If you live in Minnesota and can't work due a disability, you may be eligible for one of two types of federal benefits available to people who meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disabled: Supplemental Security income (SSI) and Social Security disability (SSDI). Even though these are federal programs, the State of Minnesota is responsible for making the initial decisions about eligibility, and it also sets the payment rate for Minnesotans who receive SSI. In addition, unlike other states, Minnesotans who qualify for SSI don't automatically qualify for Medicaid; the State of Minnesota makes this eligibility decision based on the applicant's finances.
Minnesota Disability Determination Services
Minnesota's Disability Determination Services (DDS) makes the initial decisions about whether you are disabled. DDS will gather your medical records and may schedule a consultative examination by a doctor hired by the SSA. Here is Minnesota’s DDS contact information:
85 East 7th Place
Saint Paul, MN 55101
DDS’s parent agency is the Department of Employment and Economic Development. To learn more, visit the DDS's web page.
Disability Denials and Appeals in Minnesota
If you are denied disability benefits by SSA/DDS, you first must request that DDS reconsider your claim. If DDS denies your claim a second time, you can request a hearing. Minnesota's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR), a branch of the SSA, is responsible for handling your claim once you appeal your denial to the hearing level. ODAR schedules disability hearings at offices throughout the state. Here is the contact information for Minnesota's main ODAR location:
250 Marquette Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55401
How Much SSI Can I Get in Minnesota?
For 2013, you can receive up to $710 a month in SSI benefits from the federal government. In addition, most Minnesotans are eligible for a supplemental SSI payment from the Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA) program. Minnesota will use the difference between your SSI payment (or your income if it is higher) and the MSA monthly income standard to determine your possible grant amount from MSA. Here are the most current MSA monthly standard amounts:
- Individual living alone - $759
- Individual living with others - $558
- Married couple living alone - $1,139
- Married couple living with others - $763
Also, if you live in certain non-medical congregate care facilities you can receive $92 a month for your personal needs. Additional funds may also be available in certain circumstances, such as where you need funds to purchase foods for a special diet, need to pay for a representative payee or other guardian, or need to have repairs made to your home or if you need furniture or appliances replaced.
Can I Get Medical Assistance in Minnesota?
If the SSA determines that you are blind or disabled and you are under 65, you may be eligible for Medical Assistance from the state through the Medicaid program. However, you must also meet certain income and asset requirements.
Monthly Income Limit by Number in Household
More than three
Add $330 per person
Even if you are over the income limit, you may still be eligible for coverage through the spend-down program. The spend-down program allows you to deduct unpaid medical bills from your monthly income to help you meet the eligibility requirements.
For more information on how to qualify for Minnesota Medicaid, contact the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
What Is the Process for Applying for Disability in Minnesota?
The SSA provides three ways for you to apply for disability: online, in person, and by phone.
Online. If you are applying for SSDI, you can apply online at www.ssa.gov/pgm/disability.htm.
In person. You can apply in person at your local SSA field office. This option is available for either SSI or SSDI applicants. The SSA employees can help you complete your paperwork and explain the forms to you. However, the SSA cannot give you legal advice. To find your local field office in Minnesota, visit the SSA’s website.
By telephone. You can apply by phone for either SSI or SSDI. This may be a good option if your field office is far away or if your disability makes it hard for you to travel. You can apply by phone by calling 800-772-1213. If you are deaf or hearing impaired, call 800-325-0778.
Talk to a Disability Attorney
Because the disability process is long and complicated, it may be helpful to talk to an attorney about your claim. Those who have a disability lawyer have a greater chance of getting their claim approved. To talk to an experienced disability attorney in your area, arrange a free consultation.