Maryland residents who are disabled and unable to earn a living wage may need disability benefits to provide financial support. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are federal programs, but states are responsible for running their own Disability Determination Services agencies (DDS), which decide disability claims. Also, some states offer supplemental benefits to SSI recipients, while others do not.
There may also be other sources of disability payments, including long-term disability insurance or public benefits for those who worked in the civil service.
Maryland DDS is responsible for gathering and reviewing medical evidence and making the initial decision about whether an applicant is disabled. DDS also schedules any consultative medical examinations that need to be done.
Maryland Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency is administered by the Department of Rehabilitative Services (DORS). DDS is located at:
Maryland offers a supplemental payment to SSI recipients who live in nursing homes, assisted living, or rehabilitative residences. The amount of the supplement ranges from $52 to $666. The supplement amount is determined based on the living arrangements of the individual and how much supervision the person needs. The total SSI payment for those who qualify, including federal and state portions, is approximately $770 to $1380.
The state supplement is administered by either the State Department of Human Resources, Family Investment Administration or the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. To apply, contact your county’s social services agency office.
Maryland Disability Law Center is a non-profit agency that provides a wide range of support and legal services for persons with disabilities. Here is MDLC’s contact information.
1800 North Charles Street, Suite 400
Baltimore, MD 21201
800-233-7201 (In-State Toll Free)
With few exceptions, Maryland requires all employers to carry worker’s compensation insurance for their employees. That means that when someone is disabled as a result of a work-related illness or accident, they have the right to claim worker’s compensation disability benefits as soon as they learn of their condition. If you were injured at work, file a workers’ compensation file with your employer.
If you were denied disability benefits, you should appeal rather than reapplying. Unfortunately, appealing is at least a two-step process that can take 15 to 18 months in Maryland, due to a hearing backlog.
Sometimes you can win an appeal without waiting for hearing -- a good thing, since the average wait time for a hearing in Maryland is 13 months. Consider talking to a lawyer before you appeal to find out how you can improve your chances of winning and whether the lawyer thinks you could win an appeal without a hearing, through an on-the-record request or attorney advisor opinion.