If you live in Nebraska when you apply for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI or SSI), your claim will be sent to a state agency in Lincoln called the Disability Determinations Section (DDS). The DDS comes under the Nebraska Department of Education's Vocational Rehabilitation department.
At the Nebraska DDS, a disability claims examiner will decide whether you are medically disabled. If the claims examiner denies your claim, you'll have to file a reconsideration review, which asks a different claims examiner at DDS to review the file. If the reconsideration is denied (most are), you'll need to file a request for hearing with Social Security. From then on, your claim will be handled by Social Security's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). You'll find contact information and approval statistics for these offices below.
In Nebraska, your chance of having DDS approve your initial disability application is 39.4%, which is higher than the national average. Nebraska DDS approves more disability claims based on vocational factors rather than meeting the requirements of a disability listing.
Here is the contact information for Nebraska DDS.
Disability Determinations Section
P.O. Box 82530
Lincoln, Nebraska 68501-2530
If you request a hearing, it will be held at an ODAR location in Nebraska or Kansas. The wait time for a hearing in North Dakota is eleven months, which is slightly shorter than the national average.
After attending a disability hearing, you have a 58.3% chance of having the administrative law judge (ALJ) approve your disability benefits, which is almost the same as the national average. ALJs in the Omaha hearing office have a slightly lower approval rate of 46.2%.
There is a regional ODAR office in Kansas City, Missouri, that supervises the hearing offices in several states, including Nebraska. In addition, there's a local hearing office in Omaha that handles the disability appeal hearings for most Nebraskans, and an office in Topeka, Kansas, that holds hearings for some residents of southwestern Nebraska. Here is their contact information.
Omaha Hearing Office
Center Pointe Professional Plaza
9239 West Center Road, Suite 100
Omaha, Nebraska 68124
Telephone: (888) 881-4633
Fax: (402) 398-1557
Topeka Hearing Office
3712 SW Burlingame, Suite A
Topeka, Kansas 66609
Telephone: (888) 436-2615
Regional Office of Disability Adjudication and
1100 Main Street, Suite 1700
Kansas City, Missouri 64105-5163
Telephone: (888) 238-7975
Fax: (816) 842-4250
Nebraska adds a small supplement on to the federal monthly payment of $698 for SSI recipients. The payment ranges from $5 for those living independently to $438 for those living in assisted living. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) administers the payment. To find out the amount of the payment you qualify for, ask a Health and Human Services caseworker at the DHHS.
For Nebraskans who want to try to return to work but need help, Nebraska's Vocational Rehabilitation office offers vocational services such as counseling, job placement, and help with accommodations. The office's program for disabled job seekers is called Quality Employment Solutions. Here is its contact information:
Quality Employment Solutions®
Department of Education
State of Nebraska
P.O. Box 94987
Lincoln, NE 68509
Toll free: 877.637.3422
If you are denied benefits by Nebraska DDS and want to appeal, you should consider hiring a lawyer to represent you at your ALJ hearing. Most disability claimants bring a disability lawyer to their hearing because their chance of winning benefits at a hearing is significantly higher with an attorney. To find a local attorney, see our Nebraska disability lawyers page.