Filing for Disability in Indiana

Indiana approves fewer Social Security disability applications than other states, even on appeal.

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While Social Security disability benefits are provided through a federal program, there are differences between the states. Below are some of the most common questions answered regarding Social Security Disability or SSI disability benefits in Indiana.

How do I apply for Social Security Disability benefits in Indiana?

There are two types of Social Security Disability benefits that those who become disabled may be eligible for: Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). All initial applications for SSDI or SSI must be filed either with your local Social Security office or online at the Social Security website (the online application is for SSDI only). In Indiana, there are 26 local Social Security field offices spread throughout the state. (The quickest way to find the one closest to you is to use Social Security's office finder.) Learn more about filing for Social Security Disability.

Your local Social Security office will review your application to make sure you meet all the technical qualifications (such as work credit requirements and income limits). If you meet all the technical requirements, your application will be sent to the Indiana Disability Determination Bureau (DDB) for a medical determination to be made on your case. The DDB decides whether you will receive benefits based on your disability.

What happens if my application is denied or I am not satisfied with the results of my decision?

If you are not satisfied with the decision you receive from the Indiana DDS, you have the right to appeal your decision. Indiana has a four-step appeals process that you can use if you are not satisfied with your decision.

The first appeals step is reconsideration. In a reconsideration, you request that the DDB review your case by a claims examiner who has not previously reviewed your case. In Indiana hardly any denied claims get approved at the reconsideration level. (Read about the reconsideration review.)

The second appeals step is a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) employed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). At this step, you will have the opportunity to appear at a hearing in front of the ALJ and answer questions asked by the ALJ and your lawyer, if you have one. You will also be able to bring witnesses with you to your hearing who can testify about your limitations. The hearing will be held at one of the six hearing offices in Indiana (see below for contact information). To learn more about hearings, see our section on disability appeal hearings.

The third appeals step is the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will only take cases that were decided incorrectly or where a procedural error was made in the case. The Appeals Council is also located at one of the Indiana hearing offices. (Learn how to appeal to the Disability Appeals Council.)

The fourth and last appeals step is to file a lawsuit in federal district court. There are two district courts in Indiana, for the Northern District and the Southern District.

What are my chances of being approved for disability benefits?

In Indiana, the approval rate for disability benefits is slightly lower than the national averages in all categories. And the wait time for hearings is slightly longer than the national average, with those in Indiana waiting 353 days for a hearing date, compared to the national average of 348 days. Below is a chart that compares Indiana approval rates to the national average.

 

Indiana Approval Rate

National Approval Rate

Initial Application

29.3%

31.7%

Reconsideration

4.8%

11%

Hearing

52.7%

58.6%

How much can I expect to receive per month if I get SSI benefits?

The source of payment for SSI comes primarily from the federal government, but individual states can chose to pay additional money to their residents. In Indiana, individuals who live in licensed residential facilities or Medicaid facilities will receive state supplemental payments in addition to their federal monthly payment. The program, called the Residential Care Assistance Program (RCAP), is administered by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Aging.See the chart below to see the amount you can receive monthly. If you have additional income, your monthly payments may be reduced.

 

Individual

Couple

SSI Recipients

$698

$1,048

SSI Recipients who live in a Licensed Residential Facility

$698- Federal

$827.06- Indiana

$1,525.06 Total

$1,048- Federal

$1,654.12- Indiana

$2,702.12 Total

SSI Recipients who live in a Medicaid Facility

$698- Federal

$22- Indiana

$720 Total

$1,048- Federal

$44- Indiana

$1,092 Total

Are there services that can help me if I am struggling to get or keep a job after I become disabled?

In Indiana, the Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) is a program under the Indiana Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) that was created to help disabled individuals prepare for, obtain, and retain jobs. Supported Employment (SE) is also available for individuals who are severely disabled and need hands-on assistance in the work place. In order to receive services, you must fill out an application at your local VRS office. Contact information for the five Regional VRS offices is listed below (these regional offices may be able to direct you to a local office closer to you).

REGION I
110 W Ridge Road
Gary, IN 46408
(219) 981-5326

REGION II
217 E Southway Blvd, Suite 100
Kokomo, IN 46902
(765) 455-5020

REGION III
2346 South Lynhurst Dr. Bldg. 100
Indianapolis, IN 46241
(317) 270-1005

REGION IV
700 E. Walnut Street,
Evansville, IN 47713-2561
(812) 425-1367

REGION V
211 N. Chestnut Street
Seymour, IN 47274-2103
(812) 523-6601

How do I check the status of my application?

As discussed above, the Indiana DDB reviews all initial applications and makes a decision regarding benefits, based on your medical records. After your application is filed with your local SSA office, you should direct all questions to DDB. Below is the contact information for DDB.

Indiana Disability Determination Bureau
P.O. Box 7069
Indianapolis, IN 46207-7069

Pending Claim Inquiries: (800) 622-4968

How do I get in touch with someone regarding my appeal?

Once you claim is in the appeals process, all work related to your claim is handled by the Office of Adjudication and Review (ODAR), otherwise known as the hearings office. The Regional Office for Indiana is located in Illinois. There are five local ODAR offices that serve Indiana, with four offices in state and one in Ohio. Below is the contact information for all ODAR offices serving the state.

Regional Office
Suite 2901
200 West Adams Street
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (877) 800-7576

Cincinnati
Enquirer Building, Suite 2100
#12 Elm Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: (877) 405-7672
Serves Madison

Evansville
Federal Building, Room 272
101 NW Martin Luther King Blvd
Evansville, IN 47708
Phone: (855) 863-3559
Serves Evansville and Vincennes

Fort Wayne
6511 Brotherhood Way
Fort Wayne, IN 46825
Phone: (866) 770-1735
Serves: Auburn, Elkhart, Fort Wayne, Marion

Indianapolis
Market Square Center, Suite 400
151 North Delaware Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (866) 931-4820
Serves: Anderson, Bloomington, Columbus, Indianapolis Downtown, Indianapolis Northeast, Indianapolis West, Kokomo, Muncie, Richmond

Valparaiso
1250 Eastport Centre Drive
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Phone: (866) 873-1269
Serves: Crawfordsville, Gary, Hammond, Lafayette, Merrillville, Michigan City, South Bend, Terre Haute, Valparaiso

Finding a Disability Lawyer in Indiana

If you've been denied disability, you may want to hire a legal representative for your ALJ hearing. Having a disability lawyer greatly increases your chances of winning at your disability hearing. (Here's how a lawyer helps.) You can visit our Indiana disability lawyer page to find a local lawyer who can help you with your claim.

by: , Contributing Author

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