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There are 3 ways of applying for disability in Phoenix, Maricopa County Arizona:
Your disability application is forwarded to the Disability Determination Service (DDS) which is run by Arizona’s Department of Economic Security. The DDS assesses your application for qualification on medical and other grounds. The DDS office is located at 4000 North Central Avenue, Suite 1800, Phoenix, AZ 85012
If you have no source of income, you will get $698 in Supplementary Security Income (SSI). This will be less if you have any countable income. Unfortunately, Arizona does not supplement what you get from the federal social security.
If the DDS disqualifies your application, it is possible to make an appeal. The appeal will have 4 stages:
You will have 60 days within which to make a filing for reconsideration to the DDS. Your appeal will be assigned to a different claims examiner
If your reconsideration appeal has been rejected, you can apply for a hearing. This is handled by the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The hearing is headed by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the nearest office. In phoenix, it is at 3737 North 7th Street, Siete Square, Suite 200, Phoenix, Arizona 85014.
If the ODAR hearing turns down your appeal you can appeal to the higher Appeals Council within 60 days. The AC will reverse the ALJ’s ruling, or recommend the review of specific evidence by the ALJ, or refuse your appeal.
This is your last avenue of appeal. You can file an appeal at the federal court in Phoenix.
The initial application takes 3 to 6 months. An appeal takes up to 331 days to get a hearing. If there are more appeals, the entire appeals chain would take over 2 ½ years to complete.
For a better representation, it is advisable to seek the services of legal counsel. There are several legal firms that do pro bono (volunteer) work that can help you with your appeals. You can quicken access to your medical records by paying a fee to medical health providers.