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You can apply for social security disability benefits in the state of Washington by visiting the nearby Social Security Administration office, or online on the SSA website. You can apply for Supplementary Security Income (SSI), or the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). If you are in Seattle, there are two offices; one located at 675 S Lane St, Suite 401 and another at 13510 Aurora Ave N, Suite B.
Your application is forwarded to the Disability Determination Services (DDS). The DDS assigns a disability examiner to your case. Unlike most states, a disability expert can make a decision on disability without consulting a physician or psychiatrist. This model has been put in place to make the determination quicker. The office of the DDS in Seattle is at 1516 2nd Avenue, 1516 2nd Avenue Suite 303.
The state of Washington gives a supplement on the federal Supplementary Security Income (SSI). This amount depends on whether you are earning, married, and your living arrangements. In 2012, a single person living alone was getting $46 in SSI supplements from the state.
Studies have shown that your disability benefits application stands a 36% chance of succeeding initially. If your application gets rejected by the DDS you can appeal for a review. This is called a request for reconsideration. You should make this appeal within 60 days of your first application being rejected. Your case is assigned to a new examiner who makes a review within 60 days. Your chances of success at a request for reconsideration stand at about 13%.
If your appeal fails at the request for reconsideration, you can make an appeal for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The usual waiting period for a hearing in the State of Washington is 11 months. After the ALJ hearing, you get a response within 30 days. Your chances of success at a hearing are 60% which is higher than the rest of the country which is 58%.
If you are in Seattle, the ODAR office is located at 300 5th Avenue, Suite 500.
If you have suffered a disability and would like to start working again, you can get help from the state’s Division of Vocation Rehabilitation. You can visit the DVR website for more information on its programs.
It is advisable to get legal help when making your application and appeals. A social security specialist lawyer can help you make an accurate filing and represent you before the ALJ.