Iowa Social Security Disability Benefits

Find out about Iowa's state supplemental payments, plus how to appeal a denial of Social Security disability or SSI and whether you qualify for Medicaid.

By , Attorney

Persons with disabilities in the state of Iowa have a few options for getting disability benefits when they are no longer able to work or do more than a minimal amount of work. First, the Social Security Administration (SSA) administers two federal programs that provide disability benefits. Second, for injuries or illnesses that occurred on the job, Iowa's worker's compensation program can provide cash benefits. (Beware: Social Security's definition of disability is very different than the workers' comp definition.) Unlike several states, Iowa does not offer short-term disability benefits to its residents.

Social Security Disability Benefits

The SSA runs two disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is available to those who have sufficient work credits through Social Security tax contributions. SSI provides monthly benefits to those with low income and resources. Those who qualify for SSI will automatically qualify for Iowa's Medicaid program, and sometimes food assistance as well.

After your local Social Security Administration office reviews your disability application for technical requirements (such as amount of work credits or monthly income), the SSA sends it to DDS (Disability Determination Services). DDS is a state agency in charge of making disability determinations for the SSA (as well as Medicaid eligibility decisions for the State of Iowa). DDS is administered by Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

Once you file your application, contact the DDS office if you have questions or want to know the status of your application. Below is the contact information for DDS:

Iowa DDS
535 SW 7th St.
Des Moines, IA 50309
(800) 532-1223 ext. 5

Iowa's State Supplement to SSI

The State of Iowa adds on a state supplementary payment, called State Supplementary Assistance, to some disabled adults who receive SSI, depending on their living arrangements.

Living Arrangement

State Payment for Individual

Living with a dependent person


Family life or boarding home


Living in the household of another


Residential care

Per diem rate, plus $103 PNA

There is no state supplement for those living on their own, unless they are blind (in which case they receive a $22 supplement). The Social Security Administration administers Iowa's state supplement for most SSI recipients, but Iowa's Department of Human Services administers the payment for those living in residential care or receiving in-home health care.

Iowa Workers' Comp

Like most states, Iowa requires employers to provide worker's compensation insurance for their employees. If you are a worker who is disabled due to a job-related accident or illness, you may be entitled to "permanent" worker's comp benefits. If you receive a permanent disability settlement from workers' comp, it may be partially offset against (subtracted from) your SSDI or SSI payments.

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