Filing a Disability Claim in Massachusetts

If you live in the state of Massachusetts you may file an application for disability benefits in the state. Most states including Massachusetts provide disability benefits to applicants who are eligible. There are several requirements that need to be met including the disability being in the Social Security Administration (SSA) Blue Book listings.

If your disability doesn’t match an exact listing the SSA may ask you to participate in a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment undertaken by your physician. The results of this assessment help a decision to be reached if your physical and mental abilities are not good enough for you to engage in work.

Social Security Disability Benefits in Massachusetts

The Disability Determination Services (DDS) office in Massachusetts is responsible for reaching a decision in response to disability benefits claims. The following facts are used to help determine eligibility:

  • the applicant’s personal statement regarding the limitations caused by the disability;
  • the applicant’s medical status accessed from medical records;
  • medical and psychological reports provided by the applicant’s doctor;
  • a continuing ongoing review of the disability.

When submitting a social security disability benefits claim in Massachusetts it is the responsibility of the federal government through the Social Security Administration (SSA). The Disability Determination Service (DDS) makes the decision about your disability benefits claim in Massachusetts. Before you apply, there are some steps you should go through which may significantly increase your chances of getting your claim approved. First of all you need to ensure you have been to see a doctor in the last 12 months directly related to your current medical condition.

You may file for disability benefits at field offices positioned throughout the state.

Filing a Disability Claim in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Social Security Field Offices

In the state of Massachusetts, there are 30 Social Security Field offices and 2 Offices of Disability Determination Services (DDS) that help residents with disability claims.
The Social Security Offices in the state of Massachusetts are found in Attleboro, Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Dorchester, East Falmouth, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Gardner, Hanover, Haverhill, Holyoke, Hyannis, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, New Bedford, North Adams, Norwood, Pittsfield, Quincy, Roslindale, Roxbury, Salem, Springfield, Taunton, Waltham, and Worcester.

Massachusetts Disability Statistics

According to the Massachusetts statistics 28.2 percent of adults have a disability compared to the average nationally of 25.6 percent.

In Massachusetts, the chances of being approved for Social Security Disability benefits at an appeals hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) just about matches the national average. Claimants have to wait about 2 months for a hearing date. The average processing time is 409 days compared to the national average of 461 days and those approved are 43 percent with 37 percent denied and a further 20 percent dismissed.

Appealing Denied Social Security in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, the SSA allows disability benefits applicants who have had their claim denied to apply for reconsideration of a claim which is the first stage of the appeals process. If the reconsideration of a disability benefits case is rejected, then an appeal may be granted and this is when your case is heard by an administrative law judge (ALJ).

If you were recently denied Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in Massachusetts, you may request an appeal. Generally, you are given sixty days after receiving the initial decision notice to lodge the appeal.

The office that is responsible for allocating the date for a disability hearing for the SSA is the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). It conducts Social Security Disability (SSD) hearings and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) hearings in 3 different offices in Massachusetts. Today, in Massachusetts, the average wait time for a SSI or SSD hearing is 13.7 months. The average case processing time in Massachusetts is 462 days.

Help Filing for Disability Benefits in Massachusetts

The Social Security Disability claim process can be confusing and overwhelming in Massachusetts. There are many forms to complete and sufficient evidence of the extent of your disability is required.

To help avoid your claim being denied and having to attend an appeals hearing, it is a good idea to seek the services of a Social Security Disability attorney who may provide all the help and support you need to win your disability benefits claim.

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