Table of Contents
If you’re a Nevada resident with a disability, there are services at the state and national level that can provide much needed support.
Federal assistance is available through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), both run by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
While these programs are available to all Americans, applications are processed at the state level. In Nevada, the Bureau of Disability Adjudication (BDA) reviews applications. This agency works under the Nevada Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation (DETR).
In addition to these Social Security disability benefits, a Nevada resident may also qualify for Medicaid, unemployment insurance, or get help finding employment through the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation.
Facts About Nevada
About 32% of Nevada’s population has a disability of one kind or another. However, only 3.2% of the state’s population is currently receiving Social Security benefits. This means that many people who might qualify for disability benefits aren’t getting them.
In Nevada, a full 15% of the population suffers from a mobility-related disability and 13% suffer from a cognition-related disability. These high numbers make it imperative that those with a long-term disability get the assistance they need.
How To Qualify for SSDI in Nevada
The SSA defines qualifying criteria for those seeking disability services. These requirements are the same from state to state, though the applications are reviewed at the state level. Nevada approves approximately 34% of all first-time applications which is close to the national average of 35%.
There are two main criteria that you must meet to be considered for assistance. First, you must have a disability that prevents your ability to work for at least 12 months. The SSA has compiled a comprehensive list of all the disabilities it will approve for benefits.
It’s strongly recommended you consult this list before applying to ensure you meet the minimum requirements for your disability claim. It’s very rare to receive an exemption if your disability is not listed.
The second requirement is that you must show that you’ve contributed to the Social Security fund through your work history. For most people, this means 10 years of employment, though you may be able to receive a waiver if your disability makes it impossible to work in any capacity.
Many people who are disabled are still able to work in some capacity. This will not bar you from receiving aid, though there are income caps. Currently, a disabled person cannot be making more than $1,310 a month and still qualify. If you’re a disabled worker, know that your employer must comply with all anti-discrimination federal laws and make reasonable accommodations to help you complete your job duties.
How To Apply for SSDI in Nevada
An applicant must send their request for Social Security Disability to the Social Security Administration (SSA). You can choose to apply online at the federal Social Security website, or over the phone by calling 800-772-1213.
Those who wish to apply in person can do so at their local Social Security field office. In Nevada, there are four offices to choose from in Reno, Henderson, Las Vegas, and North Las Vegas. You should call first to make an appointment. Your application will then be forwarded to the Nevada BDA.
When you apply, you’ll be asked to provide basic personal information about you and your spouse and any minor children. You will need to provide relevant documentation of marriages, divorces, military service, or if you’re the surviving spouse of a veteran.
If you are a disabled veteran, you may be eligible for further benefits from the VA. You will need to show medical records supporting your disability claim and information about any other relevant medical condition.
How To Appeal a Denial in Nevada
Since only 34% of applications are approved the first time, a claimant should be ready to proceed with the appeals process. There are four levels to appealing your claim and each step must be completed before moving on to the next. You have 60 from the time you receive your denial to start the next step of appeals.
During the reconsideration phase, you won’t have to provide any additional paperwork. A new disability examiner will look at your initial application to see if an error was made in the first review. Around 13% of applications receive approval at this stage.
Unfortunately, many people will be denied again during reconsideration and must move on to step two. At this stage, you can request a disability hearing with an administrative law judge.
There are two Hearing and Appeals offices in Nevada, one in Reno and one in Las Vegas. Your hearing will be scheduled at the closest location and you’ll often be asked to bring additional supporting documentation or witnesses. Many people choose to employ a disability lawyer at this point. Around 42% of cases are approved at this stage.
The third level is to appeal with the Social Security Appeals Council. The purpose of this council is to review all lower determinations to see if a mistake was made.
The final level of appeal is to file a lawsuit at the district federal court in Nevada with locations in Las Vegas and Reno.
More Nevada Benefits
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another federal insurance program intended mostly for those with lower incomes. SSI benefits are available to those with disabilities, who are blind, and seniors over 65 years old. All applicants must meet low income and limited resources requirements. When you apply for SSDI your application will automatically be reviewed to see if you also qualify for SSI.
The income requirements for SSI are similar to Nevada Medicaid, and many who qualify for one will qualify for the other. Medicaid is run by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and provides health insurance to Nevadans of any age who meet income requirements. Recipients of Nevada Medicaid currently have no copay obligation.
In addition to a disability benefit, residents may also qualify for Nevada Unemployment benefits. This program is intended for temporary financial help to those who have lost their job through no fault of their own. The program has a maximum weekly payout of $483 for up to 26 weeks.
Nevada Social Security Offices
|SSA Field Office Locations in Nevada|
|Reno SSA Office||1170 Harvard Way|
Reno, NV 89502
|Las Vegas SSA Office||1250 S Buffalo Dr Suite 150|
Las Vegas, NV 89117
|Henderson SSA Office||10416 S Eastern Avenue|
Henderson, NV 89052
|North Las Vegas SSA Office||4340 Simmons Street|
North Las Vegas, NV 89032
Nevada Hearing and Appeal Offices
Nevada is in Region 9 (San Francisco), which services Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada.
|Region 9 – SSA Office of Hearing Operations in Nevada|
|SSA Hearing Office – Las Vegas||333 Las Vegas Blvd South|
Las Vegas, NV 89101
|SSA Hearing Office – Reno||300 Booth Street Suite 4000|
Reno, NV 89509