Filing for Disability in New Hampshire

New Hampshire has added a step to its Social Security disability appeals process.

By , Contributing Author
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The process for qualifying for and receiving Social Security ad SSI Disability benefits is generally the same throughout the country, but there are slight variations in each state. Information about disability benefits that is specific to New Hampshire is below.

The Disability Appeal Process in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, Social Security has changed the appeals process to include an initial appeal step called "reconsideration." The appeals process now includes four steps: Reconsideration, ALJ hearing, Appeals Council, and federal litigation. If Social Security denies your application, before you can request a disability hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ), you have to ask Disability Determination Services to "reconsider" the denial.

Disability Statistics in New Hampshire

The likelihood of being awarded Social Security benefits in New Hampshire is much better than the national average. After the initial application phase, 52% of individuals in New Hampshire are awarded benefits; in comparison, nationwide the average percentage of individuals approved is 35%. At the hearing stage, 51% of individuals in New Hampshire are approved for benefits, compared to a national average of 45%. The wait time for hearings is also shorter than the national average, with wait times to have a hearing date scheduled being 11 months in New Hampshire on average and 18 months nationwide.

Stage of Application

New Hampshire

Nationally

Initial Application

52%

35%

Reconsideration Review

not available

13%

Appeal Hearing

51%

45%

Hearing Wait Time

11 months

18 months

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 to a majority of its SSI recipients. Below is a chart of the monthly state SSI payments in New Hampshire. Keep in mind these are the maximum amounts you can receive; your monthly payments may be adjusted if you have additional income.

NH Monthly Benefit

Living independently or in another's household

Individual: $41

Couple: $42

Living with an essential person

Individual: N/A

Couple: $38

Residential care facility for adults

Individual: $221

Enhanced family care facility

Individual: $221

Community residence- Unsubsidized

Individual: $162

Community residence- Subsidized

Individual: $102

Medicaid facility

Individual: $35

The SSI state supplement in New Hampshire is administered by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Family Assistance. The Division of Family Assistance office is located at 129 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301 and its contact number is (603) 271-9700.

Disability Determination Services (DDS)

After the local Social Security office screens your application to make sure that you meet the technical requirements for Social Security Disability benefits, your application is sent to the New Hampshire disability agency, called Disability Determination Services (DDS). There a disability claims examiner will decide whether you are disabled based on the medical information provided. In New Hampshire, there is one DDS office that decides applications for the entire state. The contact information office for that office can be found below.

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

NH's Office of Hearing Operations (OHO)

If your initial application is denied or you are not satisfied with the results, you can appeal the decision. All appeals are handled by 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: (603) 623-4050

Vocational Services

After becoming disabled, many individuals struggle with finding and keeping a job. In New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is available to help. VR provides various employment-related training and help. To apply, you should contact your local VR office and set up an appointment time to determine if you are eligible. Below are the local offices for VR.

Berlin Regional Office
650 Main Street
Berlin, NH 03570
(603) 752-2271(V/TTY)
888-300-9550

Concord Regional Offfice
2 Industrial Park Drive
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-2327(V/TTY)
800-299-1647

Keene Regional Office
103 Roxbury Street
Keene, NH 03431
(603) 357-0266(V/TTY)
800-620-7688

Lebanon/Hanover Area
85 Mechanic Street, Suite B21
Lebanon, NH 03766
(603) 448-5793(V/TTY)
800-621-7876

Manchester Regional Office
Mill West Corporate Center
195 McGregor Street Suite 120
Manchester, NH 03102
(603) 669-8733(V/TTY)
800-627-9304

Nashua Regional Office
5 Pine Street Extension
Nashua, NH 03062
(603) 889-6844(V/TTY)
800-635-9614

Portsmouth Regional Office
215 Commerce Way, Suite 3
Portsmouth, NH 03801
(603) 436-8884(V/TTY) 2
800-882-2744

The Cost of Medical Records

In New Hampshire, there is a charge for obtaining a copy of your medical records. You must pay up to 50 cents per page, even if you are applying for SSI. You are entitled to a copy within 30 days after you send your written request, even if you have not yet paid for services or for the cost of the copies.

Finding a Disability Lawyer in New Hampshire

If Social Security denies your initial disability application, you'll need to appeal by requesting a hearing in front of an ALJ. Your chances of winning benefits on appeal increase significantly if you hire a disability lawyer to represent you at the hearing. To find a lawyer in your area, see our page for New Hampshire disability lawyers.

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