Filing for Disability in New York

Learn about the quirks of filing a Social Security disability claim and appealing a denial in New York.

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While Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are administered by the federal government according to federal law, in New York State, there are a few differences in the appeals process and in the amounts of the SSI monthly payment. Whether you've filed a disability claim in New York or you're about to file a claim with Social Security and you live in New York, here are some things you should know.

How to File a Disability Application in New York

You can file for disability by visiting a local field office, calling the Social Security call center, or by going online.

Local field office. There are 126 Social Security field offices in Social Security's New York Region. To find the one nearest you, use Social Security's field office locator.

Calling Social Security. You can call Social Security from 7am to 7pm, Monday through Friday at 800-772-1213. Those who are deaf or hearing impaired may call 800-325-0778. You can speak to a representative or schedule an appointment to file a disability application by calling this number.

Applying online. If you're filing for SSDI (not SSI), you can apply online at www.ssa.gov/pgm/disability.htm.

New York Disability Appeals Process

If you file for Social Security or SSI disability benefits and are denied, you'll need to appeal. Fortunately, for you, the appeals process in New York has been streamlined. It has three possible steps rather than the four in every other state -- New York does not have the "reconsideration" step, which most states requier you to go through before the ALJ hearing. Here are the appeal steps in New York.

Step 1- ALJ Hearing: If you initial application is denied, you can appeal to have an administrative hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Hearings are held at the closest Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) office in New York (there are ten). Even so, because hearings can be held up to 75 miles away, video conferences may be held in place of you traveling to the hearing.

Step 2- Appeals Council: If your application is denied after the hearing, you can appeal to the Appeals Council, which has offices in Maryland and Virginia. The Appeals Council will hear your appeal if, after reviewing your case, they decide that the decision made in your case was not supported by the evidence in your record.

Step 3- Federal Court: If your application is denied by the Appeals Council, you may file a suit in a federal U.S. district court in New York.

New York State Supplemental Payment for SSI

The state of New York adds money to the amount of the SSI check paid for by the federal payment. (For a single person living alone, the federal government pays $674 per month and New York adds on $87.) However, this amount varies depending on how much income you have, whether you live with others, whether you are married, whether your spouse receives SSI benefits as well, and whether you live in a nursing home, group home, or assisted living situation. The county or borough where you reside may also affect the amount you receive from the state of New York. Here's a chart of the combined federal and state payment you can expect if you don't have any countable income.

Your Living Situation

Monthly Payment

Living by yourself

$785.00

Living with others and paying your own expenses

$721.00

Living in someone else’s household and getting their help with expenses

$488.34

Living with your spouse who receives SSI

$1,152.00

Living with your spouse who receives SSI and others and paying your own expenses

$1,094.00

Living with your spouse who receives SSI in someone else’s household and getting their help with expenses

$744.67

Living in long-term health facility (State Supplemental Personal Needs Allowance)

$55.00

Living in hospital (State Supplemental Personal Needs Allowance)

$35.00

Medical Record Fees Limit in New York

With regards to obtaining medical records to submit with your disability application, New York allows doctors and other medical professionals to charge a reasonable fee for medical records. However, the charge may not exceed 75¢ per page. Additionally, your doctor cannot deny you your medical records because you are unable to pay for them.

New York Disability Statistics

In 2011, the percentage of people in New York who filed for Social Security Disability or SSI disability benefits who were awarded benefits was 66.8%. Of those favorable decisions, 90.2% were fully favorable decisions and 9.8% were partially favorable decisions.

After the initial application stage for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) only, the approval rate for initial disability applications in New York was 38%.

At the appeal hearing level, the overall approval rate for New York is 53% (this number increases if you are represented by a disability lawyer). The average wait time for a disability hearing in New York is 350 days.

Contact Information

Here is contact information for all of the DDS and ODAR locations in New York.

New York DDS Locations

If your disability application does't receive a technical denial at the field office, it will be sent to Disability Determination Services, a state agency with various locations in New York, to be evaluated for medical disability. If you don't receivea letter from DDS within a month or two of applying, you can call the toll-free DDS number for the New York Region at 800-522-5511 to find out to which office your case was sent.

Division of Disability Determination Services 
P.O. Box 165
Albany, New York 12260-0165
518-473-9320 

Division of Disability Determinations
22 Cortlandt Street
New York, New York 10007
212-240-3456 

Office of Disability Determination Services
P.O. Box 5030
Buffalo, New York 14205-5030
716-847-5007 

Division of Disability Determinations
P.O. Box 9009 
Endicott, New York 13761-9009 
607-741-4195

New York Hearing Offices

ODAR's Regional Headquarters for New York State is located in New York, at the following address:

New York Regional Office SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review 
Room 34-116
26 Federal Plaza
New York, New York 10278
Telephone: (212) 264-4036 Fax: (212) 264-1519

There are ten different ODAR offices throughout New York State. Below is the contact information for each office.

