorize the SSD. If SSI is involved and you have not heard from the local office within two weeks call the 800 number and request an appointment to provide any updated financial information that might be needed. If your claim is SSDI only and you have not provided bank account information and/or proof of your birth date, you also need to take that information and that proof to the local office, which can be done without an appointment.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Hello……if they ask me to sign work release form to compute my onset does this mean i got approved.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Ronnell,

            The request indicates that your claim will be approved if your work activity does not preclude approval. The work could be treated as an unsuccessful work attempt or it could be lower than Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)and not affect the onset date you claimed or if the work is SGA, it could be enough work that an onset date would have to be after you stopped working. If the last situation is the case, to receive Social Security benefits you have to be insured on that onset date in order to be eligible for benefits.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

      • Nicky Scott says:

        Thanks for your reply!
        It’s been about a month now and forgot to add we had to do a video conference with a judge in Georgia, cause mine was out that day.
        But I called the 1-800 for the social security and the lady said its pending. If I don’t hear anything by December to give them a call back?
        Is this bad or good? Do you think?
        It’s really driving me crazy.
        Thanks for your time.
        Nicky

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Nicky,

          The information you received is just a status report, not an indication of outcome. The guideline for judges to render a decision is sixty days, although it can take longer. I suggest you check again when it has been sixty days from the hearing to see if the appeal has progressed to letter writing department.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Nicky Scott says:

        Dear Kay

        They are now sending me for a pscy evaluation even tho I’m under the care of a pscy and he wrote a note to the judge.
        Is this bad? How can one doc tell the judge my life? What do you think Kay?
        Thank you

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Nicky,

          I think the judge wants some confirmation that your psychiatrist’s opinion is valid. There is still a possibility of approval. It could even be that the judge is trying to determine whether you are capable of receiving your funds directly and managing for your self care.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Nicky Scott says:

            Dear Kay,

            Thanks again so much for all your input. I wish I could hire you as my lawyer lol.
            I have read that the evaluationist is not always that great and most of the time will fail you.
            What are the odds with the Info I’ve gave you and what you have seen/heard percentage wise of me winning my case?
            I have total doctor support letter, both pscy and pain management ongoing for 5 years: high dosage of medications and severe issues. I have done and said everything they have asked and have all supporting documents.
            I just don’t know what else they want from me.
            It’s very scary to have one person/doctor make a decision about your life based on one appointment.
            Thanks again Kay.
            Nicky

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Nicky,

            I can’t give you a percentage to assess your chances of being approved. I can tell you that people who have consultative examinations do get approved; not all are denied. If you are denied, given that you have a lot of medical records, you could be successful in an appeal. If you have to appeal, I recommend you request a copy of your claim file to find out the exact reasons for the denial. Also hiring an experienced Social Security attorney could be helpful.

            When you hire a Social Security attorney, you do not have to pay any legal fees up front, and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award before they send your back pay to you.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

    • Priscilla says:

      Hello. Didn’t know how to start a new post. I had a hearing with the judge on June 13, 2016. My attorney states that it went well. I have ptsd, anxiety, and depression. My attorney told me last Wednesday that the disability examiner agreed that I was disabled. Does that mean that the judge would approve my disability? And how long would it take for a decision? It’s been 60 days already. Thank you

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Priscilla,

        You can’t be sure of the decision on your appeal, but at this point there is no reason to question the opinion of your attorney who is very familiar with your claim.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  16. Deb says:

    Hi, my husband had went to court on June 2016 and the judge said it would take 4-8 weeks to get his letter and it has been longer then that, however he did receive a united healthcare card in the mail. when he went to court the voco woman told the judge that there were only 2 jobs he could do. but seeing how my husband does not read or write well and can not even operate a computer that there was no real job that he could preform, SO I wondering if he has been approved since he got the united healthcare card in the mail since we havent recieved his letter yet and his attorney has no information either?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Deb,

      The United Healthcare card sounds like an insurance card, not a debit card set up to receive payment. If the judge finds that the information in the claim and appeal file supports you husband’s limited literacy and lack of computer skills, he is likely to be approved based on the vocational expert’s testimony.

      Sincerely,
      Kay
      ey.

