Filing for Disability Benefits in Hawaii

Hawaii's Social Security disability approval rates are slightly higher than other states and Hawaii has a temporary disability program.

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If you live in Hawaii and want to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, the application and appeal process is generally the same as in the rest of the United States, since Social Security is a federal program. However, there are differences in disability benefits between the states. Below are commonly asked questions that apply to those living in Hawaii.

Does Hawaii have temporary disability benefits?

Hawaii provides up to 26 weeks of temporary disability benefits for employees who have worked at least 14 weeks for their employer, for at least 20 hours per week, at a rate of at least $400 per week. The benefits are either 58% of your wages or according to the employer’s plan. For more information, see our article on Hawaii's TDI benefits.

How likely am I to be approved for Social Security benefits in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, you have a better than average chance of being approved for benefits, especially at the hearing stage. In addition, the wait time for a hearing is about a month less than the national average. Below is a chart that compares Hawaii to the national averages for the percentage of approvals.

Step in Process

Hawaii

Nationally

Initial Application

33.4%

32.2%

Reconsideration

15.8%

11.5%

Hearing

78.6%

58.1%

Hearing Wait Time

299 days

349 days

If I am approved for benefits, how much can I expect to receive every month?

For those who are receiving benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the amount that you receive depends on the amount of money you paid into the Social Security system while working.

For those who are receiving benefits through Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you might receive a supplementary payment from the State of Hawaii in addition to the set monthly benefit from the federal government. Hawaii pays an extra benefit to those living in some type of adult care facility. Social Security Administration administers and pays Hawaii's supplementary payment. Below is a chart that outlines the maximum you can expect to receive in Hawaii.

Living Situation

Hawaii

Federal

Total

Medicaid Facility

Individual

Couple

 

$20

$40

 

$698

$1,048

 

$718

$1,088

Domiciliary Care Facility, Level I

Individual

Couple

 

$651.90

$1,303.80

 

$698

$1,048

 

$1,349.90

$2,351.80

Domiciliary Care Facility, Level II

Individual

Couple

 

$759.90

$1,519.80

 

$698

$1,048

 

$1,457.90

$2,567.80

I'd like to try to return to work. Is there anyone who can help me?

Hawaii offers assistance through Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). VR provides services to those who are disabled to help them prepare, get, and keep a job. In order to receive benefits, you must follow these steps:

  • Make a referral: Referrals can be made by anyone, including yourself, by writing or calling your local office.
  • Attend orientation: Orientation is provided to inform you about services provided by VR and what qualifications there are to be eligible.
  • Intake and application: At your intake interview, you will meet with an assigned counselor who will talk with you about what the program can do for you specifically. If you want to move forward with applying, you will fill out an application at this point.
  • Assessment: At this stage, your application will be reviewed and you will be interviewed regarding your strengths and weaknesses. You will receive a decision about whether you qualify for VR within 60 days.

Below is the contact information for the VR offices in Hawaii.

Oahu Branch

601 Kamokila Blvd. #515

Kapolei, Hawaii 96707

Telephone: 692-8601
 

Hawaii Branch

75 Aupuni Street, Room 110

Hilo, Hawaii 96720

Telephone: 974-6444
 

Kona Field Office

P.O. Box 459

Captain Cook, Hawaii 96704

Telephone: 323-0025
 

Kauai Branch

3060 Eiwa St., #304

Lihue, Hawaii 96766

Telephone: 274-3333
 

Maui Branch

54 South High Street, #309

Wailuku, Hawaii 96793

Telephone: 984-8350
 

Molokai Field Office

P.O. Box 1068

Kaunakakai, Hawaii 96748

Telephone: 553-3621

How do I contact someone regarding my disability application?

Who you will contact regarding your disability benefits application depends where in the process you are. If you have filed your initial application and have questions, you should contact the Hawaii Disability Determination Services (DDS). (After your application is received by your local Social Security and screened for technical qualifications, such as income limits or work history, DDS receives your application and has the task of making a decision as to whether or not you will receive benefits based on your medical records.) There is one DDS office in Hawaii and the contact information can be found below.

Disability Determination Services

P.O. Box 2458¨

Honolulu, Hawaii 96804 ¨

Telephone: 808-973-2244

Who do I contact regarding my Social Security disability appeal?

 If your initial application is denied and you appeal, you should contact the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). ODAR handles all parts of the appeals process, including scheduling hearings. There is one ODAR hearing office located in Hawaii. In addition, a regional ODAR office oversees Hawaii from San Francisco. The contact information for these offices can be found below.

Honolulu Hearing Office

Prince Kuhio Federal Building, Room 3-303

300 Ala Moana Boulevard

Honolulu, Hawaii 96850

Telephone: (855) 601-2479

Fax: (808) 541-3536

Regional Office

5th Floor

555 Battery Street

San Francisco, California 94111

Telephone: (866) 964-7584

Fax: (415) 705-2020

How can I get help at my disability appeal hearing?

A disability lawyer can represent you at your hearing, and can also prepare you to testify at your hearing and develop a theory of disability for you. To find a disability attorney in Hawaii, visit our Hawaii disability lawyers page.

by: , Contributing Author

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