Albany

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review 
6th Floor
74 North Pearl Street
Albany, New York 12207-2211 
Telephone: (866) 862-7348 
Fax: (518) 462-1933

Covers the following field offices: Albany, Hudson, Glens Falls, Gloversville, Kingston, Plattsburgh, Poughkeepsie, Schenectady, Troy, Oneonta

Bronx

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review 
2nd Floor, Suite 4226 
East 161st Street
Bronx, New York 10451 
Telephone: (718) 537-4958 
Fax: (718) 590-1673

Covers the following field offices: East Bronx, Baychester, North Bronx, West Farms, South Bronx, Hunts Point, Bronx Hub, Riverdale

Brooklyn
SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review 
18th Floor
111 Livingston Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201-9238 
Telephone: (718) 330-7861 
Fax: (718) 330-2009

Covers the following field offices: Brooklyn, Avenue X, Boro Hall, Bay Ridge, Canarsie, Flatbush, Kings Plaza, Cypress Hills, Glendale, Crown Heights, Zip Code 11208

Buffalo
SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review 
50 Fountain Plaza, Suite 200 
Buffalo, New York 11753 
Telephone: (716) 551-4711 
Fax: (716) 551-4078

Covers the following field offices: Batavia, Buffalo, West Seneca, Cheektowaga, Jamestown, Dunkirk, Greece, Niagara Falls, Olean, Rochester

Jericho

 SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review 

3rd Floor
375 North Broadway
Jericho, New York 11753 
Telephone: (516) 942-0244 
Fax: (516) 942-0353

Covers the following field offices: Freeport, Long Beach, Melville, West Babylon, Mineola, Patchogue, Riverhead

New York

 SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review 
Room 2909
26 Federal Plaza 
New York, New York 10278-0035 
Telephone: (212) 264-8819 
Fax: (212) 264-8633

Covers the following field offices: Downtown, Chinatown, Delancey Street, Murray Hill, Tompkins Park, Midtown, Lenox Hill, Staten Island, New Dorp, Uptown, East Harlem, North Harlem, Washington Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Williamsburg, East New York

Queens

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review 
Joseph P. Addabo Federal Building
155-10 Jamaica Avenue, 2nd Floor 
Jamaica, NY 11431 
Mailing address: Office of Disability Adjudication and Review 
Joseph P. Addabo Federal Building
P.O. Box 319300 
Jamaica, NY 11431 
Telephone: (718) 557-6530 
Fax: (718) 557-6575

Covers the following field offices: Flushing, Jackson Heights, Astoria, Long Island City, Jamaica, Far Rockaway, Glendale, Cypress Hills- Zip Codes 11414, 11416, 11417, 11418, 11419, 11420 and 11421, Ridgewood- Zip Code 11385

Rochester

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review 
U.S. Federal Building, Room 4170
100 State Street
Rochester, New York 14614 
Telephone: (585) 263-5771 
Fax: (585) 263-5792

Covers the same offices as Buffalo, which includes the following field offices: Batavia, Buffalo, West Seneca, Cheektowaga, Jamestown, Dunkirk, Greece, Niagara Falls, Olean, Rochester

Syracuse

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review 
300 S. State Street, 5th floor
Syracuse, New York 13202 
Telephone: (315) 479-3900 
Fax: (315) 479-3933

Covers the following field offices: Auburn, Binghamton, Ithaca, Elmira, Corning, Geneva, Ogdensburg, Oswego, Syracuse, Utica, Herkimer, Rome, Watertown

White Plains

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review 
Suite 202
75 South Broadway
White Plains, New York 10601 
Telephone: (914) 761-7190 
Fax: (914) 682-7006

Covers the following field offices: New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, White Plains, Peekskill, Newburgh, Monticello, Glen Rock, Yonkers, Patterson, West Nyack

New York Rehabilitation Services

If you are interested in job retraining, here is a good government resource for New Yorkers.

New York State Education Department
Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services - Vocational Rehabilitation
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234
800-222-JOBS

New York State Disabililty Benefits

The State of New York provides up to six months of paid disability benefits to qualified employees through its temporary disability benefits (DB) law. Benefits are limited to 50% of average weekly wages. For more information, see our article on New York's short-term disability (DB) program.

Getting Help

If you're looking for legal representation for your ALJ hearing, you can visit our New York disability lawyer page to find a local lawyer who can help you with your claim.

by: , Contributing Author

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