      • Susan V says:

        Dear Kay,
        I posted my question on 8/20/16 where do I find your reply?
        Thank you

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Susan,

          Your question and my answer are under a different article. Here’s the answer I gave:

          It is possible that the judge wanted some medical documentation that was more current than what was in file when the appeal came to him.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  17. Hellen says:

    Hey Kay,
    I applied for ssi for my 5 year old under the category of autism. I applied in July and I called the 800number to check the status of my sons claim and the representative said a decision was made yesterday and to give it 2 weeks to receive a letter. He also asked me if my phone number was the same. Do you think this is a good sign?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Hellen,

      It may be a good sign that the representative asked about your phone number because sometimes there’s a phone interview after a medical approval to update the family’s financial information. Don’t count on an approval, however, because the rep might have asked on a routine basis.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Charrell Smith says:

        I filedfor SSDI 2 months ago, my doctor filled out the RFC form and I also filled out the other paperwork in regards to my work history and all that kind of stuff. I called today to check on the status even though it only been 2 months and they told me that the decision was made yesterday. And I should be receiving my letter a question is it’s only been 60 days is that a good sign or a bad sign

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Charrell,

          The speed of a decision is not an indication of approval or decision, but it is good that you got a timely decision.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Hellen says:

      Hi Kay,
      About a week ago I spoke to my son dds examiner and told me she had made a decission on his case. Today I received a letter from my local security office saying they needed his birth certificate which I had took it for them. My question is that due to my sons disability he’s not able to tolerate public places. I live with him and other kids. Is it a way that I could schedule an appt to turn his birth certificate again last time I was at the social security office for many hours

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Hellen,

        You can ask for an appointment, but you may not be able to get one to turn in a document. I suggest that you arrive at the office twenty minutes before it opens and wait outside so you are the first or close to the first one through the door. That way there should be either no wait or a very short one.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  18. Ivan says:

    I recently checked my disability status online and it says that they cannot process my request at this time. I can either call or check back later. When I log into my Social Security account it now shows my estimated benefits amount. A few days ago the status check gave me a response a decision has not been made and the account did not show estimated benefits. Does this mean that I have been denied and will have to request hearing?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ivan,

      Usually re-appearance of estimated benefits means that the claim has been denied. If that is the case, you will have to appeal to keep the claim open. If you have been denied only once, in most parts of the country the first appeal is a request for Reconsideration. If that is denied, then the second appeal is a hearing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ivan Carter says:

        The reconsideration was denied. Looks like I will be requesting a hearing. Finances are a wreck and looks like it will be another long year. So depressing.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Ivan,

          Do your best to stay under the care of a physician and be sure that your medical records from the time to apply for the hearing and the time of the hearing reach the hearing office before the hearing. If you do not have an attorney, it might be a good idea to get one to help with the presentation of your case. When you hire a Social Security attorney, you do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge, and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award before they send your back pay to you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Mrs. J says:

        Hello, I have a unique case. I applied for reinstatement of SSDI. I’ve been receiving provisional benefits for almost 6 months with no answer. I called yesterday because my online account showed estimated benefits again. I was told by the determination office a decision was sent from them June 23rd. The local office told me I was found disabled? Today the 1 800 number says I’ll receive my last provisional payment in September and to call back next week. The local office ( today) a different person says its at the payment center and I should get a letter by the 2nd week in September. However, wouldn’t give me an approved or denied. My online account still ( now) shows estimated benefits? What do you think?
        Mrs J

        • Mrs. J says:

          Just FYI, my account still shows estimated benefits. However, I’m being told that the payment center is working on my reinstatement. I will repost if this turns out to be false. In the interim don’t lose hope ( those of you whose accounts shows this). Keep your head up and fight on if you have truly worked hard and need the help from being truly disabled!

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Mrs. J.,

            Thank you for the update; however, I do want to note that your situation is different from a pending claim when no provisional payments were made, which is the case for most people waiting for payment.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Mrs. J.,

          Based on the claim having been forwarded to the payment center, I would think that the claim has been medically approved, although usually the medical decision is revealed at that point.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Timm says:

        I had my hearing on August 23. I have had an attorney since day one.she told me after the hearing that it went very well and probably needed to get a bank account. I checked my d’s statement online today and it was showing my estimated payment. Since I didn’t check it before I don’t know if it was showing a pending status or not. My question is if it is showing a benefit amount on the statement after the hearing does that usually indicate a denial in your opinion?

