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SSDI Benefits in Hawaii

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program run by the U.S. government to help disabled Hawaiian residents who are unable to work. The disability must be long-term, meaning it lasts at least a year or is expected to cause death. SSDI is funded through Social Security taxes, which workers pay while they are employed.

What Does the SSA Do?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the federal agency that manages SSDI. The SSA checks if people meet the requirements to get SSDI and makes decisions about who gets benefits. They also keep track of the work credits you earn, which are needed to qualify for SSDI.

The SSA does a lot more than manage the SSDI program. One of its main duties is overseeing the Social Security retirement benefits that workers earn through paying Social Security taxes. It also manages the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which assists low-income Hawaiians who are 65 or older, blind, or disabled.

The SSA offers survivor benefits, which can be paid to the spouse and children of a deceased worker. It also provides Medicare health insurance to people who are 65 and older, and to some people with disabilities.

How does the SSA define Disability?

The SSA has a strict definition of disability. You must have a medical condition that stops you from working and is expected to last at least one year or lead to death.

This is different from other programs that might offer help for short-term or partial disabilities.

What are work credits?

Work credits are how the SSA tracks how long you've worked and paid Social Security taxes. You can earn up to four credits per year. Most people need 40 credits to qualify, with 20 credits earned in the last 10 years.

Who Is Eligible for SSDI?

To be eligible for SSDI in Hawaii, you need enough work credits and a qualifying disability. You also must be younger than full retirement age. If you have never worked, you typically can't get SSDI, but there might be other programs to help you.

To be considered disabled by SSA standards, you must meet three criteria:

  1. You are unable to perform the work you did before you became disabled.
  2. You are unable to adjust to different work because of your disability.
  3. Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year, or is expected to result in death.

How to Apply for SSDI in Hawaii

You can apply for SSDI in Hawaii online through the SSA's website. You can also apply over the phone or at an SSA office.

The process includes filling out an application and providing detailed information about your medical condition and work history.

Apply for SSDI Benefits Online: https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/dib

Apply By Phone: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8:00 am - 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

Information Needed to Apply for SSDI in Hawaii

To apply for SSDI in Hawaii, you need your Social Security number, birth certificate, information about your medical condition, names and contact details of doctors who have treated you, and details about your work history and income. Be sure to provide as much detail as possible.

Appeal Process

If you apply for SSDI and your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal.

A disability lawyer can be a big help during the appeal process. They know all about SSDI laws and can help make your application as strong as possible. They can also represent you in appeal hearings, which could make a big difference in your case.

There are four levels of the process: Reconsideration, Hearing, Appeals Council Review, and Federal Court Review.


This is the first level of appeal where your case is reviewed by someone who didn't take part in the initial decision. They'll look at all the original evidence, along with any new evidence you provide.

Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge

If you disagree with the reconsideration decision, you can ask for a hearing. The judge, who was not involved in the original decision or the reconsideration, will listen to your case, question you and any witnesses, and make a new decision.

Appeals Council Review

If you still disagree with the decision, you can ask the Appeals Council to review your case. The council can either decide your case itself or return it to a judge for further review.

Federal Court Review

If you disagree with the Appeals Council's decision, the final step is to file a lawsuit in a federal district court. You will need to have an attorney if you reach this stage of the appeal process.

SSI Program in Hawaii

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides extra money to Hawaiian residents who have low income, are 65 or older, or have a disability. The money can be used for basic needs like food, clothes, and housing.

To qualify for SSI in Hawaii, you must have little or no income and few resources. You typically also have to be a U.S. citizen. Unlike SSDI, people who have never worked can qualify for SSI.

You can apply for SSI in Hawaii by visiting the SSA's website or your local social services office. You'll need to provide information about your income, resources, living arrangements, and medical condition. You may also need to give permission for the SSA to research your medical history.

Remember, applying for SSDI or SSI can be complicated, but don't get discouraged. Take your time, and be sure to ask for help if you need it.

Hawaii - Social Security Disability Office Locations

Office Code Name Address Weekday Hours Phone Number
167 KAPOLEI HI 970 Manawai St, Kapolei, HI 96707 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM 855-572-4866
990 HONOLULU HI Rm 1114 Fed Bldg, 300 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96850 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM 855-572-4879
166 WAILUKU HI Ste 125, 2200 Main St, Wailuku, HI 96793 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM 855-572-4863
991 HILO HI Ste 710, 111 E Puainako St, Hilo, HI 96720 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM 855-572-4860
993 LIHUE HI Ste 105, 4334 Rice St, Lihue, HI 96766 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM 855-572-4842