Residents of Mississippi who suffer an injury, illness, or mental condition that makes them unable to earn a living may be eligible for federal disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). In some states, persons with disabilities are also eligible to collect state short-term benefits, but Mississippi does not offer state benefits, making federal programs the primary source of disability assistance for Mississippi residents. Nor does Mississippi offer a state payment to supplement the federal SSI payment, unlike most other states.
The two federal disability programs are SSDI (Social Security disability insurance) and SSI (supplemental security income). To apply, you can contact the Social Security field office nearest you, or you can call Social Security at 800-772-1213. You can also start your application online. But if you are applying for SSI, you must have a phone or in-person appointment to complete your application.
Once Social Security determines that a Mississippian meets the basic eligibility requirements for SSI or SSDI, the agency sends the disability applicant's file to Mississippi's Disability Determination Services (DDS). A claims examiner at DDS reviews the applicant's medical records and decides whether the applicant is disabled.
DDS has one office in Mississippi, run by the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services:
Disability Determination Services
1281 Highway 51 North
Madison, MS 39110
If the claims examiner at DDS denies your application, you can appeal. Appeal hearings are held in Jackson, Hattiesburg, and Tupelo, but the wait time for a hearing in Mississippi averages 12 months.
Mississippians who qualify for SSI automatically receive Medicaid; there is no need to file a separate application unless you are seeking retroactive benefits. If you have medical bills from up to three months before the month you applied for SSI, you can apply with the Division of Medicaid for Medicaid to cover these expenses (if you are deemed eligible during these months).
Disability Rights Mississippi assists people with many disability-related issues, though it doesn't assist with Social Security disability applications. Here is its contact information:
Disability Rights Mississippi
210 E. Capitol Street Suite 600
Jackson, Mississippi 39201
For help applying for disability or appealing a denial, you may want to arrange a consultation with a Mississippi disability attorney.
Updated August 30, 2019