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Idaho Disability Benefits

SSDI is a program designed to assist Idaho residents with a disability that makes it difficult for them to work, resulting in a limited income.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program designed to assist adults across Idaho with a disability that makes it difficult for them to work, resulting in a limited income.

These benefits are available to individuals and their dependents that have paid into the Social Security system via Social Security taxes while working. Disability benefits will only replace some of your lost income. The amount of disability you can collect is based on the amount you have previously earned.

In addition to SSDI, Idaho also offers other income-based benefit programs, including SSI, Medicaid, and unemployment, that can help cover essential daily living and health care expenses for Idaho adults, their dependent spouse, and children.

Facts About Idaho

It is estimated that 1 in 4 adults across Idaho has a disability that affects their ability to work, which is on par with the national average.

In 2019, the CDC reported that of these individuals with disabilities, more than 12% have serious mobility issues, 12% have serious cognitive issues, and 6% have serious difficulty with independent living. Additionally, 4% have difficulty completing basic tasks required for taking care of themselves such as bathing or dressing.

Both federal programs are run by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in partnership with state agencies. These programs assist disabled Idaho residents who qualify. Each program has its own set of eligibility requirements regarding covered disabilities, payments into the program, loss of income, and income levels that must be met to receive benefits.

How To Qualify for SSDI in Idaho

While Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program, each state has its own agency that manages and processes applications. Idaho Disability Determination Services (DDS) is responsible for disability adjudication for the SSA.

Social Security disability benefits are only available to those individuals with a total disability. Unlike other programs, SSDI does not cover partial or short-term disability. To receive these disability benefits, you’ll need to meet all eligibility guidelines. These guidelines include having a qualifying disability and enough work credits.

Qualifying Disabilities

The SSA defines a disability using its own specific set of criteria. Under this criterion, to qualify as disabled, the following must be true:

  • You must no longer be able to do the work you previously did due to your medical condition
  • You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or result in death

The Idaho Disability Determination Services (DDS) will review your forms and submitted medical records to determine whether your condition is eligible under the Social Security definition of disability.

SSDI does not cover short-term disability. It is assumed that a working family has other resources, such as workers’ compensation or insurance to provide support.

Work Credits  

To qualify for SSDI, you must have previously worked in a job covered by Social Security, where you have earned work credits. Work credits are earned when you pay Social Security taxes.

The amount of work credits you earn is based on your income for the year, with a maximum of earning four work credits per year. The amount of income needed to earn a single work credit varies from year to year.

The number of work credits you will need to qualify for SSDI depends on your recent work and your duration of work. Both of which are based on your age.

For instance, if you become disabled before the age of 24, you’ll need 6 credits earned in the 3-year period ending when your disability started (your recent work). This means you’ll generally need around 1.5 years of work experience (your duration of work).

On the other hand, if you become disabled at 50 years of age, you’ll need at least 20 credits in the 10-year period ending when your disability started and, in general, around seven years of work experience.  

How To Apply for SSDI in Idaho

Eligible individuals in Idaho can apply for SSDI in three different ways: online, by phone, or in person. Before you apply, it is important to gather all relevant information and documentation needed for your application, including personal data, information on your medical condition, and your work history.

Once you apply, your application will be sent to the Idaho Disability Determination Services office to manage your application, review your medical records, and make a decision. After submitting your SSDI application, you can check the status via your online Social Security account or by calling the SSA.

Apply Online

You can apply online if you are 18 years or older, are not currently receiving Social Security benefits, cannot work because of a qualifying disability, and have not been denied disability in the last 60 days.

To apply online, simply visit the SSA’s website to Apply for Benefits. On this site, you can fill out your application for SSDI benefits.  

Apply by Phone

You can apply via phone by calling 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). The SSA is available for phone applications Money through Friday from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Apply In Person

You can also apply for SSDI benefits in person at your local Idaho office for the Social Security Administration. 

How To Appeal a Denial in Idaho

While Idaho is ahead of the curve in application approval, it is common for initial claims to be denied. When a disability claim is denied, the applicant has the option to appeal the decision. If your claim has been denied, you will receive a letter in the mail notifying you that the claim has been denied, along with information on how to file an appeal.

