Filing for Disability in Kentucky

Kentucky Disability Determination Services is streamlining its decisions on Social Security and SSI disability applications.

Social Security disability benefits and SSI are available in Kentucky through the Social Security Administration. While the application process is similar throughout the nation, there are slight variations in Kentucky with regards to approval and denial rates, the monthly SSI payments available, and vocational rehabilitation services. Below are specifics about Social Security disability benefits in Kentucky.

Disability Benefits Statistics

In Kentucky, the approval rate at the initial  application  step and the  reconsideration  step (the first level of appeal) are below the national average, with only 25% of those from Kentucky being approved at the initial application step (meaning 75% of applications from Kentucky are initially denied) and 8% being approved at the reconsideration step. For comparison, the national average at the initial step is 32% approval and 11% approval at the reconsideration step.

At the  disability hearing  stage, where an administrative law judge hears your appeal, Kentucky has a slightly higher approval rate than the national average. The approval rate is 60.2% in Kentucky compared to 58.6% nationally. The wait times in Kentucky for a hearing are also significantly better than the national average, with wait times being 316 days in Kentucky versus 348 days nationally.

Stage of Application



Initial Application



Reconsideration Review



Appeal Hearing



Hearing Wait Time

316 days

348 days

SSI State Supplemental Payment

 Kentucky adds money to the federal SSI disability payment in some cases. (For disabled individuals who qualify for disability benefits based on income and not work history, they receive their benefit from Supplemental Security Income (SSI).) SSI is a federal program and therefore monthly payments to individuals are made by the federal government, but individual states may choose to pay residents additional monthly income. In Kentucky, the state contributes additional monthly payments when an SSI recipient is living in a personal care facility or a family care home or has a caretaker in the home. Below are the monthly payments for those individuals in Kentucky.

  • Personal Care Facility: $520 for an individual; $1,040 for a couple
  • Family Care Home: $172 for an individual; $344 for a couple
  • Caretaker in Home: $62 for an individual; $115 for a couple

The above state supplement is paid in addition to the federal monthly payments of $735 for an individual and $1,103 for a couple. Any income you have can decrease these monthly figures.

The Kentucky State Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Community Based Services,  Division of Family Support, administers this state supplementation.

Disability Determination Services

After the initial application is filed with your local Social Security office and a field representative determines you are  technically eligible for disability benefits, your application is sent to Disability Determination Services (DDS), a Kentucky state agency. The DDS office will then make a decision regarding your application based on the  medical disability standards. As Kentucky is one of the 20 states that are testing the “Single Decision-Maker” model, the DDS case workers can make a decision on your application without your case being reviewed by a medical consultant first (unless your claim involves a mental impairment or is on behalf of a child). In addition, the  Kentucky DDS is beginning to process claims electronically to try to speed up processing.

After your application is filedll questions to your closest DDS office. Here is the contact information for both of the DDS offices in Kentucky.

Louisville Office

P.O. Box 1061
Louisville, KY 40201
Telephone: (800) 928-3202

Frankfort Office

P.O. Box 1000
275 East Main Street
Frankfort, KY 40601
Telephone: (502) 564-8050  

Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) is the office that handles disability hearings and the  Appeals Council. The Regional ODAR Office for the entire state of Kentucky is located in Atlanta, GA. There are also four local ODAR headquarters spread throughout the state of Kentucky, which are the locations for hearings. Contact information for all relevant ODAR offices are found below, as well as the field offices that are covered by each ODAR headquarters.

Regional Office

Atlanta Federal Center, Suite 20T10
61 Forsyth Street, S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303
Telephone: (404) 562-1182

Lexington Headquarters

Suite 210
2241 Buena Vista Road
Lexington, KY 40505
Telephone: (866) 783-7301

This headquarter covers the Social Security field offices in Campbellsville, Danville, Frankfort, Hazard, Lexington, Maysville, and Richmond.

Louisville Headquarters

Gene Snyder U.S. Courthouse
601 W. Broadway, Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40202
Telephone: (866) 755-0197

This headquarter covers the field offices in Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Louisville Downtown, Louisville East, and Louisville West.

Middlesboro Headquarters

3504 Cumberland Avenue
Middlesboro, KY 40965
Telephone: (877) 600-2851

This headquarter covers the field offices in Corbin, Harlan, Middlesboro, and Somerset.

Paducah Headquarters

4730 Village Square Drive, Suite 200
Paducah, KY 42001
Telephone: (866) 964-2041

This headquarter covers the field offices in Hopkinsville, Madisonville, Mayfield, Owensboro, and Paducah.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services in Kentucky

After individuals become disabled, they often need help to prepare to return to work, obtain a job, and successfully maintain a job. In Kentucky, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) provides such services to individuals who are disabled. The OVR has over 50 offices spread throughout the state. You can find your local OVR office three ways: by telephone, by visiting the  OVR website, or by contacting the Central Office.

Central Office: Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Central Office

Telephone: (800) 372-7172
Cabinet of Human Resources Building
275 East Main Street
Mail Stop 2E-K
Frankfort, KY 40621

Finding a Disability Lawyer in Kentucky

If you need assistance with your disability claim or appeal, visit our  Kentucky disability lawyers’ page  to find a local attorney who can help you.

by:  , Contributing Author

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