While Social Security disability benefits are part of a federal assistance program, there are slight variations of the application and appeals process across states within the U.S. There can be specific nuances that you may run into when filing for disability in Maine. To help you navigate the disability process in the Pine Tree State, the attorneys at Woodruff & Mathis have put together some answers to commonly asked questions about what to expect.
Commonly Asked Questions About Filing for Disability in Maine
Where Can I Apply for Disability?
Maine has eight local Social Security offices throughout the state where you can apply for benefits. They will review your disability application and forward it to a claims examiner at the Maine Disability Determination Services (DDS) in Winthrop if it meets all requirements. The DDS will do a thorough review and make a decision based on your medical records.
What If My Application is Denied?
If Maine DDS denies your application, you need to file a Request for Reconsideration, often by a different examiner. If your application is denied a second time, you may request a disability hearing where you will appear in front of a judge. Your hearing will take place at one of the Offices of Hearings Operations (OHO) located in Portland, Augusta, Bangor and Presque Isle.
What Are My Chances of Approval?
Your chances of initial approval by Maine DDS are essentially the same as any other state. The big difference is that if you make it to the hearing stage, your chances of getting approved in Maine are slightly higher than compared with other states. The average wait time in Maine is shorter than other hearing offices, about ten months, meaning you may hear back sooner on a decision.
How Much Can I Receive in Benefits If Approved?
If your application is approved, the benefits you receive each month will depend on the type of disability benefits you qualify for:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – Payments are based on how much you have paid into Social Security throughout your working career.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – Payments are standard from the federal government and can be subject to fluctuation if you are receiving any additional income.
In addition to federal disability payments, you may also qualify for a small monthly supplement from Maine, typically related to your living situation.
Hiring a Maine Disability Attorney
Applying for disability benefits can be a complicated process regardless of which state you live in; it’s somewhat rare for applicants to receive approval for disability benefits the first time around. The qualified Maine disability attorneys at Woodruff & Mathis will help you complete your paperwork, assist you in gathering medical evidence, and support you throughout the entire claims process.
At Woodruff & Mathis, we won’t charge you for anything unless we win your case and you successfully receive benefits. Our attorneys will work with you to ensure you receive the most significant amount possible, in addition to retroactive benefits. Only then will our fee be applied, which is either 25% of your retroactive benefits or up to $6,000 – whichever ends up being less.
To learn more about our Social Security disability legal services, please request an appointment here!