Filing for Social Security Disability in Iowa

Here are the average SSDI and SSI payments for Iowa, approval rates for each stage of the disability process, and contact information for state agencies in Iowa.

By , J.D. · Albany Law School
Updated by Bethany K. Laurence, Attorney · UC Law San Francisco

Iowa disability benefits, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), are provided through federal programs for those who are disabled and are unable to work.

As federal programs, many of the disability determination processes are uniform throughout the United States, but each state's disability benefits are slightly different, including disability approval rates, how much you will receive monthly, vocational services provided, and contact information for local offices.

How Do I Apply for and Receive Disability Benefits in Iowa?

You apply for disability benefits online or through a local Social Security field office. Iowa has 17 field offices.

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 the technical requirements, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will send your application to a claims examiner at Iowa Disability Determination Services (DDS), a state agency, for a medical decision to be made on your records.

Below is the contact information for the DDS office in Iowa.

Iowa Disability Determination Services
535 SW 7th St.
Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone: (800) 532-1223, ext. 5
Fax: (515) 725-0900

Website: https://ivrs.iowa.gov/agency-services/disability-determination-services-dds

What Happens If My Claim Is Denied?

If the claims examiner at Iowa DDS denies your claim, you can ask that it be reconsidered by a different claims examiner by filing a reconsideration request (this is the first level of appeal).

If your claim is denied again by DDS, you can request a hearing by filing a request for a hearing with an administrative law judge. The DDS will then send your claim to the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO), a branch of Social Security in either Des Moines, Iowa, or Omaha, Nebraska, where a judge will decide your case at a disability hearing. Contact information for these offices is below.

What Are My Chances of Approval for Disability Benefits in Iowa?

At the initial application stage, only 44% of those who apply for Social Security disability benefits in Iowa are approved, while nationally 38% on average are approved. At the reconsideration stage, 14% of appeals from Iowa are approved, with 15% being approved nationally.

At the hearing stage in Iowa, your chances of getting approved are about the same as the national average (52%). Additionally, the wait time for a hearing in Iowa before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is about the same as the national average, about 10 months.

Stage of Application

Iowa

Nationally

Initial Application

44%

38%

Reconsideration Review

14%

15%

Appeal Hearing

52%

55%

Hearing Wait Time

10 months

10 months


Source: ALJ Disposition Data Fiscal Year 2024 and Average Wait Time Until Hearing, February 2024 (Social Security).

How Much SSDI Will I Receive in Iowa?

The average SSDI payment in Iowa was $1,671 in 2022. But how much you receive in SSDI depends on the wages you made over your lifetime. Your payment can be up to about $3,800, but few people receive that amount. (And widows and disabled adult children receive less.)

Read more about how Social Security calculates your SSDI payment.

How Much SSI Will I Receive in Iowa?

For SSI, the maximum amount an individual can receive is $943 per month, and a couple can receive $1,415 per month (in 2024). These amounts are for individuals who have no countable income; most types of income can lower your monthly benefit. Receiving free or discounted room and board can also reduce your benefits. Because of these reductions, the average SSI payment in Iowa in 2023 was only $592.

Does Iowa Have a State Supplement to SSI?

In addition to the federal SSI payment, you might be able to receive a supplemental payment from the state, called State Supplementary Assistance. But the State of Iowa only pays the supplement to individuals in certain living situations; it's mainly for those in residential care or receiving in-home health care.

The program is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). To apply for Iowa State Supplementary Assistance, go to the online HHS benefits portal.

You can learn about the various payment standards on the HHS website.

Is Disability Income Taxable in Iowa?

Iowa exempts 100% of Social Security benefits and SSI benefits from a resident's tax liability. That means the state doesn't tax SSDI or SSI payments. For people with higher incomes, the federal government will tax a portion of their SSDI benefits. But the IRS will never tax SSI benefits.

Hearing Office Contact Information

The Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) is the office that handles Social Security appeals. If you request an appeal hearing, you will deal directly with OHO. In Iowa, there are two hearing offices that are overseen by a Regional Office located in Missouri. Below is the contact information for the OHO offices that handle claims for Iowans.

Des Moines Hearing Office

Capitol Center 3, Suite 200
400 E. Court Ave
Des Moines, IA 50309-9821
Telephone: (877) 628-6577
Fax: (833) 586-0158

Serves the following local offices: Ames, Burlington, Carroll, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Creston, Decorah, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Marshalltown, Mason City, Ottumwa, and Waterloo.

Omaha, NE Hearing Office

Exec Center, Suite 500
1000 N 90th Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68114
Telephone: (888) 881-4633
Fax: (833) 561-0427

Serves the following local offices: Carroll, Council Bluffs, Creston, and Sioux City.

Before your hearing, you may want to check for address and phone number changes with Social Security's hearing office locator.

Are There Services That Can Help Me Return to Work in Iowa?

Individuals who are disabled may face special struggles when trying to return to work. In Iowa, Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) is the department that handles vocational services and works to place individuals with disabilities in jobs.

To apply for VRS services in Iowa, you can apply online.

If you need help through this process or have any questions regarding vocational rehabilitation in Iowa, you can contact one of the 28 IVRS area offices or 10 service units across the state to help. To contact one, use the IVRS office locator.

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