If you live in Nebraska and you can no longer work due to a long-term physical or mental disability, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To apply for SSI or SSDI, 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, if you’re applying for SSDI only.
Once Social Security determines that a disability applicant meets the basic eligibility requirements for either SSI or SSDI, the agency sends the claimant’s file to Nebraska's Disability Determinations Services (DDS). DDS is a part of Nebraska’s Department of Education, Vocational Rehabilitation Division.
DDS reviews the medical information in your file and decides whether you are disabled according to Social Security’s definition of disability.
DDS’s office is in Lincoln. Its mailing address is Disability Determinations Section, P.O. Box 82530, Lincoln, Nebraska 68501, and its telephone number is 800-331-5616.
If your initial claim is denied, the next step in Nebraska is to ask that DDS reconsider the decision. If your claim is denied after the reconsideration, the next step is to ask for a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ).
ALJ hearings are administered through Social Security’s Office of Hearings Operations (OHO). There is one ODAR office in Nebraska, in Omaha, at 1000 N 90th Street. Its telephone number is (888) 881-4633.
The hearing office in Topeka, Kansas no longer handles hearings for Nebraskans who live west of Lincoln.
For SSI recipients who live in Nebraska, the state adds a small supplement on to the federal monthly payment of $771. The payment, through the Aged, Blind, or Disabled (AABD) program, ranges from $51 for those living independently to $1,200 for those living in a facility. You can apply for this payment through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The amounts that DHHS pays to couples when both spouses are receiving SSI differ from the amount above; check with DHHS for the latest supplement amounts.
All SSI recipients in Nebraska automatically become eligible for Medicaid when they are approved for SSI. Because Nebraska’s Medicaid eligibility for SSI recipients is administered by Social Security, you should automatically be enrolled in Medicaid when you receive your SSI award letter. If you have not been enrolled, contact your local Social Security office to find out why.
If you are requesting a reconsideration or appeal hearing, it makes sense to talk to a Social Security disability attorney about your chances of getting disability benefits and what the obstacles will be in your case. Arrange a free consultation with a Nebraska disability lawyer.