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Disability benefits (federal programs)


People with disabilities may be able to qualify for one of two federal disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These programs are governed by the federal Social Security Administration (SSA).

You can learn more about these benefits on the Social Security Web site.

Applying for federal benefits

Application for SSI or SSDI is made through the local SSA office.

Although decisions about eligibility are made by the Disability Determination Services (DDS), under contract with the federal government, you must first apply for benefits with SSA.


Contact Disability Determination Services (DDS) at 1-800-452-2147. A Customer Service Representative will direct your call.

Laws and regulations

All decisions about SSI or SSDI benefits are governed by the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Handbook contains the information about both SSI and SSDI.

Reporting fraud

Are you concerned that someone you know or live by is getting Social Security benefits to which they are not entitled? SSA provides information about fraud reporting, including what to report and to whom it should be reported.

Tools for providers

SSA's Disability Evaluation Under Social Security (Blue Book) is a guide to help physicians and other health professionals understand the kind of information they need to provide in order to enable a sound and prompt decision.