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Social Security disability benefits and SSI are available in Kentucky through the Social Security Administration. While the application process is similar throughout the nation, there are slight variations in Kentucky with regards to approval and denial rates, the monthly SSI payments available, and vocational rehabilitation services. Below are specifics about Social Security disability benefits in Kentucky.
In Kentucky, the approval rate at the initial application step and the reconsideration step (the first level of appeal) are below the national average, with only 25% of those from Kentucky being approved at the initial application step (meaning 75% of applications from Kentucky are initially denied) and 8% being approved at the reconsideration step. For comparison, the national average at the initial step is 32% approval and 11% approval at the reconsideration step.
At the disability hearing stage, where an administrative law judge hears your appeal, Kentucky has a slightly higher approval rate than the national average. The approval rate is 60.2% in Kentucky compared to 58.6% nationally. The wait times in Kentucky for a hearing are also significantly better than the national average, with wait times being 316 days in Kentucky versus 348 days nationally.
Kentucky adds money to the federal SSI disability payment in some cases. (For disabled individuals who qualify for disability benefits based on income and not work history, they receive their benefit from Supplemental Security Income (SSI).) SSI is a federal program and therefore monthly payments to individuals are made by the federal government, but individual states may choose to pay residents additional monthly income. In Kentucky, the state contributes additional monthly payments when an SSI recipient is living in a personal care facility or a family care home or has a caretaker in the home. Below are the monthly payments for those individuals in Kentucky.
The above state supplement is paid in addition to the federal monthly payments of $721 for an individual and $1,082 for a couple. Any income you have can decrease these monthly figures.
The Kentucky State Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Community Based Services, Division of Family Support, administers this state supplementation.
After the initial application is filed with your local Social Security office and a field representative determines you are technically eligible for disability benefits, your application is sent to Disability Determination Services (DDS), a Kentucky state agency. The DDS office will then make a decision regarding your application based on the medical disability standards. As Kentucky is one of the 20 states that are testing the “Single Decision-Maker” model, the DDS case workers can make a decision on your application without your case being reviewed by a medical consultant first (unless your claim involves a mental impairment or is on behalf of a child). In addition, the Kentucky DDS is beginning to process claims electronically to try to speed up processing.
After your application is filedll questions to your closest DDS office. Here is the contact information for both of the DDS offices in Kentucky.
P.O. Box 1061
Louisville, KY 40201
Telephone: (800) 928-3202
P.O. Box 1000
275 East Main Street
Frankfort, KY 40601
Telephone: (502) 564-8050
The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) is the office that handles disability hearings and the Appeals Council. The Regional ODAR Office for the entire state of Kentucky is located in Atlanta, GA. There are also four local ODAR headquarters spread throughout the state of Kentucky, which are the locations for hearings. Contact information for all relevant ODAR offices are found below, as well as the field offices that are covered by each ODAR headquarters.
Atlanta Federal Center, Suite 20T10
61 Forsyth Street, S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303
Telephone: (404) 562-1182
2241 Buena Vista Road
Lexington, KY 40505
Telephone: (866) 783-7301
This headquarter covers the Social Security field offices in Campbellsville, Danville, Frankfort, Hazard, Lexington, Maysville, and Richmond.
Gene Snyder U.S. Courthouse
601 W. Broadway, Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40202
Telephone: (866) 755-0197
This headquarter covers the field offices in Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Louisville Downtown, Louisville East, and Louisville West.
3504 Cumberland Avenue
Middlesboro, KY 40965
Telephone: (877) 600-2851
This headquarter covers the field offices in Corbin, Harlan, Middlesboro, and Somerset.
4730 Village Square Drive, Suite 200
Paducah, KY 42001
Telephone: (866) 964-2041
This headquarter covers the field offices in Hopkinsville, Madisonville, Mayfield, Owensboro, and Paducah.
After individuals become disabled, they often need help to prepare to return to work, obtain a job, and successfully maintain a job. In Kentucky, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) provides such services to individuals who are disabled. The OVR has over 50 offices spread throughout the state. You can find your local OVR office three ways: by telephone, by visiting the OVR website, or by contacting the Central Office.
Central Office: Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Central Office
Telephone: (800) 372-7172
Cabinet of Human Resources Building
275 East Main Street
Mail Stop 2E-K
Frankfort, KY 40621
If you need assistance with your disability claim or appeal, visit our Kentucky disability lawyers’ page to find a local attorney who can help you.
by: Lorraine Netter, Contributing Author