If you live in Connecticut and you can't work for a year or more, you may be eligible for either Supplemental Security income (SSI) or Social Security disability (SSDI). Although these are federal programs, the State of Connecticut works in conjunction with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to administer some parts of the programs. Connecticut also supplements the federal SSI payment and sets its own guidelines for Medicaid eligibility.
There are three different ways to apply for disability. These options depend on whether you are eligible for SSI or SSDI.
SSDI applicants can apply online. SSDI applicants can apply for benefits online at www.ssa.gov/pgm/disability.htm.
Both SSI and SSDI applicants can apply in person. You have the option to apply in person at your local field office regardless of the benefits you are applying for. The field office agent can help you complete the forms and explain the process to you. Some field offices require an appointment so you should call the SSA before going in. You can find your local field office at the SSA’s website.
Both SSI and SSDI applicants can apply by telephone. You also have the option to apply by phone for either SSI or SSDI. This is helpful for people who live far away from their local field office, don’t have transportation, or who have a hard time traveling because of their disability. You can apply by phone by calling 800-772-1213
Connecticut Disability Determination Services (DDS) is the department responsible for making the initial decisions about whether you are disabled under the SSA’s guidelines. Before making its decisions, DDS requests your medical records and may schedule consultative examinations with doctors hired by the SSA (referred to as CEs). Here is the contact information for Connecticut’s primary DDS location:
309 Wawarme Avenue
Hartford, CT 06114
The Department of Social Services is the parent agency for DDS.
The office responsible for scheduling and conducting disability hearings is the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). ODAR has offices located throughout the state. Here are the address and contact information for the two main ODAR locations:
135 High Street, Room 331
William R. Cotter Federal Building
Hartford, CT 06103-1193
Phone: (866) 931-2878
Fax: (860) 724-9843
Connecticut Financial Center
157 Church Street, 22nd Floor
New Haven, CT 06510
Phone: (866) 613-2750
Fax: (203) 787-7777
The federal government will pay you up to $710 per month in SSI benefits. You may also be eligible for a supplemental payment from Connecticut. If you are living independently in the community (as long as you are not living in a licensed room and board facility or a medical or penal institution), you may receive up to an additional $168 a month. Disabled couples may receive up to an additional $274 a month.
If you live in a Medicaid facility, however, you may receive only an additional $39 a month. Couples living in a Medicaid facility may receive an additional $78 a month.
The state supplement amount for both individuals and couples that live in a licensed room and board facility is established by how much it costs to run that specific facility.
Unlike most other states, Medicaid eligibility is not automatic when you are approved for SSI. To be eligible for Medicaid, you must be disabled and meet the income and asset requirements below.
Asset limit. An unmarried individual can have no more than $1,600 in assets. A couple can have no more than $2,400 in assets. Some assets, such as your principal residence and a portion of your automobile, are excluded from the asset calculation.
Income limit. Unmarried individuals living in Region A (southwestern Connecticut) can have no more than $610.61 in net monthly income. Couples living in Region A can have no more than $777.92 in net monthly income.
Unmarried individuals living in Regions B (northern/eastern Connecticut) and C (western Connecticut) can have no more than $506.22 a month in net income. Couples living in Regions B and C can have no more than $672.10 a month in income.
An institutionalized single person can earn no more than $2,094 a month in net income.
However, if you make too much money to be eligible for Medicaid, you may become eligible by deducting medical expenses from your excess monthly income. This is called a spend-down. If you spend down to a certain amount, you are eligible for Medicaid. For more information, contact the Connecticut Department of Social Services.
Income deductions and net income. When calculating your net income for the purposes of Medicaid eligibility, portions of any unearned income (such as SSI or SSDI payments) are deductible from your monthly income. The amount you can deduct is based on how the unearned income is shared:
If you want to talk to an experienced disability attorney about your claim, you can arrange a free consultation with a Connecticut disability lawyer here.