Filing for Social Security or SSI Disability in Rhode Island

Rhode Island pays a generous supplement to some SSI recipients and offers temporary disability insurance.

Filing for Social Security disability benefits in Rhode Island is generally the same as in other states, but certain payment amounts are different in Rhode Island, and you'll be dealing with the Rhode Island Disability Determination Services office in Providence. Below we discuss these differences and provide statistics for RI disabilities and contact information for the various disability-related offices in RI.

Disability Benefits Statistics in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, the chance of being awarded disability benefits is a bit higher than the national average, at the initial application stage, reconsideration stage, and hearing stage.

In addition, the wait time for an appeal hearing in Rhode Island is shorter than the national average: 11 months. Wait times are important because the longer the wait time for a hearing, the longer you have to wait for a decision to be made. This delays your ability to file a new application if you are not happy with the results of the hearing.

A table comparing these statistics in Rhode Island and in the nation is below.

Rhode Island

Nation

Initial Application Approval

38%

35%

Reconsideration Approval

14%

13%

Hearing Approval

50%

46%

Hearing Wait Time

11 months

18 months

Rhode Island SSI Supplement

The federal government covers most of the cost of SSI monthly payments, but in Rhode Island, most SSI recipients receive supplemental payments from the state. See the chart below for the combined federal and state amount individuals can earn on SSI (in 2019). These amounts may be decreased if you have certain types of additional income.

Combined Monthly Benefit

Living Alone

Individual: $771.00

Couple: $1,157.00

Living in the household of another

Individual: $514.00

Couple: $771.34

Living in Adult Residential Care or Assisted Living Facility

Individual: $1,103.00

Living in Adult Residence With Advanced Care

Individual: $1,568.00

Living in Medicaid facility

Individual:$30

Couple: $60

Of course, most of the payment to those living in adult residential care or assisted living goes to the facility.

The state supplemental payment (SSP) in Rhode Island is administered by the Rhode Island Department of Human Services (DHS). This means you'll get two separate checks: one from DHS and one from the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, the SSA administers the supplemental payments for all recipients who live in adult residential care or an assisted living facility. Those SSI recipients will receive one combined check.

If you are disabled but don't qualify for SSI because you make too much income, you may be able to receive the state supplemental payment without receiving SSI. You can contact the DHS with questions about the SSP program at (401) 721-6633.

Free Medical Records

Health care providers in Rhode Island are not allowed to charge you for medical records that are requested to support a Social Security disability claim or appeal. You, or a person authorized to request your records, must request a copy of your medical records in writing.

Contact Information for Disability Offices in Rhode Island

RI Disability Determination Services

Rhode Island Disability Determination Services (DDS), a state agency, receives your application from the local SSA office after the office screens your application to insure that you meet all of the technical requirements for disability benefits. DDS looks at your medical record to determine if you are medically eligible for disability benefits, meaning DDS decides if you are disabled or not.

There is one DDS office that reviews all disability applications in Rhode Island. The contact information for the DDS office for Rhode Island is below.

DDS
40 Fountain Street
Providence, RI 02903
Telephone: (401) 462-7759

Offices of Hearings Operations in RI

There is one local hearing office that provides services to Rhode Island, called the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO). OHO handles all disability appeals for Social Security. The hearing office hears all cases from the five RI Social Security field offices (Providence, Pawtucket, Warwick, Woonsocket, and Newport) and is where you will go to have your hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Below is the contact information for the OHO office that covers Rhode Island.

Providence Hearing Office
155 Westminster Street
Suite 1000W
10th Floor
Providence, RI 02903
Telephone: (877) 583-4082
Fax: (401) 272-3052

Vocational Rehabilitation in RI

Often times those who become disabled want to try to return to work but have difficulty finding and/or keeping a job. In Rhode Island, the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program under the Office of Rehabilitation Services is available to help disabled individuals. There are a variety of services available, including counseling regarding vocational goals, training in preparation for a job, and job placement services.

To apply for services, fill out an application (which can be found on VR's webpage at http://www.ors.ri.gov/VR.html) and return it to the address below.

VR Intake
Office of Rehabilitation Services
40 Fountain Street
Providence, RI 02903

Temporary Disability Benefits

For those whose injury or illness won't keep them from working for at least one year, Rhode Island provides up to 30 weeks of short-term disability benefits. The program is called temporary disability insurance (TDI). For more information, see our article on Rhode Island's temporary disability benefits program.

Finding a Disability Lawyer in Rhode Island

Hiring a lawyer to represent you at your hearing can improve your chance of winning benefits, and Rhode Island has many good disability attorneys. You can screen Rhode Island disability attorneys on our website by entering your zip code and the details of your case.

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