What Is a Fully Favorable Decision on Your Disability Benefits Application?

By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

Having a disabling condition that prevents a person from retaining and participating in gainful employment can be stressful enough. Additional stress can then come in the form of applying for and waiting to hear from the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding disability benefits. Those who receive a “fully favorable decision” back from the SSA may feel an unparalleled sense of relief. What, however, does a “fully favorable decision” on your SSA disability benefits application actually mean? Let’s take a closer look here.

What Does a “Fully Favorable Decision” Mean? 

After what may be months and months of waiting to hear about your disability benefit application, finally getting a response from the SSA can be a relief in and of itself. Receiving a “fully favorable decision” from the SSA on your application can ease your anxieties on another level and perhaps allow you to finally exhale a long breath you may have been holding during your months-long wait.

A ”fully favorable decision” from the SSA means that they have approved your benefits application and agree that you have been disabled since the date you specified in your disability application. This is great news. You should be aware, however, of the fact that you will still have a waiting period before you receive benefits even if your benefits application has been approved with a “fully favorable decision.” The wait period between approval and receiving benefits is five months. The waiting period is mandatory and the time begins to elapse as of the date the SSA has confirmed as the date your disability began.

Five months from the start date of your disability, you should begin to receive back pay to cover those five months. You will also start to receive your regular monthly benefits payment. Again, the five-month wait period is mandatory. The only exception to the mandatory wait time is if you are offered a compassionate allowance by the SSA. Compassionate allowances are made in cases of terminal or extremely severe disabling conditions. These are determined by the SSA. Receipt of a compassionate allowance will not only reduce the time you have to wait to receive a decision on your benefits application, but it will also eliminate the mandatory wait time to start receiving your benefits.

It is also important to note that a “fully favorable decision” is not necessarily permanent. Your benefits eligibility can still change in the future. The SSA usually reviews the disability status of benefit recipients every three years in what is called a “continuing disability review” or “CDR” During a CDR, the SSA will once again review your disability status as well as whether you are still unable to work, the extent of your disabling condition, your living arrangements, and any other financial resources you may have acquired since your disability benefits were granted. The SSA is well within its rights to cancel your disability benefits and you are able to appeal this cancellation should it occur.

Los Angeles Social Security Disability Attorney

Whether your benefits application has been denied or your benefits have been canceled, you can count on the team at Disability Advocates Group for assistance. Contact us today.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts is the managing attorney for Disability Advocates Group. She opened Disability Advocates Group to assist individuals who became disabled and unable to work to obtain the benefits they need and deserve.  Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.