A person classified as having been awarded a benefit means that the person has become entitled to a certain type of benefit. This definition encompasses not only newly entitled beneficiaries, but also cases where a person converts from one benefit type to another. An example of such a conversion is a case where a disabled-worker beneficiary attains the normal retirement age and becomes a retired worker. Another example is a case where a spouse of a retiree becomes an aged widow(er) upon the death of her or his spouse.

Awards encompass individuals with entitlement that is retroactive to the point at which an award decision has been made, as well as entitlements that begin in the same month as the award is effective. Retroactive entitlements are especially prevalent in claims involving an alleged disability, as the disability evaluation process can be lengthy, particularly in cases where the claimant appeals a finding that the claimant is not disabled. In cases of retroactive entitlement, benefits are payable for months of entitlement prior to when the award is effective.

Please keep this definition in mind when accessing our award data. Also note that our award data is presented on the basis of when the award is effectuated, and not on any applicable retroactive entitlement date.