Filing for Social Security or SSI Disability in Rhode Island

Rhode Island pays a small supplement to SSI recipients and offers temporary disability insurance to people with short-term injuries.

By , J.D. · Albany Law School

How you apply for Social Security disability benefits in Rhode Island is generally the same as in other states, but a different agency decides disability claims in Rhode Island: the Rhode Disability Determination Services (DDS) office in Providence. Also, the State of Rhode Island pays extra money to people receiving SSI in RI.

Below we discuss these differences and provide statistics for RI disability claims as well as contact information for the various disability-related offices in RI.

What Happens If My Claim Is Denied in Rhode Island?

If a claims examiner at the Providence DDS denies your claim, you can ask that your claim be reconsidered by a different claims examiner by filing a reconsideration request (this is the first level of appeal).

If your claim is denied again, you can request a hearing by filing a request for a hearing with an administrative law judge. The DDS will then send your claim to the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO), a branch of the Social Security Administration (SSA) in Providence, where a judge will decide your case at a disability hearing.

What Are My Chances of Approval for Disability Benefits in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, the chance of being awarded disability benefits is a bit higher than the national average at all stages of the application and appeal process: 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. Waiting for a hearing delays your ability to file a new application if you're not happy with the results of the hearing.

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

Rhode Island


Initial Application Approval



Reconsideration Approval



Hearing Approval



Hearing Wait Time

11 months

15 months

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

How Much SSI Will I Receive in Rhode Island?

The federal government pays for most of the cost of SSI monthly payments, up to a maximum of $914 in 2023 ($1,371 for couples). But in Rhode Island, SSI recipients can receive state supplemental payments, referred to as SSP payments.

Social Security administers the supplemental payments for the recipients who live in adult residential care or assisted living facilities. But for recipients living in adult residential care or assisted living, most of the combined payment goes to the facility, except for a small personal needs allowance.

The state supplemental payment in Rhode Island for SSI recipients living on their own 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 SSA.

See the chart below for the combined federal and state amounts you can earn on SSI in 2023. Note that these amounts will be lower if you have certain types of additional income.

Rhode Island SSP

Combined Monthly Benefit

Living Alone

Individual: $39.92

Couple: $79.38

Individual: $953.92

Couple: $1,450.38

Living in the household of another

Individual: $51.92

Couple: $97.30

Individual: $661.26

Couple: $1,011.30

Living in Adult Residential Care or Assisted Living Facility

Individual: $1,246.00

Couple: $2,492

Living in Medicaid facility

Individual: $30.00

Couple: $60.00

Source: RI State Supplemental Payments, 2023 (RI Department of Human Services).

If you're disabled but don't qualify for SSI because you make too much income, you might 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.

How Do I Receive a Free Copy of My Medical Records?

Health care providers in Rhode Island are not allowed to charge you for medical records that you request to support your Social Security disability claim or appeal. But 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

Here is the contact information for three disability-related offices in Providence.

RI Disability Determination Services

Rhode Island Disability Determination Services (DDS), a state agency, receives your application from the local SSA office after the SSA screens your application to ensure that you meet all of the technical requirements for disability benefits.

DDS then requests your medical records and reads them to determine if you're medically eligible for disability benefits, meaning that DDS decides whether you're disabled or not.

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

40 Fountain Street
Providence, RI 02903
Telephone: (401) 222-3182

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
4th Floor
33 Broad Street
Providence, RI 02903
Telephone: (877) 583-4082
Fax: (833) 563-0483

Before your hearing, you may want to check whether there have been any address or phone number changes with Social Security's hearing office locator.

Vocational Rehabilitation in RI

Sometimes people 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. The VR program offers a variety of services, including:

  • counseling about 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 and return it to the address below.

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

Can I Receive Temporary Disability Benefits in Rhode Island?

If your injury or illness won't keep you from working for at least one year, you won't qualify for Social Security disability benefits or SSI. But the State of Rhode Island provides up to 30 weeks of short-term disability benefits through a program called "temporary disability insurance" (TDI). For more information, see our article on Rhode Island's temporary disability benefits program.

Updated July 25, 2023

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