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If you live in New Hampshire and have a disability, you may qualify to receive disability benefits.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are both federal programs run by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that provide financial support in the form of monthly payments for Americans with disabilities.
Though both programs are funded by the federal government, eligibility for disability benefits is determined at the state level. In New Hampshire, these Social Security benefits are run through the New Hampshire Bureau of Disability Determination Services (DDS) under the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) which processes all SSA disability claims and determines what benefits are awarded.
New Hampshire also provides state-run programs like unemployment benefits, workers’ compensation, and Medicaid (a joint federal and state program). You may also be able to obtain veterans benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs if you can show military service or if you’re the surviving spouse of a veteran. Certain tax credits are available as well as other benefits like being able to hunt from motor vehicles or boats.
Facts About New Hampshire
Nearly 25% of New Hampshire residents have some kind of disability, though only a fraction of them are currently receiving Social Security disability benefits. Of those who are disabled, the largest percentage are those with some kind of intellectual disability or developmental disability, followed by those with a mobility-related disability. Roughly 40,000 residents currently receive disability benefits, though thousands more would likely qualify.
How To Qualify for SSDI in New Hampshire
When applying for Social Security Disability, it’s important to understand that the criteria for qualifying are the same regardless of the state where you live. That said, it’s up to each state’s Disability Determination Services to review your claim and determine if your disability application will be approved. You must prove that your disability is severe enough and that you’ve worked long enough to pay into the Social Security system.
The SSA has compiled a comprehensive list of disabilities, sometimes called the “Blue Book,” that it considers “severe” enough to limit your ability to work for at least 12 months or end in death. It’s strongly recommended you consult this list before applying for SSDI benefits.
You will also need to show an adequate work history, which typically means at least 10 years of employment. Waivers are available if you’ve never been able to work due to your disability. If you’re currently working in some capacity, you’re protected by law from disability discrimination, and your employer must provide any reasonable accommodation to help complete your job duties.
How To Apply for SSDI in New Hampshire
You can submit your disability claim in one of three ways—online, by phone, or in person at your closest Social Security field office. The fastest and easiest way to apply is online at the SSA website. You can also call the national number at (800) 772-1213 to have someone walk you through the process and answer any questions. If you want to apply in person, find your closest office from the list below and call to make an appointment. There are currently six field offices in New Hampshire.
Before applying, gather relevant documentation to send along with your application. Typically, you’ll need to show medical records associated with your disability including contact information for doctors and clinics. You will also need to provide basic personal information about you, your spouse, and your children. This could include date of birth, marriage and divorce records, employment history, and military contacts for active duty servicemen or military records for disabled veterans.
How To Appeal a Denial in New Hampshire
Disability applicants in New Hampshire are in a favorable position when they apply for disability benefits. The state has one of the highest approval ratings in the country, with around 52% of applicants being accepted with their initial application. Compare this to the national average of 35%, and you’ll see why the process of obtaining SSDI benefits can be so difficult.
If you aren’t approved on the first round, you will have to start the appeals process. Each level of appeals must be submitted within 60 days of the previous denial, and you must go through each stage before moving on to the next.
Your first step is to request to have a new DDS representative reconsider your application to see if an error was made. You won’t need to provide any new information and this is usually a quick process.
The next step is to request a formal hearing with an administrative law judge, and you should be prepared to bring additional documentation or witnesses to support your case. Some may choose to hire a disability attorney at this time for legal advice. Your disability hearing will take place at the Hearing and Appeal Office located in Manchester. Of those who get a hearing, 51% are approved for benefits.
If you still are being denied you can request that an Appeals Council review all the previous decisions to see if an error was made.
The last chance you have is to appeal to the federal courts. A judge at the federal district court in New Hampshire will review the Appeals Court’s decision and make a final determination one way or the other. If you get to this stage, you’ll likely need a disability lawyer from a qualified law firm to help you.
More New Hampshire Benefits
Some who qualify for SSDI will also qualify for Supplemental Security Income. This is another Social Security benefit that provides financial assistance to those with very low incomes. SSI benefits can be approved for those who are disabled, blind, or over age 65. When the DDS evaluates your SSDI application, they will automatically check to see if you also qualify for SSI benefits.
New Hampshire Medicaid
New Hampshire Medicaid offers health care insurance to individuals with very low incomes. Most Americans who qualify for SSI will also qualify for Medicaid, although in New Hampshire, you must apply separately for Medicaid – it won’t be automatically granted.
New Hampshire Unemployment
Employees who need temporary financial assistance due to a loss of employment through no fault of their own can apply for New Hampshire unemployment benefits. This is a weekly cash benefit of up to $427 for up to 26 weeks. You can obtain this service online or by applying at the closest Employment Security office.
New Hampshire Disability Benefits Social Security Offices
|SSA Field Office Locations in New Hampshire|
|Concord SSA Office||70 Commercial St Ste 100|
Concord, NH 3301
|Portsmouth SSA Office||80 Daniel St Room 210A|
Portsmouth, NH 3801
|Manchester SSA Office||1100 Elm St Suite 201|
Manchester, NH 3101
|Littleton SSA Office||177 Main St|
Littleton, NH 3561
|Nashua SSA Office||175 Amherst St Suite 2|
Nashua, NH 3064
|Keene SSA Office||9 Elm Street|
Keene, NH 3431
New Hampshire Disability Benefits Hearing and Appeal Offices
New Hampshire is in Region 1 (Boston), which services Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
The Manchester Hearing Office services Concord NH, Keene NH, Littleton NH, Manchester NH, Burlington VT, Montpelier VT, and Rutland VT.
|Region 1 – SSA Office of Hearing Operations in New Hampshire|
|SSA Hearing Office – Manchester||1750 Elm Street Suite 303|
Manchester, NH 3104