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The Notice Of Award Or Denial


After Social Security and DDS have completed their review of your claim for SSI, you will receive a notice either of award or denial.

When you receive written Notice of Award of SSI benefits or a Denial of benefits, keep them in a safe place. Both documents are important, for very different reasons. 


This letter does more than simply grant you benefits. It gives the date that you became entitled for benefits, and the amount of benefit available to you. If either are incorrect, you should take the letter to your Social Security office as soon as possible to discover the reason for the discrepancy. The letter will usually also state the number of years before your file will be reviewed in a Redetermination or a Continuing Disability Review.

The letter, by confirming your SSI eligibility, can be used with other agencies that use similar criteria for admission to their program or services.

This letter is an important document. DO NOT LOSE IT! To help assure that you don't lose the letter, consider making several copies. File them the original in a safe place with your other important documents. File the copies in different, easy to find locations - including one copy with your SSI file. (To learn more about where to file papers, see: My Document Inventory

The Notice of Award letter is valuable for several reasons:

  • If you have health coverage is extended under COBRA, a copy needs to be submitted to the COBRA administrator to obtain the 11-month OBRA continuation. THE COBRA administrator must receive a copy of the Notice of Award letter within 60 days of your getting it - and this must be within the 18 months during which you receive COBRA.
  • A copy of the letter should be sent to any other disability benefits providers, including individual Disability Income and Group Long Term Disability carriers.
  • This letter also serves as confirmation of your status as "disabled" for many disabled services such as reduced public transportation costs.


This letter will tell you why your claim was denied, so you will know what you need to address if you file for an Appeal. It will also tell you what to do to appeal the decision, as well as the deadline for appeal.   

If you were denied for medical reasons, the letter will tell you exactly which medical records were used, so you can see immediately if records were missing that could have changed their decision. 

The next step to get a reversal is Reconsideration.



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