Filing for Disability in Indiana

Here's what you need to know about filing a Social Security disability application in Indiana.

By , J.D. · Albany Law School

There are two types of Social Security disability benefits that people with disabilities can be eligible for in Indiana: Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is for workers with long work histories who have paid into the Social Security system with payroll taxes. SSI is for people who haven't worked that much in recent years and who have low income and assets.

The average SSDI payment in Indiana is $1,583 and the average SSI payment in Indiana is $581.

While Social Security disability benefits are provided through federal programs, there are differences between the states. Below are some of the most common questions answered regarding the SSDI and SSI programs in Indiana.

How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits in Indiana?

You file your initial application for SSDI or SSI either:

  • online at the Social Security website
  • by calling the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 800-772-1213, or
  • by going to your local Social Security field office.

Indiana has 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 field office finder.)

At the field office (or over the phone), a claims representative will review your application to make sure you've met all of the technical requirements for benefits (such as the work history requirements for SSDI or the income limits for SSI). If you meet all the technical requirements, the field office will send your application to the Indiana Disability Determination Bureau (DDB) for a medical determination to be made on your case. The DDB decides whether you should receive benefits based on your disability.

What Happens if My Application Is Denied?

Only 34% of applicants in Indiana are approved for disability benefits after the initial application. If you're not satisfied with the decision you receive from the Indiana DDB, you have the right to appeal your decision. Indiana has a four-step appeals process that you can use if you're denied benefits.


The first appeals step is reconsideration. In a reconsideration, you request that a different claims examiner at the DDB review your case. In Indiana, only 11% of denied claims get approved at the reconsideration level.

Disability Hearing

The second appeals step is a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) who works for the Social Security Administration (SSA). In Indiana, a full 57% of denied claims get approved at the hearing level.

At this step, you'll have the opportunity to appear at an Indiana hearing office in front of an ALJ. You'll answer questions asked by the ALJ and your lawyer, if you have one. You'll 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 five hearing offices that serve Indiana (see below for contact information). To learn more about hearings, read our article on disability appeal hearings.

Appeals Council

The third appeals step is the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will only take cases that were decided incorrectly or in which a procedural error was made in the case. (Learn how to appeal to the Disability Appeals Council.) Very few claims are approved at this step.

Federal Court

The fourth and last appeals step is to file a lawsuit in federal district court. There are two district courts in Indiana, one for the Northern District and one for the Southern District. Federal courts overturn very few denials of benefits by the SSA.

What Are My Chances of Being Approved for Disability Benefits?

In Indiana, DDS's approval rate for disability benefits (34%) is slightly lower than the national average (38%). But the average approval rate at Indiana's hearing offices is equal to the national average (57%).

Fortunately, the wait time for hearings is slightly less than the national average, with applicants in Indiana waiting 12 months for a hearing date, compared to the national average of 15 months.

Below is a chart comparing Indiana approval rates to the national average.

Indiana Approval Rate

National Approval Rate

Initial Application









Wait Time for Hearing

12 Months

15 Months

Source: ALJ Disposition Data Fiscal Year 2023 and Average Wait Time Until Hearing, June 2023 (Social Security).

Does Indiana Add a Supplement to the Federal SSI Payment?

The federal government sends the SSI payment (by either direct deposit or DirectExpress debit card), with up to $914 monthly for an individual (in 2023) and up to $1,371 for a couple. Individual states can choose to pay additional money to their residents, but the State of Indiana doesn't pay a cash supplement to SSI recipients.

However, individuals who live in licensed residential facilities or Medicaid facilities, can have their room and board covered by the state. The program, called the Residential Care Assistance Program (RCAP), is administered by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Aging.

Is Disability Income Taxable in Indiana?

Indiana exempts 100% of Social Security benefits and SSI benefits from a resident's tax liability. That means the state doesn't collect state income taxes on SSDI or SSI payments. For people with higher incomes, the federal government will tax a portion of their SSDI benefits. But the IRS and state do not tax SSI benefits.

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

Claim Inquiries: (800) 622-4968

How Do I Contact Someone Regarding My Appeal?

Once your claim is in the appeals process, all work related to your claim is handled by the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO), otherwise known as the hearings office. There are five OHO offices that serve Indiana, with four offices in state and one in Ohio. Below is the contact information for all OHO offices serving the state.

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

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

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

Old Post Office, 2nd & 3rd Floors
100 NW Second Street
Evansville, IN 47708
Phone: (855) 863-3559
Serves Evansville and Vincennes

J.W. Peck Federal Building, Suite 4-510
550 Main Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: (877) 405-7672
Serves Madison, Indiana

Before your hearing, you may want to check for address changes using Social Security's hearing office locator.

Does Indiana Provide Services to Help Me Get a Job After I Become Disabled?

In Indiana, the Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) is a program 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 workplace. In order to receive services, you must fill out an application at your local VRS office.

Updated July 28, 2023

Talk to a Disability Lawyer

Need a lawyer? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
Boost Your Chance of Being Approved

Get the Compensation You Deserve

Our experts have helped thousands like you get cash benefits.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you