A woman stands in a park, smiling. There are small differences in how Social Security Disability works in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. A woman stands in a park, smiling. There are small differences in how Social Security Disability works in Maryland, Virginia and D.C.

SSD in Maryland, DC and Virginia


    Are Disability Benefits Different in Different States?

    Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be a life-changer when you can’t work because of major health problems. The monthly checks keep you on steadier financial ground.

    If you’re in the Washington, DC, area, with several states close together, you might wonder if there’s anything special you need to know about the process of applying for benefits in the District compared to Virginia or Maryland.

    The main answer is pretty simple: Social Security Disability is a federal government program that follows the same procedures everywhere in the United States.

    That said, there are small differences in how local Social Security offices function. On this page, we’ll look at three main points of difference:

    • State supplements to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits
    • Which state agencies screen your initial application
    • Benefits approval rates in different states

    No matter where you live in the Washington area, at Mathis & Mathis Disability Advocates we can handle your case—and spare you from having to figure out every detail.

    We know the local Social Security offices, doctors, clinics and social service agencies in each state and Washington.

    We’ve helped thousands of people win benefits over the last 30 years, including people in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Alexandria and Northern Virginia, or anywhere in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania. And all around America.

    Social Security Disability Is All We Do.

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    Social Security Disability Differences by State

    If you receive one form of disability benefit run by Social Security—Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits—most states provide an additional supplement on top of the amount you get from the federal government. Some do not.

    The amounts vary by state and change over time. Maryland, Virginia and Washington also have special supplements for people in assisted living centers or adult foster care.

    Some states manage their own system for granting supplements. Some let the federal government process the payments.

    In states with their own program, you have to file a supplemental state application when you apply for benefits.

    Here’s how it breaks down in the Washington area:

    • Maryland has a state supplement and administers the supplement itself.
    • Virginia has a state supplement and administers the supplement itself.
    • Washington, DC, has a state supplement and lets the federal Social Security Administration (SSA) administer it.

    State governments also help process your initial SSD application or appeal on behalf of the SSA. They give that job to state agencies usually called Disability Determination Services (DDS).

    These are the offices serving the Washington region:

    • Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services
    • Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services
    • The Disability Determination Division in the District

    No matter where you live, if you’re wondering whether you qualify for benefits, you can get a FREE consultation from the experienced disability advocates at Mathis & Mathis.

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    Disability Judge Benefits Approval Rates by Location

    When you need to appeal a denial of your disability benefits beyond the first level of a reconsideration conducted by a state DDS office, you’ll next go to a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge, or ALJ.

    The ALJs are part of the federal Social Security Administration. But wait times to get a hearing with a judge differ from place to place. So do benefits approval rates by the judges.

    In many of the hearing offices where Mathis & Mathis often represents clients across the Mid-Atlantic, these were the wait times and approval rates in early 2021:

    • Washington, DC: 8 months; 40% approval
    • Baltimore, MD: 10 months; 56% approval
    • Richmond, VA: 9.5 months; 37% approval
    • Charlottesville, VA: 8 months; 49% approval
    • Norfolk, VA: 9 months; 52% approval
    • Dover, DE: 8 months; 37% approval
    • Philadelphia, PA: 6 months; 47% approval
    • Philadelphia East, PA: 9 months; 51% approval
    • Harrisburg, PA: 6 months; 36% approval

    Although it varies from place to place, you can see that no matter where you live, the waits are long and the odds are tough.

    But one government study found that if you have a representative with you at your hearing, you can increase your chances of winning approval for benefits by almost three times.

    To get someone to handle the legwork of your Social Security Disability claim in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, Delaware, Pennsylvania or across the United States, talk to us about your case.

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    Applying or Appealing, We Can Help

    Whether you’re in the initial stages of applying, appealing a denial of benefits, or wondering if you qualify, Mathis & Mathis can help.
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    Social Security Disability FAQs

    Because applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be complicated, you likely have many questions about the process. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

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    Chart: How Disability Benefits Are Different in Different States

    Dealing with the different states in the Washington, DC, area can get confusing. If you need Social Security Disability benefits—and you wonder how the process differs from DC to Maryland to Virginia—Mathis & Mathis Disability Advocates explains in this chart:

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    More SSD By State »

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