Filing for Disability in Maine

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

By , Contributing Author
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Social Security disability benefits are administered through a federal program, so the application and appeals process and monthly payments are very similar throughout the country. However, there are differences between the states. 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 through a local Social Security office (there are eight in Maine), and your application is reviewed to make sure that you have meet all of the technical requirements for benefits (such as income or work history requirements). Then your application is sent to a claims examiner at Maine Disability Determination Services (DDS), a state agency in Augusta, for a medical decision to be made on your records.

If the claims examiner at DDS denies your claim, you can ask that it be reconsidered by a different claims examiner. If it's denied again, you can request a hearing, and your claim will be sent 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 about the same as the national average (see below). However, 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. In addition, the average wait for a hearing in Maine is only 10 months, which means a shorter wait time to receive a decision. Below is a chart that compares the statistics in Maine and national averages.

Stage of Application/Appeal Process

Maine

National

Initial Claim Approval

34%

35%

Reconsideration Approval

13%

13%

Hearing Approval

56%

46%

Hearing Wait Time

10 months

18 months

How much will I receive each month if I am approved for disability benefits in Maine?

How much you will receive each month depends on the type of disability benefits you are receiving. If receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), your payments are based on how much you have paid into the Social Security system while working. If receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will receive a standard payment from the federal government monthly (which may be adjusted if you have additional income), and you could also receive a small monthly supplement from the State of Maine, depending on your living situation.

Below is a chart of the maximum monthly payments you can receive under SSI in Maine.

Living Arrangement

State Monthly Benefit

Living Alone or With Others

Individual: $10

Couple: $15

Living in the Household of Another

Individual: $8

Couple: $12

Living in a Foster Home

Individual: $49

Couple: $273

Living in a Cost-Reimbursement Boarding Home

Individual:$234

Couple: $636

Living in a Medicaid Facility

Individual:$10

Couple: $20

In Maine, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) administers the monthly supplement that Maine offers; DHHS may be contacted at 207-287-3707.

Can my health care provider charge me to get a copy of my medical records for disability?

In Maine, there is no 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 $10 for the first page and $0.35 for each additional page. There is no limit to what your health care provider can charge altogether.

While you can get your own copies of your medical records and submit them to Social Security with your application, if you are unable to afford them, Social Security can obtain them. 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 your application is denied 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
Department of Health and Human Services
State House Station #116
Augusta, ME 04333
Phone: 207-377-9500 or 800-452-8718

OHO - Portland Hearing Office
One Portland Square
Suite 600
Portland, ME 04101-4092

Phone: 877-701-2137

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.

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