Filing for Social Security Disability in Vermont

You have a better chance of being approved for disability benefits in Vermont compared to the national average.

By , J.D. · Albany Law School

If you live in Vermont and become so ill or injured that you can't work for a year or more, you can apply for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both programs are run by the federal Social Security Administration, but the State of Vermont plays a hand in deciding whether you are disabled and how much SSI you receive.

Below are common questions about the disability application and appeals process in Vermont, approval and denial rates in Vermont, and contact information for Vermont disability-related offices.

How Do I Apply for and Get Disability Benefits in Vermont?

You can apply for disability benefits online or through a local Social Security field office (there are three in Vermont—in Burlington, Montpelier, and Rutland).

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).

After your disability application is screened by your local Social Security Administration office, it will be sent to a state agency called Disability Determination Services (DDS). DDS is an office under the Vermont Agency of Human Services, Department for Children and Families.

DDS is responsible for deciding whether or not you're disabled, based on the medical information provided in your disability application and medical records. At DDS, a disability claims examiner will request your medical records from your health care providers, perhaps send you for a consultative exam with a Social Security doctor, and decide if you're disabled.

What Is the Phone Number and Address of the Vermont DDS?

In Vermont, there is one DDS office, in Waterbury. The address and phone number are below.

Disability Determination Services
93 Pilgrim Park Road, Suite 6
Waterbury, VT 05676
Toll Free: (800) 734-2463
Telephone: (802) 241-2463
E-mail: [email protected]

Before you file your application, you should ask any questions of the field representative at your local SSA office or call the SSA at 800-772-1213.

But after filing your application, you can direct all of your questions and concerns to Disability Determination Services.

Are My Chances of Being Approved for Disability Benefits Better or Worse in Vermont?

Claims examiners at the Waterbury DDS approve 49% of disability claims at the initial application level and another 16% of claims at the reconsideration level (the first level of appeal), so you have better chance of getting approved for disability in Vermont than in many other states.

Stage of Application



Initial Application Approval



Reconsideration Approval



Hearing Approval



Hearing Wait Time

9 months*

10 months

*Note: Vermont disability claims are heard by judges from the Manchester, New Hampshire hearing office (as well as a few remote hearing offices). This makes it difficult to determine the exact hearing approval rate and hearing wait time for Vermont claimants; the statistics for the Manchester hearing office are listed above.

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

What Happens If My Claim Is Denied?

If the claims examiner at Vermont's DDS denies your claim, you can ask that it be reconsidered by a different claims examiner by filing a reconsideration request.

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 Social Security in Manchester, NH where a judge will decide your case at a disability hearing.

The New Hampshire hearing office handles most hearings for Vermont, but several locations in Vermont offer video conference hearings. Below is the phone number and address for the hearing office that deals with Vermont appeals as well as the addresses for the permanent remote hearing offices.

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

Video Conference Hearing Locations

122 Putney Rd, 2nd Floor
Brattleboro, VT 05301

126 College Street, 2nd Floor
Burlington, VT 05401

36 Easton Avenue
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819

Before your hearing, you may want to check for address and phone number changes with Social Security's hearing office locator.

How Much Are SSDI Benefits in Vermont?

The average SSDI payment in Vermont is $1,398 per month, but some people receive up to $3,822, depending on their income. (And widows and disabled adult children receive less.) Read more about how Social Security calculates your SSDI payment.

Is Disability Income Taxable in Vermont?

People with higher incomes will owe federal taxes on a portion of their SSDI benefits. SSDI recipients might have to pay Vermont state taxes on part of their SSDI benefits as well.

Individual taxpayers are fully exempt from paying state taxes on their Social Security disability benefits if their federal adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than $50,000 (and partially exempt if their AGI is less than $50,000). Married taxpayers who file jointly are fully exempt from paying state taxes on their Social Security benefits if their federal AGI is below $65,000 (and partially exempt if their AGI is less than $75,000). (Visit the Vermont Department of Taxes for more information.)

SSI benefits are never taxed.

How Much Are Vermont SSI Benefits?

The federal government pays a monthly sum to individuals who are receiving SSI benefits (up to $943 per individual and $1,415 per couple in 2024), but this payment is adjusted if you have additional income above the allowable limit. Because most SSI recipients have some type of extra income (including free food and shelter), the average SSI payment in Vermont was only $584 at the end of 2022.

Vermont is one of the states that pays additional monthly payments to residents of their state who receive SSI. Vermont's supplemental payment is administered by the Social Security Administration, so you'll receive a monthly disability payment that combines the federal and state amounts.

In Vermont, there are six categories of individuals who are eligible for additional monthly payments. Below is a chart that outlines the additional state payments in combination with the maximum federal SSI for 2024.

Living Arrangements Combined Monthly Payment (VT & Federal)
Living Independently

Assistive Community Care

Living in Another's House

Community Care Home

Custodial Care Home

Medicaid Facility


Source: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in Vermont (2024).

Can My Medical Provider Charge Me to Get a Copy of My Medical Records in Vermont?

While health care professionals are normally allowed to charge you a fee for a copy of your medical records, in Vermont, they aren't allowed to charge any fee for medical records that will be used to support a Social Security disability or SSI disability claim.

Are There Resources Available to Help Me Return to Work After I Become Disabled?

In Vermont, VocRehab Vermont is available to help you find and keep a job. Once you apply and are determined to be eligible for the VoRehab program, you and your employment counselor will create an individual plan for employment. To apply, you must fill out and sign an application; this can be done at your local VocRehab Vermont office.

Updated February 8, 2024

Other Sources:
Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2022
Annual Statistical Supplement, 2023

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