The state of Washington provides financial support and benefits to people living with a disability.

Washington's Disability Determination Services (DDS) evaluates whether a Washington citizen who has a physical or developmental disability may qualify for Social Security disability benefits, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

The DDS also handles disability reconsiderations, disability hearings, and regular disability reviews for those who are currently receiving assistance.

This guide explains how Washington's disability benefits work, how you can qualify and apply for benefits, and other forms of financial assistance you might be eligible to receive.

Facts About Washington

Disability statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that health coverage for disabilities within Washington accounts for about $19.5 billion, or about 37% of Washington's healthcare expenses. Mobility and cognitive disabilities lead the state, each affecting 10% of Washington adults. Independent living and hearing conditions affect 6% and 5% of adults, respectively.

Fortunately, Washington disability support is plentiful. The Washington Division of Vocational Rehabilitation assists those with disabilities in finding and training for employment, while other programs assist children with disabilities and children and adults with developmental disabilities.

How To Qualify for SSDI in Washington

Disabled Washington residents may apply for Social Security disability benefits and receive compensation if they fit the criteria. SSDI benefits are limited to those who have worked long enough to earn the required number of work credits. You can earn up to four work credits each year you work, depending on how much you make that year. To receive SSDI, you need at least 40 work credits, with 20 of them from the last ten years.

A disabled person in Washington will also need to provide medical evidence of their disability. The disability needs to meet the Social Security Administration (SSA) guidelines, which require you to be unable to do the work you did before your disability. Your condition must also be long-term or expected to last at least one year.

An applicant will also need to meet income guidelines for SSDI, but the eligible income limits are higher than those set for SSI benefits. SSDI also checks only a person's earned income from employment or self-employment without considering other forms of income, like a spouse's salary or assets.

How To Apply for SSDI in Washington

You can apply for Washington SSDI benefits online by visiting SSA.gov. Washington Disability Determination Services from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services ultimately determines the eligibility of each applicant.

To apply, you can mail your application to one of Washington's 22 SSA field offices, visit the office in person, apply online at SSA.gov, or call 1-800-772-1213 to apply by phone.

If you require assistance with your application, a trusted friend or family member may help you. Or, you can receive assistance when you apply by phone or visit your nearby field office.

Before applying, be sure to have your Social Security number and the Social Security numbers of your spouse and dependent children, if applicable, your bank account information, your work and employer information, and evidence of your medical condition. You may also need to furnish copies of your birth certificate, pay stubs, and medical evidence.

How To Appeal a Denial in Washington

Washington residents have the right to appeal a denial of a disability claim. The Washington DDS receives and handles disability appeals for SSDI benefits.

Denials first go through the appeals process with a request for reconsideration, which requires someone other than the original reviewer to evaluate an individual's application.

Next, an individual may request a hearing by an administrative law judge. An Appeals Council review and federal court review are the final steps in the appeals process if denials continue. Currently, all steps in the appeals process can be requested online except for a federal court review.

You can also download appeal forms on the SSA website for free, or call 1-800-772-1213 to request them. You can also contact your nearest Washington SSA field office to request forms.

More Washington Benefits

In addition to Washington disability benefits and disability services, Washington residents may be eligible for other forms of assistance.

SSI 

SSI is another form of disability assistance for those with a medical condition or impairment that interferes with an individual's ability to go to school, work, or complete daily activities. Low-income adults and children may receive SSI if they are disabled, blind, or over 65 years of age.

When you apply for SSDI benefits, the SSA will check your application information to determine whether you are eligible for SSI as well. To qualify for SSI, you must have limited assets in addition to limited income.

Washington Medicaid 

Washington Medicaid assists low-income individuals and families with healthcare costs. In Washington, this program is called Apple Health. Apple Health requires you to be a Washington citizen and fall into one of the following categories:

  • Blind
  • Disabled or have a family member with a disability living with you
  • Pregnant
  • Age 65 or older
  • Have a dependent child 18 or younger

Eligible individuals or families will also meet income guidelines as set by the state, which is currently a maximum of $35,245 for a family of four.

