South Dakota residents with a disability can apply for assistance with both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), in addition to state-run services. SSDI and SSI are both federally funded programs, but eligibility is decided upon at the state level.

In South Dakota, these decisions are made by Disability Determination Services (DDS), an agency under the South Dakota Department of Human Services.

South Dakota residents can also qualify for disability benefits or other financial aid through programs such as Medicaid, unemployment, or worker’s compensation. though South Dakota currently has no law requiring employers to provide short or long-term disability payments to employees.

If you are a disabled veteran, you may also have access to services provided by the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs (SDDVA). The SDDVA is committed to helping any South Dakota veteran or active duty military service member and their families including a surviving spouse. If you’re an eligible veteran, you could qualify for monetary compensation, increased pensions, hospital care, home loan services, or choose to get a disabled veteran plate for your motor vehicle.

Facts About South Dakota

Around 25% of South Dakota’s population has a disability, but only about 4% of those people are currently receiving SSDI assistance. Of the disabled population, the majority of conditions are mobility-related or cognition-related such as a mental illness. Studies show that disabled residents are more likely to have obesity and suffer from diabetes or heart disease.

Some disabled individuals are still able to be in an independent living environment, while others may need to be in a nursing facility, and these state and federal benefits can help get them what they need.

How to Qualify for SSDI in South Dakota

The criteria for receiving Social Security disability benefits is the same from one state to the next and is set by the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, the determination is done by South Dakota DDS. South Dakota approves approximately 36% of all first-time applications for SSDI benefits which is slightly higher than the national average of 35%.

There are two main requirements that applicants must meet: they must have paid into the SSA system, and their condition must be “severe.” You must typically show a work history of at least 10 years, though you can get a waiver if your disability has made it impossible to work as can be the case with a severe physical or developmental disability.

The second requirement regards the severity of your condition. The SSA has created a comprehensive list of conditions it considers severe enough to impact your ability to work for at least 12 months or end in death.

It’s still possible to get approved if your disability is not listed here, although it is much more difficult. You will likely require one or more steps of appeal and potentially enlisting the aid of a South Dakota disability lawyer.

How To Apply for SSDI in South Dakota

No matter where you’re applying for Social Security Disability, your application will be submitted to the SSA and then forwarded to the correct state agency. You can apply in one of three ways: online, by phone, or in person.

The fastest way to apply is online at the federal Social Security site, but you can also call the national line at 800-772-1213 to speak with a representative who will walk you through the process. Those who wish to apply at a Social Security field office should find the closest office (there are six in the state) to make an appointment for face-to-face help with their disability claim.

Before you apply, you should take time to gather any relevant documentation and evidence to support your claim. In general, you’ll need to provide basic personal information about you, your spouse, and any family member or dependents of your household.

Veterans will likely be asked to show birth, marriage, divorce certificates, and military service records. You’ll also need copies of medical records like any doctors or clinics you’ve been a patient with as well as lab and test reports.

How To Appeal a Denial in South Dakota

South Dakota has a slightly higher than average approval rating for initial claims, though 65% of applicants are still denied. If your case is denied, familiarize yourself with the appeals process so you can pursue your benefits. Each step must be completed within 60 days of the preceding denial, and you must go through each stage in order.

Step 1: Reconsideration - The first and easiest step in the appeals process is reconsideration which yields a 10% approval rating. This is typically a quick process since you’re just requesting a new representative review the claim you’ve already submitted to see if an error was made. 

Step 2: Disability Hearing - The next stage is a much more lengthy procedure. The average approval rating at this stage is 52%. During your disability adjudication, an administrative law judge will review your case as well as look at any new documentation or witnesses you bring forth.

These hearings take an average of 15 months to schedule and many people choose to hire a lawyer for legal advice. Your hearing will be held at one of two Hearing and Appeals offices in South Dakota, either in Rapid City or Sioux Falls.

Step 3: Appeals Council - Step three is applying for an appeal online with the Social Security Appeals Council. The purpose of this council is to review all lower decisions to see if they should be upheld or overturned.

Level 4: Federal Court - The last step is to file a lawsuit at a district federal court in South Dakota. Very few cases go this far and if you are still denied at this stage, there is no further opportunity for recourse.

More South Dakota Benefits

SSI

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another federal insurance program for those with lower incomes. Currently, about 1.8% of South Dakotans receive SSI benefits. These are available to individuals who are disabled or blind of any age, and older adults over the age of 65 with or without a disability.

South Dakota Medicaid

Those who have low income and could not otherwise afford medical insurance can qualify for South Dakota Medicaid (Medical Assistance for Low-Income Families (LIF)). LIF provides medical services to Alabamians of all ages and if you are already receiving SSI payments you will be automatically eligible for Medicaid services as well.

South Dakota Unemployment

South Dakota Unemployment benefits come in the form of weekly payouts and are available to those who can’t work or whose hours have been substantially reduced through no fault of their own. The program is run under South Dakota’s Department of Labor and Regulation and has a maximum weekly payout of $428 for up to 26 weeks.

South Dakota Social Security Offices

SSA Field Office Locations in South Dakota
Sioux Falls SSA Office
5021 S Nevada Ave
Sioux Falls, SD 57108
(877) 274-5421
Aberdeen SSA Office
115 4th Ave SE
Room 111 Federal Bldg
Aberdeen, SD 57401
(855) 278-4196
Rapid City SSA Office
2200 North Maple Ave Ste 301
Rapid City, SD 57701
(866) 964-7416
Huron SSA Office
200 4th Street SW
Room 105 Federal Bldg
Huron, SD 57350
(866) 563-4604
Watertown SSA Office
514 Jenson Ave SE
Watertown, SD 57201
(888) 737-1763
Yankton SSA Office
1818 Broadway Ave Suite 2
Yankton, SD 57078
(877) 405-3522

South Dakota Hearing and Appeal Offices

South Dakota is in Region 8 (Denver), which services Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

The Sioux Falls Hearing Office services the following cities in South Dakota: Eagle Butte, Martin, Rapid City, Aberdeen, Huron, Sisseton, and Sioux Falls.

Region 8 - SSA Office of Hearing Operations in South Dakota
SSA Hearing Office - Rapid City
4020 Jackson Boulevard Suite 2
Rapid City, South Dakota 57702
(605) 355-9859
SSA Hearing Office - Sioux Falls1720 South Southeastern Ave
Suite 200
Sioux Falls, SD 57103
(877) 378-9080