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How can I get a copy of my Social Security award letter?

An award letter (also known as an award notice) is what the Social Security Administration (SSA) sends out to inform an individual that a claim for benefits has been approved. Though award letters go out for any type of benefit application, the term is most commonly associated with disability claims.  

If you need to replace your original award letter, you can request a copy by calling Social Security at 800-772-1213 or visiting your local SSA office. Local offices fully reopened April 7 after being closed to walk-in traffic for more than two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Social Security recommends calling in advance and scheduling an appointment to avoid long waits.

If a copy is not available, Social Security can provide you with an official letter with the information you need.

Keep in mind

An award letter is not the same thing as a benefit verification letter (also called a proof of award letter, among other things). A benefit verification letter is a statement from Social Security that spells out the benefits you are receiving and can be used as evidence of income — for instance, if you are applying for a loan. Unlike an award letter, a benefit verification letter can be obtained instantly online if you have a My Social Security account.

Updated April 8, 2022