        • Timm says:

          I’m assuming the benefit amount showed back up after my appeal was denied and had to go to a hearing. Didn’t know if it continued to show until a decision had been reached after the hearing with ALJ.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Timm,

          Sometimes the reestablishment of the benefit estimate indicates a denial; however, posting of information in online records does not seem consistent. I’d say don’t assume anything until you actually get the letter.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Timm says:

            Kay,
            Sorry about the double post. Thank you for your response. The statement that I was referring to I got from SSA.gov. I don’t know if that makes any difference or not. Anyway, I appreciate your time and your input. I won’t assume anything until I get the letter. Waiting not so patiently. Thanks again.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            You are welcome, Timm.

  19. Jamie says:

    Hello Kay,
    I’m from nc. I called to check on my daughter disability case from ALJ and they could not give me an decision over the phone but stated that it is closed and I should expect a letter from Baltimore in two weeks. Is this a good or bad sign? Thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jamie,

      You will not know the judge’s decision on your child’s claim until you receive the letter. All ALJ decision letters are printed in the same regional location.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  20. Kimberly Yarris says:

    Hello everyone I have asked a couple questions and have not received a response yet I’m not sure how long it takes to get one please help sincerely Kim

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kimberly,

      Your questions were answered on September 9 before you posted this inquiry. Try scrolling up until you find them. Usually questions are answered within twenty-four to seventy-two hours.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  21. Tika B. says:

    Hello,
    So i went thru a phone interview and they assigned me to a determination worker. I recieved a letter in the mail stating i have a mental exam, due to them needing more info on my condition and i confirmed i would be going. My appointment was scheduled for tomorrow at 12:40, Today i recieved a letter from the determination worker saying not to go to the appointment because they have enough info to evaluate my condition.

    what is usually the next step?
    Do you think it will be approved?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tika,

      I expect you to get a decision soon. If it is not an approval, you can appeal possibly citing the agency’s own uncertainty about whether they needed more information for a correct decision. (Of course, that could not be the only grounds for appeal.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • jamie kelsey says:

        Hi Kay, Im sorry to post on a reply but I made a new post. At first said it was awaiting approval , but now I don’t see it anywhere.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Jamie,

          Your question and my answer have been posted. Scroll upward through the comments on this article till you find it.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Net says:

      Hi😌kay,
      Didn’t know how to start a news feed…
      I applied for disability for my son in April my claim was closed July 29th I went to ssi office and was told that my case was approved but I should be notified by mail. It is now going on 2 months and haven’t heard anything or received any notice in mail. Is this normal and how much longer will it take???😣

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Net,

        If child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim should have been paid by now. I suggest calling Social Security to be make sure that a payment has not been made and misdirected. If no payment has been issued, call 800-772-1213 to request an appointment for financial update interview so your child’s benefits can be paid. Point out that it has been two months since approval and no contact regarding getting payment started.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  22. Jamie K says:

    I had a kinda of strange court hearing yesterday. My attorney also said he had never had this happen to him in the 30 years he had been practicing. I go in front of judge, he ask me my name, social, birthday, age, and education. He then gives my attorney the go ahead to stay woth his questioning. The whole time I was being questioned the judge was messing with something in his desk drawer, making really loud noises. My attorney said he was finished worth his questions. The judge said ok did I wanna say anything else. He then said I’m closing the record. He also did not ask the VE any questions the whole time. According to the letter I received for court she was required to be there. So my question is does anyone have any idea what this could mean? He also didn’t give me any idea of how long it will take for decision. I’m so confused lol.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jamie,

      If I were looking for the most positive explanation, I would say that the judge already made up his mind to approve you and it was too late for a decision on the record without a hearing. On the other hand, the judge may just have been having a bad day in court in which case who knows how your appeal will turn out. If you are denied, I would think you would have good grounds for appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Thanh says:

      I have a question . I filed for ss back in march . I had a appointment with a dds doctor 8/6/16 . I call to check the status a few weeks later and was told that dds had made a decision on 8/26/16 and was sent back to the local and was advise to call my local office . Local office told be it was going threw a quality review n no payment can be made til they done . Didn’t really know that mean . But today is 9/19 and still haven’t heard anything . Does this mean I’m denied or approved . How long does quality review takes

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Thanh,

        A certain number of claims are picked randomly for a quality assurance review, which is review to see if the decision, whether an approval or a denial, was made correctly. Given that the local office said “no payment could be made” until after the review, I’d say that the decision was an approval. If the quality assurance review agrees, you will receive benefits. Otherwise, more investigation could be required or the claim could be denied. Usually these reviews are completed within a month’s time. If you don’t have a decision by the end of September, I suggest calling again to get a status.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

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