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 , Contributing Author

The Social Security disability benefits application and appeals process is very similar throughout the country, but there are some differences by state. Below are common questions about the application and appeals process in Vermont, as well as contact information for Vermont disability-related offices.

The average Social Security disability payment in Vermont is $1,296 per month, while the average SSI payment is just $559 per month (more on this below).

Who decides if I am disabled in Vermont?

After your disability application is screened by your local Social Security Administration office (there are three in Vermont--in Burlington, Montpelier, and Rutland), 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 are 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 and decide if you are disabled.

Who do I contact if I have questions about my Social Security application?

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. After filing your application, all questions and concerns should be directed to Disability Determination Services (DDS). In Vermont, there is one DDS office. The contact information is 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]

Are my chances of being approved for disability benefits better or worse in Vermont?

Claims examiners at the Waterbury DDS approve 44% of disability claims at the initial application level and another 21% of claims at the reconsideration level, 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

14 months*

18 months

Note: Vermont disability claims are heard by ALJs from the Manchester, New Hampshire hearing office as well as three remote hearing offices. This makes it difficult to determine the approval rate for Vermont claimants; the statistics for the Manchester hearing office are listed above.

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, they are not allowed to charge any fee for medical records that will be used to support a Social Security or SSI disability claim.

How much can I expect to receive in Vermont if I am receiving SSI benefits?

The federal government pays a monthly sum to individuals who are receiving SSI benefits ($771 per individual and $1,157 per couple), though this payment is adjusted if you have additional income above the allowable limit.

Vermont is one of the states that pays additional monthly payments to residents of their state who receive SSI. In Vermont, there are six categories of individuals who receive SSI who are eligible for additional monthly payments. Below is a chart that outlines additional state payments.

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

Assistive Community Care

Living in Another's House

Community Care Home

Custodial Care Home

Medicaid Facility


Vermont's supplemental payment is administered by the Social Security Administration, so you'll receive a monthly disability check that combines the federal and state payments.

Who do I contact if I have questions about my Social Security appeal?

If your Social Security claim is denied, you can appeal the decision. The Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) is in charge of all appeals. The New Hampshire hearing office handles hearings for Vermont, in addition to three locations in Vermont that offer video conference hearings. Below is the contact information for the offices that deal with Vermont appeals.

Manchester, New Hampshire Hearing Office
Suite 303
1750 Elm Street
Manchester, NH 03104
Telephone: (888) 318-7973
Fax: (603) 623-4050

Video Conference Hearing Locations

122 Putney Rd, 2nd Floor
Brattleboro, VT 05301

26 College Street, 2nd Floor
Burlington, VT 05401

36 Easton Avenue
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819

Is there help available to 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 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.

How can I find a Vermont disability lawyer?

There are quite a few lawyers in Vermont who have a good deal of experience with Social Security and SSI disability cases. Enter your zip code below to find a disability lawyer near you.

Updated August 30, 2019

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