Filing for Disability in New York: Social Security and SSI

Learn about the quirks of filing a Social Security disability claim and appealing a denial in New York.

While Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are administered by the federal government according to federal law, in New York State, there are a few differences in the appeals process and in the amounts of the SSI monthly payment. Whether you've filed a disability claim in New York or you're about to file a claim with Social Security and you live in New York, here are some things you should know.

How to File a Disability Application in New York

You can file for disability by visiting a local field office, calling the Social Security call center, or by going online.

Local field office. There are 126 Social Security field offices in Social Security's New York Region. To find the one nearest you, use Social Security's field office locator.

Calling Social Security. You can call Social Security from 7am to 7pm, Monday through Friday at 800-772-1213. Those who are deaf or hearing impaired may call 800-325-0778. You can speak to a representative or schedule an appointment to file a disability application by calling this number.

Applying online. If you're filing for SSDI (not SSI), you can apply online at www.ssa.gov/pgm/disability.htm.

New York Disability Appeals Process

If you file for Social Security or SSI disability benefits and your application is denied, you'll need to appeal. Fortunately, for you, the appeals process in New York has been streamlined. It has three possible steps rather than the four in every other state -- New York does not have the "reconsideration" step, which most states require you to go through before the ALJ hearing. Here are the appeal steps in New York.

Step 1- ALJ Hearing: If your initial application is denied, you can appeal to have an administrative hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Hearings are held at the closest Office of Hearing Operations (formerly the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review) in New York (there are ten). But because hearings can be held up to 75 miles away, video conferences may be held in place of you traveling to the hearing.

Step 2- Appeals Council: If your application is denied after the hearing, you can appeal to the Appeals Council, which has offices in Maryland and Virginia. The Appeals Council will hear your appeal if, after reviewing your case, they decide that the decision made in your case was not supported by the evidence in your record.

Step 3- Federal Court: If your application is denied by the Appeals Council, you may file a suit in a federal U.S. district court in New York.

New York Disability Statistics

In 2017/2018, at the initial application stage, the approval rate for initial disability applications was 39%.

At the appeal hearing level, in the 2017/2018 year, ALJs approved 61% of cases, denied 17% of cases, and dismissed 22% of cases. Nationally, only 45% of cases were approved during the same time period. The average wait time for a disability hearing in New York is almost 23 months.

New York State Supplemental Payment for SSI

The state of New York pays a supplemental payment to those receiving SSI from the federal government. For example, for a single person living alone, the federal government typically pays $750 per month and New York pays an additional $87.) However, this amount varies depending on how much income you have, whether you live with others, whether you are married, whether your spouse receives SSI benefits as well, and whether you live in a nursing home, group home, or assisted living situation. The county or borough where you reside may also affect the amount you receive from the state of New York.

You apply for the supplemental payment through NY’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).

Here's a chart of the combined federal and state payment for a single person without any countable income.

Your Living Situation

Monthly Payment

Living by yourself

$837

Living with others and paying your own expenses

$773

Living in someone else’s household and getting their help with expenses

$523

Living with your spouse who receives SSI

$1,129

Living with your spouse who receives SSI and others and paying your own expenses

$1,171

Living with your spouse who receives SSI in someone else’s household and getting their help with expenses

$796

Living in long-term health facility (State Supplemental Personal Needs Allowance)

$55

Living in hospital (State Supplemental Personal Needs Allowance)

$35

Medical Record Fees Limit in New York

With regards to obtaining medical records to submit with your disability application, New York allows doctors and other medical professionals to charge a reasonable fee for medical records. However, the charge may not exceed 75¢ per page. Additionally, your doctor cannot deny you your medical records because you are unable to pay for them.

Contact Information

Here is contact information for all of the DDS and OHO (hearing office) locations in New York.

New York DDS Locations

If your disability application does't receive a technical denial at the field office, it will be sent to Disability Determination Services, a state agency with various locations in New York, to be evaluated for medical disability. If you don't receivea letter from DDS within a month or two of applying, you can call the toll-free DDS number for the New York Region at 800-522-5511 to find out to which office your case was sent.

Division of Disability Determination Services
P.O. Box 165
Albany, New York 12260-0165
518-473-9320

Division of Disability Determinations
22 Cortlandt Street
New York, New York 10007
212-240-3456

Office of Disability Determination Services
P.O. Box 5030
Buffalo, New York 14205-5030
716-847-5007

Division of Disability Determinations
P.O. Box 9009
Endicott, New York 13761-9009
607-741-4195

New York Hearing Offices

OHO's Regional Headquarters for New York State is located in New York, at the following address:

New York Regional Office SSA, Office of Hearing Operations
Room 34-116
26 Federal Plaza
New York, New York 10278
Telephone: (212) 264-4036 Fax: (212) 264-1519

There are ten different OHO offices throughout New York State. Below is the contact information for each office.

