Filing for Disability in New Hampshire

New Hampshire's Disability Determination Services agency, which makes the initial disability determinations for Social Security, has a much higher rate of approval than the national average.

By , J.D. · Albany Law School

The process for qualifying for and receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits is generally the same throughout the country, but there are slight variations in each state.

SSDI is for workers who've paid into the system for many years through payroll taxes or self-employment taxes. If you haven't worked long enough, or recently enough, to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you could still be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.

SSI is a needs-based federal disability program with no earning history requirements. However, you do have to meet strict asset and income limits to qualify for SSI benefits.

Here's how the disability process works in New Hampshire.

How Do I Apply for and Get Disability Benefits in New Hampshire?

You can apply for disability benefits online at SSA's website or through a local Social Security field office. New Hampshire has field offices in Concord, Keene, Littleton, Manchester, Nashua, and Portsmouth.

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 New Hampshire's Disability Determination Services (DDS), a state agency in Concord. There, a claims examiner will decide whether you're disabled, with the help of a medical consultant who works for DDS.

What's the Disability Appeal Process in New Hampshire?

If you're denied benefits, you have 60 days to appeal. In New Hampshire, the appeals process includes four steps:

New Hampshire skipped the reconsideration step for several years as part of a trial program, but it's been added back to the appeals process. So if the DDS in Concord denies your application, you have to ask the agency to "reconsider" the denial before you can request a disability hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ).

What Are My Chances for Approval on a Disability Claim in New Hampshire?

The likelihood of being awarded Social Security benefits in New Hampshire is much better than the national average in the first two stages. After the initial application phase, 49% of individuals in New Hampshire are awarded benefits; in comparison, nationwide the average percentage of individuals approved is 38%.

And at the reconsideration stage, the DDS approved 25% of the appealed claims it looks at.

At the hearing stage, 51% of individuals in New Hampshire are approved for benefits, compared to a national average of 57%.

Thankfully, the wait time for hearings to be scheduled is shorter than the national average. Wait times at the Manchester hearing office are 9 months in New Hampshire on average (compared to 15 months nationwide).

Stage of Application

New Hampshire


Initial Application



Reconsideration Review



Appeal Hearing



Hearing Wait Time

9 months

15 months

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

What Is New Hampshire's Supplemental Payment for SSI?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program, meaning your monthly payments are paid by the federal government, but states can choose to provide additional monthly payments to the individuals in their state. New Hampshire offers additional monthly payments, called State Supplements, to most of its SSI recipients.

The State Supplement Program (SSP) for recipients of SSI disability benefits includes:

  • Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled (APTD), and
  • Aid to the Needy Blind (ANB).

The supplemental payments are modest, usually around $40, and they can be adjusted down if you have additional income.

The SSP state supplement in New Hampshire is administered by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Family Assistance.

The Bureau of Family Assistance office is located at 129 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301 and its contact number is (603) 271-9700. For more information, see the Department of Health and Human Services' pamphlet.

Is Disability Income Taxable in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire exempts 100% of Social Security benefits and SSI benefits from a resident's tax liability. That means the state doesn't collect income tax on SSDI or SSI payments. For people with higher incomes, the federal government will tax a portion of their SSDI benefits. But the IRS and the State of New Hampshire do not tax SSI benefits.

Where Is Disability Determination Services in New Hampshire?

After the local Social Security office screens your application to make sure that you meet the technical requirements for Social Security Disability benefits, the claims representative will send your application to the New Hampshire disability agency, called Disability Determination Services (DDS).

At DDS, a disability claims examiner will decide whether you're disabled based on your medical records. In New Hampshire, one DDS office decides applications for the entire state. The contact information office for that office can be found below.

21 South Fruit Street, Suite 30
Concord, NH 03301
Telephone: (603) 271-3341 or (800) 266-2096

Where Is NH's Office of Hearing Operations (OHO)?

If your initial application is denied, you can appeal the decision. All appeals are handled by the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO). There is one hearing office in New Hampshire; this office handles all hearings in the state. Here is the contact information:

Manchester Hearing Office

1750 Elm Street, Suite 303
Manchester, NH 03104
Telephone: (888) 318-7973
Fax: (833) 563-0487

What Is the Cost of Medical Records in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, medical providers can charge you for obtaining a copy of your medical records even if you're applying for SSI. You can be charged up to 50 cents per page, or $15 for the first 30 pages, whichever is greater.

But you're entitled to a copy within 30 days after you send your written request, even if you haven't yet paid for medical services or for the cost of the copies.

Does the State of New Hampshire Help People With Disabilities Find Jobs?

After becoming disabled, many individuals struggle with finding a job they can do. But if you're denied disability benefits, you may need to go back to part-time work.

In New Hampshire, the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program is available to help. VR provides various employment-related training and help finding a job. To apply, you should contact your local VR office and set up an appointment time to determine if you're eligible. Learn more about the available services and how to contact the agency in VR New Hampshire's brochure.

Updated August 2, 2023

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