For Kentuckians with long-term disabilities, disability benefits are available through the Social Security Administration (SSA) programs or their employer’s worker’s compensation insurance. In some cases, disabled workers may be able to obtain benefits through group disability insurance.
Social Security Disability Programs
There are two SSA programs available to those seeking disability benefits. The eligibility requirements for these programs differ slightly, but some applicants may, in fact, qualify for both.
- The Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) provides benefits to those who have accrued sufficient credits in the SSA Trust Fund by working approximately five out of the last ten years. (Most people who are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits are eligible for Social Security disability insurance benefits.)
- The Supplemental Security Income program (SSI) provides monthly payments to those who have limited income and assets. These claimants may also qualify for other benefits, such as housing assistance, food stamps, and medical care (Medicaid), among others.
How to Apply for Disability Benefits in the State of Kentucky
After submitting the applications forms to the SSA, either through a Kentucky field office, over a toll-free phone line (800-772-1213), or online at www.ssa.org, Kentucky's Disability Determination Service (DDS), which is managed by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) reviews the application.
Contact Information for Disability Determination Services
Here is the contact information for Kentucky’s DDS (there are two locations):
P.O. Box 1061
Louisville, Kentucky 40201
P.O. Box 1000
275 East Main Street
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
DDS also determines eligibility for two Kentucky state programs: KTAP (Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program) and Medicaid. For more information visit the DDS section of the CHFS website.
How Much SSI Will I Receive in Kentucky?
The federal government funds a large portion of the SSI payment (up to $710 a month), but the State of Kentucky supplements the federal SSI payment. The amount of the state supplement depends on the recipient's living situation.
- In a personal care facility, the supplement is $520 a month (couples are treated as individuals).
- In a family care home, the supplement is $172 a month (couples are treated as individuals).
- With a caretaker at home, the supplement is $62 a month for individuals, $115 a month for couples.
Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), Department of Community Based Services, administers the state SSI supplement. You can visit the CHFS website for more information on the supplement.
Kentucky Workers' Comp
All employers in Kentucky are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance for their employees, except for certain agricultural employers. That means that anyone who is disabled due to a work accident or illness should file a claim with their employer for workers' comp benefits first. After that, if they remain disabled for at least a year, they may be able to obtain SSA benefits as well. For more information, see this article on Kentucky workers' comp benefits.
For problems not related to cash benefits for disability, you can contact this state agency, which provides advocacy and assistance to those who have specials needs.
Office for Public Advocacy, P&A Division
100 Fair Oaks Lane, Third Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
800-372-2988 Voice/TDD (Toll Free)
Getting Legal Help with Kentucky Disability Benefits
Disabled persons often require a disability lawyer or authorized representative to help file their disability claim and then appeal the initial denial (only 25% of Kentucky applicants are approved at the initial application stage). Disability lawyers have the experience to help them obtain the proper medical data needed for a compelling claim and the skills to present that case to the Social Security judge. Visit our Kentucky disability lawyers’ page if you decide to hire an attorney to help win your claim.