Filing for Social Security Disability in Kentucky

Here are Kentucky's disability approval and denial rates for each decision stage and the average SSDI and SSI payments in Kentucky.

By , J.D. · Albany Law School

Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are available in the state of Kentucky from the Social Security Administration. While the application process for SSDI and SSI is similar throughout the nation, there are variations in Kentucky with regard to approval and denial rates, the monthly SSDI and SSI payments in Kentucky, and the vocational rehabilitation services available to residents of Kentucky.

How Do I Apply for and Get Disability Benefits in Kentucky?

You can apply for disability benefits online at SSA's website or through a local Social Security field office. 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 Kentucky Disability Determination Services (DDS), a state agency, for a medical decision to be made on your records.

After your application is filed, you should direct your questions to your closest DDS office. Here is the address and phone number for the DDS office in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Frankfort Office
730 Schenkel Lane
Frankfort, KY 40601
Telephone: (502) 564-7941

What Happens If My Claim Is Denied?

If the claims examiner at Kentucky's DDS denies your application, you can ask that your claim be reconsidered by a different claims examiner. You do this by filing a reconsideration request (this is the first level of appeal).

If your claim is denied again, you can request an appeal 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 with offices in Lexington, Louisville, Middlesboro, and Paducah, where a judge will decide your case at a disability hearing.

The addresses and phone numbers for the hearing offices that serve Kentucky are below, along with the field offices that are covered by each OHO headquarters.

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

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

Louisville OHO
Gene Snyder U.S. Courthouse
601 W. Broadway, Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40202
Telephone: (866) 755-0197 Ext. 29234

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

Middlesboro OHO
12 Tech Park Drive
Middlesboro, KY 40965
Telephone: (877) 600-2851 Ext. 13003

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

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

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

Before your hearing, you may want to check to see if any addresses or phone numbers have changed by using Social Security's hearing office locator.

What Are Kentucky's Disability Benefits Approval Statistics?

In Kentucky, the approval rates at the initial application step and the reconsideration step (the first level of appeal) are below the national average, with only 33% of those from Kentucky being approved at the initial application step and 10% being approved at the reconsideration step. (According to Social Security data from October 2022 to September 2023.)

At the disability hearing stage, where an administrative law judge hears the appeal, Kentucky's approval rate is 53% compared to 59% nationally (at the end of 2023). The average wait time in Kentucky for a hearing has dropped significantly, and at the end of 2023, it was only 7 months, compared to the 10-month wait nationally.

Stage of Application



Initial Application Approval



Reconsideration Approval



Appeal Hearing Approval



Hearing Wait Time

7 months

10 months

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

How Much Are SSDI Benefits in Kentucky?

The average SSDI payment in Kentucky is $1,447 per month, but some people receive up to $3,822, depending on their income. (And widows and disabled adult children receive less.) Read more about how Social Security calculates your SSDI payment.

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

What Is Kentucky's State Supplemental Payment for SSI?

The average SSI payment in Kentucky was $603 in late 2022. But the State of Kentucky adds money to the federal SSI disability payment in some cases. SSI is a federal program, but individual states may choose to pay residents additional monthly income.

In Kentucky, the state only contributes an additional monthly payment when an SSI recipient is living in a personal care home (PCH) or a family care home (FCH), or has a caretaker in their own home. The additional payment is to pay for room and board or at-home services.

To receive a payment for a PCH or FCH, the individual must live in a PCH or FCH licensed by the Certificate of Need and Licensure Board. Below are the monthly payments for those individuals in Kentucky in 2024.

  • Personal Care Home (PCH): $1,559 for an individual
  • Family Care Home (FCH): $1,115 for an individual
  • Caretaker in Home: $1,005 for an individual; $1,530 for a couple (both spouses receiving care).

The above amounts include the federal monthly payments (in 2024, up to $943 for an individual and $1,415) for a couple. Any other income you have may 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.

Are Short-Term Disability Benefits Available in Kentucky?

Social Security doesn't pay benefits for temporary disabilities (less than a year), and only a handful of states have programs that pay short-term disability benefits to workers who become ill or disabled and can't work. An increasing number of states are adding paid medical leave programs, but Kentucky isn't yet one of them.

Some employees, however, have a benefit at their company that provides short-term disability insurance. This benefit typically pays about 55%-70% of your regular wages for three to six months while you're off work. Ask your company's HR department if any benefits are available when you take a medical leave from work.

Are There Vocational Rehabilitation Services in Kentucky?

After individuals become disabled from an illness or injury, sometimes their conditions improve and they want to try going back to work. 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 services to individuals with disabilities.

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. Here is their address and phone number.

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Central Office
Mayo-Underwood Building
500 Mero Street 4th Floor NE
Frankfort, KY 40601
800-372-7172 (V/TTY)

Updated February 8, 2024

Other Sources:
Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2022
Annual Statistical Supplement, 2023

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