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Applying for Social Disability Benefits

There are 2 ways of applying for social disability benefits in New York:

  • By phone on the phone number 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Application in person at the Social Security Administration office. The SSA in the Bronx is located at 3rd Floor, 1029 E 163rd Street.

Unfortunately, New York does not take online applications for Supplementary Security Income (SSI).

You are eligible for disability benefits if:

  • You cannot work due to a physical or mental impairment
  • You cannot return to the job you had before the impairment
  • You cannot adjust to another job because of the impairment
  • The impairment is medically proven to have lasted for the last 1 year or will take another 1 year or more to heal.


New York prohibits medical providers from denying providing your medical records if you are not able to pay for them. The medical provider is allowed to charge a maximum of 75 cents per page if you are able to pay.


Your application will first undergo a technical assessment at the local SSA office. If the application is not technically denied at the local office, it is forwarded to the Disability Determination Services. The DDS takes one or two months to go through your application and make a determination.


The state of New York offers a supplement in addition to the federal amount. The amount you receive will depend on factors like marriage status, age, the number in the household and the county and borough you are living in.

The basic amount of a person living alone without any countable income is $785 which includes $87 from the state. If you are living with others and paying for your expenses, you get a total of $721. If you are living with others and helping to pay the expenses, you get $488.


Unlike other states that have 4 appeal stages, New York has 3 stages.

  • ALJ hearing

After the initial application is denied you can appeal directly to an Administrative Law judge at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review located at 2nd Floor, Suite 4, 226 East 161st Street. The average waiting period before getting a hearing is about 350 days.

  • Appeals council

If the ALJ refuses your appeal, you can appeal to the Appeals council that sits in Maryland and Virginia

  • Federal court

This is the final appeal stage. Your appeal is heard at the US federal district court in New York.