Albany

SSA, Office of Hearing Operations
6th Floor
74 North Pearl Street
Albany, New York 12207-2211
Telephone: (866) 862-7348
Fax: (518) 462-1933

Covers the following field offices: Albany, Hudson, Glens Falls, Gloversville, Kingston, Plattsburgh, Poughkeepsie, Schenectady, Troy, Oneonta

Bronx

SSA, Office of Hearing Operations
2nd Floor, Suite 4226
East 161st Street
Bronx, New York 10451
Telephone: (718) 537-4958
Fax: (718) 590-1673

Covers the following field offices: East Bronx, Baychester, North Bronx, West Farms, South Bronx, Hunts Point, Bronx Hub, Riverdale

Brooklyn
SSA, Office of Hearing Operations
18th Floor
111 Livingston Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201-9238
Telephone: (718) 330-7861
Fax: (718) 330-2009

Covers the following field offices: Brooklyn, Avenue X, Boro Hall, Bay Ridge, Canarsie, Flatbush, Kings Plaza, Cypress Hills, Glendale, Crown Heights, Zip Code 11208

Buffalo
SSA, Office of Hearing Operations
50 Fountain Plaza, Suite 200
Buffalo, New York 11753
Telephone: (716) 551-4711
Fax: (716) 551-4078

Covers the following field offices: Batavia, Buffalo, West Seneca, Cheektowaga, Jamestown, Dunkirk, Greece, Niagara Falls, Olean, Rochester

Jericho

SSA, Office of Hearing Operations

3rd Floor
375 North Broadway
Jericho, New York 11753
Telephone: (516) 942-0244
Fax: (516) 942-0353

Covers the following field offices: Freeport, Long Beach, Melville, West Babylon, Mineola, Patchogue, Riverhead

New York

SSA, Office of Hearing Operations
Room 2909
26 Federal Plaza
New York, New York 10278-0035
Telephone: (212) 264-8819
Fax: (212) 264-8633

Covers the following field offices: Downtown, Chinatown, Delancey Street, Murray Hill, Tompkins Park, Midtown, Lenox Hill, Staten Island, New Dorp, Uptown, East Harlem, North Harlem, Washington Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Williamsburg, East New York

Queens

SSA, Office of Hearing Operations
Joseph P. Addabo Federal Building
155-10 Jamaica Avenue, 2nd Floor
Jamaica, NY 11431
Mailing address: Office of Disability Adjudication and Review
Joseph P. Addabo Federal Building
P.O. Box 319300
Jamaica, NY 11431
Telephone: (718) 557-6530
Fax: (718) 557-6575

Covers the following field offices: Flushing, Jackson Heights, Astoria, Long Island City, Jamaica, Far Rockaway, Glendale, Cypress Hills- Zip Codes 11414, 11416, 11417, 11418, 11419, 11420 and 11421, Ridgewood- Zip Code 11385

Rochester

SSA, Office of Hearing Operations
U.S. Federal Building, Room 4170
100 State Street
Rochester, New York 14614
Telephone: (585) 263-5771
Fax: (585) 263-5792

Covers the same offices as Buffalo, which includes the following field offices: Batavia, Buffalo, West Seneca, Cheektowaga, Jamestown, Dunkirk, Greece, Niagara Falls, Olean, Rochester

Syracuse

SSA, Office of Hearing Operations
300 S. State Street, 5th floor
Syracuse, New York 13202
Telephone: (315) 479-3900
Fax: (315) 479-3933

Covers the following field offices: Auburn, Binghamton, Ithaca, Elmira, Corning, Geneva, Ogdensburg, Oswego, Syracuse, Utica, Herkimer, Rome, Watertown

White Plains

SSA, Office of Hearing Operations
Suite 202
75 South Broadway
White Plains, New York 10601
Telephone: (914) 761-7190
Fax: (914) 682-7006

Covers the following field offices: New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, White Plains, Peekskill, Newburgh, Monticello, Glen Rock, Yonkers, Patterson, West Nyack

New York Rehabilitation Services

If you are interested in job retraining, here is a good government resource for New Yorkers.

New York State Education Department
Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services - Vocational Rehabilitation
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234
800-222-JOBS

New York State Disabililty Benefits

The State of New York provides up to six months of paid disability benefits to qualified employees through its temporary disability benefits (DB) law. Benefits are limited to 50% of average weekly wages. For more information, see our article on New York's short-term disability (DB) program.

Getting Help

If you're looking for legal representation for your ALJ hearing, you can visit our New York disability lawyer page to find a local lawyer who can help you with your claim.

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