People living with disabilities in Connecticut may be eligible for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. In Connecticut, the initial approval or denial decision for Social Security or SSI disability is made by a state agency called Disability Determination Services (DDS).
Below, we highlight some information about applying for SSDI or SSI that's specific to Connecticut and provide contact information for helpful resources in Connecticut.
After you apply for disability benefits, a claims representative at the Social Security Administration (SSA) will determine whether you're technically eligible for benefits (meaning you either meet work history or income requirements). Then the SSA will send your claim to Connecticut's DDS.
A claims examiner at DDS, with the help of a doctor who works for DDS, will make the medical determination of your eligibility for Social Security or SSI benefits. The examiner will contact you and your doctor to get your medical records before making their decision.
Here is the contact information for Connecticut's DDS.
Disability Determination Services
309 Wawarme Avenue
Hartford, CT 06114
If you disagree with the decision made by DDS, you can ask the office to reconsider the decision by filing a reconsideration request. If you're denied a second time, you can request a hearing with the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) at the Social Security Administration. You have only 60 days to appeal at each stage. It can take over a year to get a hearing date (16 months in Connecticut), but if you can wait that long, a judge will re-decide your claim.
In Connecticut, the initial approval rate for those applying for Social Security benefits is higher than the national average, but the approval rate at the hearing level is lower than the national average. That would seem to indicate that the claims examiners at DDS are making more correct decisions when they approve applicants for benefits the first time around, so the administrative law judges who work for Social Security don't need to reverse as many denials at the hearing level.
Here are the specific approval rates for Connecticut for the fiscal year 2022/2023.
Hearing Wait Time
In Connecticut, state law requires that individuals be given access to their medical records. Health care providers can normally charge patients for a copy of their medical records, but there is an exception for individuals who are applying for Social Security benefits or appealing a Social Security benefits denial.
If you are applying for Social Security benefits, you must be given one free copy of your medical records. You're entitled to another free copy of your medical records to support an appeal to Social Security for a denial of benefits.
In order to receive either of these free copies, you must include documents with your request for your medical records that show you're applying for Social Security benefits or filing an appeal. Your attorney or an authorized representative may request your medical records on your behalf.
Your health care providers must provide you with your records within 30 days of your request.
The federal SSI payment can be as high as $914 for those without income, and the Connecticut State Supplement Program provides an additional small supplemental payment to those who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The monthly cash award depends on how much rent you pay and what other income you have. Connecticut's supplemental payments, which are paid through the State Supplement to the Aged, Blind or Disabled program, can be as low as $150 for an individual living independently or as high as the cost of room and board at a residential care home or medical facility. The supplement is administered by the Connecticut Department of Social Services.
Residents of Connecticut only have to pay state tax on their SSDI income if they have income over a certain amount. Individual taxpayers are exempt from paying state taxes on their Social Security benefits if their federal adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than $75,000. Married taxpayers who file jointly are exempt from paying state taxes on their Social Security benefits if their federal AGI is below $100,000. But even people with income above those thresholds only have to pay taxes on 25% of their benefits.
SSI benefits are not taxed.
The Vocational Rehabilitation program (VR), under the Connecticut Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), is the program that the State of Connecticut offers to help persons with disabilities to find and keep jobs.
VR offers services including vocational counseling, help with your job search, job training, help getting assistive technology you need to work, and support at your job if needed. As VR has limited resources, it's important to understand that not all who are disabled will receive vocational services; only people with the greatest limitations will receive benefits from VR.
In order to obtain more information about or apply for VR, you can call 800-537-2549 or visit your local office. VR offers an orientation for individuals to become familiar with what VR has to offer; it's recommended that you attend orientation before applying for VR benefits.
The Office of Hearing Operations (OHO) is responsible for handling all disability appeals. There are two OHO hearing offices in Connecticut that hear cases from the local SSA field offices. The contact information and the local SSA offices that they cover are listed below.
Hartford Hearing Office
135 High Street, Room 331
William R. Cotter Federal Building
Hartford, CT 06103-1193
The Hartford hearing office provides services to the following local SSA offices: Bristol, East Hartford, Hartford, Meriden, Middleton, New Britain, Torrington, Waterbury, and Willimantic.
New Haven Hearing Office
Connecticut Financial Center
157 Church Street, 7th Floor
New Haven, CT 06510
The New Haven hearing office provides services to the following local SSA offices: Ansonia, Bridgeport, Danbury, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Norwich, and Stamford.
Updated July 19, 2023