In many cases, people in the United States who live with disabilities may be entitled to claim benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Although the SSA provides federal funding and assistance in the form of disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to individuals who qualify, the process is not centralized.
The SSA administers the disability and SSI programs from 10 regional offices across the United States. The application and determination process of Social Security disability by state is essentially identical, although certain states add a review stage to their qualification process before a formal hearing is scheduled.
Regional Offices: Social Security Disability by State
There are three northeastern regional offices in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. These SSA regions oversee SSI and Social Security disability by state for the following jurisdictions:
- Boston: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
- New York: New Jersey and New York.
- Philadelphia: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
The southern regional office in Atlanta oversees the following states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The Chicago SSA regional office oversees these states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The Dallas SSA regional office oversees Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
The Kansas City SSA regional office handles SSI and disability affairs for Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
The Denver regional office oversees Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
There are two western regional SSA offices in San Francisco and Seattle. The San Francisco office handles Arizona, California and Nevada. The Seattle office oversees Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
SSI and disability applications in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are handled by the regional office in New York. The San Francisco regional office handles applications and cases originating in American Samoa and Hawaii, and the Seattle regional office handles SSI and disability affairs from Alaska.
Individuals who wish to learn about benefits or how to qualify for Social Security disability by state should first complete the online Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) at the SSA website. The eligibility and claims process for Social Security disability by state can also be handled by specialized attorneys.
The Application Process for Social Security Disability by State
While eligibility for SSI and Social Security disability by state can be determined online, the application process for SSI must be done in person at the state offices listed above. Insurance benefits for social security disability by state can be applied for online, by mail, by telephone or in person.
Certain field offices integrate state benefits into the disability and SSI claims process. Some states provide their own approval and denial rates as well as their processing times. In New Jersey, for example, disability hearings and appeals can take longer than a year, and 62 percent of the hearings end up in final approvals. Applicants in all states are often advised to retain counsel in case they get a denial that leads to a hearing.