The first step of filing an appeal in Idaho is to file a Request for Reconsideration with the SSA. This can be done online or submitted via mail to your local Social Security office.

You must file for reconsideration within 60 days of receiving notification of your initial application being denied. This will send your application back to DDS for review by a different disability examiner.

During the reconsideration process, you’ll want to review your initial application to ensure all medical records are included. You’ll also want to provide any updated information regarding your medical condition.   

If your request for reconsideration is denied, the next step in the appeal process is to schedule an appointment before an administrative law judge. These hearings are held at Social Security’s Idaho offices in Coeur d’Alene and Lewiston. At this stage, it may be beneficial to work with a qualified Idaho Social Security Disability lawyer who can give you legal advice to increase your chances of approval. Often a disability attorney works on a contingency basis, meaning you only pay a percentage of the back pay you are awarded.

More Idaho Benefits

In addition to SSDI, other federal and state-level programs are available to Idaho residents who need assistance covering the cost of their essential daily needs, health care, and bills.

SSI

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program through the SSA for low-income Idaho residents who are disabled, blind, or 65 years or older. SSI does not have any work history requirements for eligibility. However, the definition of disability from the SSA remains the same, and DDS will review your application.

You can apply for SSI online via the SSA website, on the phone by calling 1-800-772-1213, or in person at your local Social Security office. Also, when you apply for SSDI, the SSA will automatically check if you qualify for SSI as well.

Idaho Medicaid

Idaho residents with low-income may also be eligible for Idaho Medicaid to cover healthcare costs. To be eligible, you must have a disability as defined by the SSA or a family member in your household with a disability.

Idaho Medicaid is also available to low-income individuals who are pregnant, responsible for a minor, is blind, or 65 years or older. Income eligibility is determined based on your annual household income before taxes and varies by household size.

To apply for Idaho Medicaid, you need to submit your application online, through email to mybenefits@dhw.idaho.gov, in person at any local Idaho Health and Welfare office, fax it to 866-434-8278, or mail it to the Department of Health and Welfare in Boise. You also have the option to complete your application on the phone by calling 877-456-1233.

Idaho Unemployment

If your disability does not stop you from working, Idaho unemployment benefits provide support to residents that find themselves unemployed or have been laid off. To collect unemployment, you must be able to, available for, and actively seeking work.

You can apply for unemployment online via the Claimant Portal or at your local Idaho Department of Labor office.

Veterans Benefits

Are you a disabled veteran residing in Idaho that has injuries or illnesses connected to your military service? If so, you may be eligible for a VA disability claim.

This is a particular disability program through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA has its own list of criteria for defining a disability, including chronic illnesses that occur one year after discharge, illnesses caused by exposure to contaminants, or illness developed by wartime veterans as a POW.

Once you determine your eligibility, you can file a claim online, by mail, or by visiting your nearest VA regional office.

Idaho Social Security Offices

SSA Field Office Locations in Idaho
Boise SSA Office1249 S Vinnell Way Suite 101
Boise, ID 83709
(855) 377-9316
Pocatello SSA Office861 Jefferson Ave Suite B
Pocatello, ID 83201
(866) 643-3407
Lewiston SSA Office1617 19Th Ave
Lewiston, ID 83501
(877) 405-9796
Twin Falls SSA Office1437 Fillmore St
Twin Falls, ID 83301
(866) 748-2087
Idaho Falls SSA Office2196 Channing Way
Idaho Falls, ID 83404
(866) 253-0489
Coeur D’Alene SSA Office7400 N Mineral Drive Ste 100
Coeur D’Alene, ID 83815
(866) 931-2523
Caldwell SSA Office1118 South Kimball Ave
Caldwell, ID 83605
(877) 836-1560

Idaho Hearing and Appeal Offices

The Boise Hearing and Appeals Office is a satellite office of the Billings MT ODAR office, servicing the cities of Boise ID, Caldwell ID, Twin Falls ID, and Ontario OR.

SSA Office of Hearing Operations in Idaho
SSA Hearing Office – Boise720 East Park Blvd Suite 275
Boise, ID 83712-9902
(866) 826-3892

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