Washington Unemployment

Washington unemployment benefits provide financial aid to individuals who have lost their jobs or have been laid off work through no fault of their own. The program pays weekly benefits to eligible individuals.

Those receiving benefits must be Washington citizens and have worked for an employer in Washington during the past 12 months for a minimum wage set by the state. Recipients must also actively seek new work opportunities while receiving benefits. The current maximum weekly payment is $844.

Washington Social Security Offices

SSA Field Office Locations in Washington
Bellevue SSA Office
636 120th Ave Ne Suite 100
Bellevue, WA 98005
(866) 574-2323
Kent SSA Office
321 Ramsay Way Suite 401
Kent, WA 98032
(866) 931-7671
Spokane SSA Office
714 N Iron Bridge Way Suite 100
Spokane, WA 99202
(866) 331-5532
Seattle Metro SSA Office
915 2nd Ave Suite 901
Seattle, WA 98174
(866) 494-3135
Tacoma SSA Office
2608 S 47th St Suite A
Tacoma, WA 98409
(888) 487-9229
Olympia SSA Office
402 Yauger Way SW
Olympia, WA 98502
(866) 755-6199
Yakima SSA Office
801 Fruitvale Blvd
Yakima, WA 98902
(866) 338-8552
Bellingham SSA Office
710 Alabama St
Bellingham, WA 98225
(866) 256-6906
Grays Harbor SSA Office
820 Simpson Ave
Hoquiam, WA 98550
(855) 634-4197
Everett SSA Office
3809 Broadway
Everett, WA 98201
(866) 563-4595
Vancouver SSA Office
805 Broadway St Suite 500
Vancouver, WA 98660
(866) 605-8967
Wenatchee SSA Office
301 Yakima Street Ste 212
Wenatchee, WA 98801
(877) 669-3125
Walla Walla SSA Office
880 Ne Rose St
College Place, WA 99324
(866) 366-7814
Kitsap SSA Office
9594 Mickelberry Rd NW
Silverdale, WA 98383
(855) 820-0098
Tri-Cities SSA Office
8131 W Klamath Ct Suite A
Kennewick, WA 99336
(866) 269-6671
Longview SSA Office
840 Ocean Beach Hwy Suite 150
Longview, WA 98632
(866) 495-0044
Seattle North SSA Office
13510 Aurora Ave N Suite B
Seattle, WA 98133
(866) 931-2875
Burien SSA Office
151 SW 156th St
Burien, WA 98166
(866) 964-7380
Mt Vernon SSA Office
710 E College Way Suite A
Mt Vernon, WA 98273
(866) 931-7108
Puyallup SSA Office
811 South Hill Park Dr Suite A
Puyallup, WA 98373
(855) 886-9627
Centralia SSA Office
1821 Cooks Hill Rd Ste 100
Centralia, WA 98531
(855) 848-7942
Lynnwood SSA Office
18905 33rd Ave W Suite 207
Lynnwood, WA 98036
(877) 575-5197

Washington Hearing and Appeal Offices

Washington is in Region 10 (Seattle), which services Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. 

Region 10 - SSA Office of Hearing Operations in Washington
SSA Hearing Office - Seattle701 5th Avenue, M\S 904
Columbia Tower, Suite 2900
Seattle, WA 98104-7075
(206) 615-2236
SSA Hearing Office - Seattle300 5th Avenue
Yesler Building, Suite 500
Seattle, WA 98104-3389
(888) 366-6144
SSA Hearing Office - Spokane714 N Iron Bridge Way
Suite 200
Spokane, WA 99202-4929
(888) 253-3903
SSA Hearing Office - Tacoma2413 Pacific Avenue
Suite 200
Tacoma, WA 98402
(888) 208-4640