Filing a Disability Claim in New Hampshire

If you live in the state of New Hampshire you can apply for disability benefits in that state. Most states provide disability benefits to eligible applicants. However, the process is time consuming and applicants have to be able to fulfill the requirements found in the Social Security Administration (SSA) Blue Book listings before their claim for social security benefits is accepted.

If your disability doesn’t fit a listing, the SSA may ask you to have a Residual Functional Capacity assessment carried out by your doctor. This determines your physical and mental abilities and whether you are fit enough to work.

The Disability Determination Services office makes the decisions for disability benefits claims based on the following:

  • the applicant’s medical records;
  • medical and psychological evidence provided by the applicant’s physician;
  • an ongoing disability review;
  • the applicant’s personal statement about their disability.

To qualify for a social security disability benefit (SSDI program), you need to have worked a certain number of years in an occupation where you paid Social Security taxes (FICA) taxes and have accumulated sufficient work credits.

If you haven't worked for enough time when you become disabled, and your assets and income are low you may be eligible to file an application for supplemental security income (SSI) instead.

Accessing social security disability benefits in New Hampshire comes under the responsibility of the federal government through the Social Security Administration (SSA). You can file for disability at field offices spread throughout the state.

The Cities Where Field Offices are in New Hampshire

There are 6 Social Security Field Offices, 1 Disability Determination Service, and 1 place where hearings are heard.

The local offices can be found in the following cities:

  • Concord,
  • Keene,
  • Littleton,
  • Manchester,
  • Nashua,
  • Portsmouth.

New Hampshire Disability Statistics

The chances of being awarded Social Security benefits in New Hampshire are much higher than the national average. After the first application has been submitted 52 percent of individuals in New Hampshire are then awarded disability benefits. When compared to the nation as a whole nationwide the average percentage approved is 35 percent.

At the hearing stage, 51 percent of individuals in New Hampshire are approved for benefits, compared to a national average of 45%. The waiting time for hearings is also shorter than the national average, with wait times at 11 months in New Hampshire while nationwide it is 18 months.

If your claim for disability benefits is denied, you will only be able to reverse the decision if you attend a disability hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.

In the State of New Hampshire, there is only one ODAR office handling disability hearings for all New Hampshire residents. This ODAR office is located in the City of Manchester. The average processing time to obtain a hearing from the Manchester ODAR office is 321 days.

Appealing a Social Security Decision in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, Social Security has made some recent changes to the appeals process, so that reconsideration of a claim can be requested before the appeals process begins. If reconsideration of a case is rejected then an appeal may be granted and this is when the case is heard by an administrative law judge (ALJ).

So, if you were recently denied social security disability benefits or supplemental security income (SSI) in New Hampshire you may request an appeal. Generally, you are given 60 days after receiving the decision notice to lodge the appeal. Before the appeal takes place you can file a request for reconsideration. If this fails then you request a hearing date for an appeal.

Help Filing for Disability Benefits in New Hampshire

It is never easy filing for disability benefits in New Hampshire as there are so many aspects of your disability claim that need to be approved before you are granted any benefits.

A lawyer may be able to assist in helping with disability benefits in New Hampshire and will try to win a disability claim on your behalf and avoid the need to appeal. However, if your claim is denied and you file an appeal the disability lawyer will do his or her utmost to win an appeal in this long, drawn process so that you get your disability benefits entitlements.

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