Filing for Disability in Maine

If you live in Maine and are unable to work, you may be able to get SSDI, or SSI with a small state supplement.

By , J.D. · Albany Law School

Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are administered through a federal program, so the application and appeals process and monthly payments are similar throughout the country. However, there are differences between the states.

For instance, Maine differs from other states in the following areas:

  • the state agency that makes the initial disability decision
  • the approval rates for initial applications and appeals
  • how long a disability claim takes to be decided, and
  • the amount of SSI you can receive.

Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions about Social Security disability benefits in Maine.

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

You apply for disability benefits online or through a local Social Security field office (there are eight in Maine). At the field office, 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 Maine Disability Determination Services (DDS), a state agency in the town of Winthrop, for a medical decision to be made on your records.

If the claims examiner at Maine's 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, 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 Portland, where a judge will decide your case at a disability hearing.

What Are My Chances of Being Approved for Benefits in Maine?

Your chances of being approved by Maine DDS at the initial and reconsideration stages are somewhat higher than the national average (see below). In addition, at the hearing stage, you have a significantly better chance of being approved for benefits by judges at the Portland hearing office than at other hearing offices in the U.S.

The average wait for a hearing in Maine is 15 months, the typical wait time to receive a decision.

Below is a chart that compares the statistics in Maine and national averages.

Stage of Application/Appeal Process



Initial Claim Approval



Reconsideration Approval



Hearing Approval



Hearing Wait Time

15 months

15 months

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

How Much Will I Receive Each Month If I'm Approved for Disability Benefits?

How much you can collect each month depends on the type of disability benefits you're receiving. If you're receiving Social Security disability insurance, your payments are based on how much you have paid into the Social Security system while working.

If you're receiving SSI, you'll receive a standard monthly payment from the federal government. In 2023, the maximum SSI federal monthly payment for an individual is $914, but this amount will be adjusted if you have additional income or if you receive free room and board.

You could also receive a small monthly supplement from the State of Maine, depending on your living situation. The amount depends on the recipient's living situation. Individuals living on their own or with others can get an extra $8-10 per month. SSI recipients living in a boarding home receive $217 to $234, though most of that money goes toward the boarding home.

In Maine, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) administers the monthly supplement that Maine offers. You can contact DHHS at 207-287-3707.

Is Disability Income Taxable in Maine?

Maine 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.

Can My Health Care Provider Charge Me for a Copy of My Medical Records?

Maine doesn't have a regulation that prevents health care providers from charging you for a copy of your medical records that are being used for Social Security applications or appeals.

Health care providers can charge you $5 for the first page and $0.45 for each additional page of medical records. But there is no limit to what your health care provider can charge altogether, and medical records can be very long.

While you can get your own copies of your medical records and submit them to Social Security with your application, if you can't afford them, Social Security can obtain them for you. Social Security has the obligation to request medical records that are not provided to them so that they have a complete view of your medical impairments.

Who Do I Contact in Maine About My Disability Application or Appeal?

After you submit your application, you can contact Maine Disability Determination Services for help. If DDS denies your application and you choose to request an appeal hearing, you can contact the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) with questions.

Below is the contact information for the DDS office and OHO offices that cover Maine.

Disability Determination Services
1705 US Route 202
Winthrop, ME 04364
Phone: (207) 287-9600 or (800) 452-8718

OHO - Portland Hearing Office
One Portland Square
Suite 600
Portland, ME 04101-4092
Phone: (877) 701-2137

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

Is There Someone Who Can Help Me if I Want to Return to Work After Being Disabled?

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) under the Maine Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) is the office in Maine that helps people who are disabled to find and keep a job. Those who receive SSDI or SSI are immediately eligible for these services.

To apply for services, you should contact your local DVR office. Contact information for the local offices can be found on the DVR's website.

Updated July 19, 2023

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