What You Need to Know About Applying for Disability Services in Rhode Island

Every state has different requirements for applying for disability services. Rhode Island’s Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS) is the best place to start for assisting residents of the state whose disabilities make it difficult for them to work.

Definition of Disability

Disability, according to the Disability Determination Services unit of ORS, is defined as:

“the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”

Example of durable medical equipment (DME) in Providence, RI

These conditions must also interfere with an individual’s ability to work and perform daily living activities, with or without, assistive devices and durable medical equipment (DME).

How Do I Apply?

If you believe you have become disabled you should apply immediately. This can be done online at SSA.gov, over the phone, or by visiting a social security office. Here is a list of the social security offices in Rhode Island:

  • One Empire Street, Providence, RI 02903 Tel: 877.402.0808
  • 30 Quaker Lane, 1st Floor, Warwick, RI 02886-0111 Tel: 866.964.2038
  • 4 Pleasant Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860 Tel: 866.931.7079
  • Pavilion Plaza, 2168 Diamond Hill Road, Woonsocket, RI 02895 Tel: 877.229.3452
  • 130 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840 Tel: 866.253.5607

For medical disability applications, you will need to provide required details about the individual’s situation such as:

  • A detailed description of the individual’s impairments
  • Contact information for the healthcare providers and facilities treating your condition (names, addresses, phone numbers)
  • Any other relevant information about the disability

For non-medical eligibility assessments, you will need to provide information such as:

  • Age
  • Employment history
  • Marital Status
  • Proof of citizenship

The Rhode Island Disability Determination Services unit within the ORS is the state agency that determines the eligibility for Rhode Island residents (children and adults) who have applied for cash benefits under the disability programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) (Title II) and Supplementary Security Income (SSI).

It can also be wise to seek the assistance of a qualified social security disability attorney as approximately two-thirds of disability applicants are initially denied benefits.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services Eligibility Criteria

According to the Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services FAQ page, ORS determines eligibility through the following criteria, you must:

  • have a physical, intellectual, or emotional impairment which is a substantial barrier to employment, and
  • require vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment, and
  • be able to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of an employment outcome.

Applying for Vocation Rehabilitation Services

This is as simple as filling out an application (you can download it from the ORS website) and completing a Release of Information form (ORS-37). If you can’t download it online, you can request an application by calling:

  • Voice – 401.421.7005
  • TTY – 401.421.7016
  • Spanish: 401.462.7791

Anyone who applies for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program is encouraged to also apply for the disability programs administered by the SSA – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) (Title II) and Supplementary Security Income (SSI).

Looking for Durable Medical Equipment (DME) to Improve the Quality of a Disabled Individual’s Life?

Completing vocational tasks–not to mention ordinary self-care tasks–is challenging without the right durable medical equipment (DME) that meets your specific needs to help you live independently. Lift and Care Systems has been serving disabled individuals and their caregivers for over 20 years now. We have the name-brand DME that you need. Contact us today for a free consultation at (508) 465-5254 or fill out our online contact form.

Lift and Care System’s experts can also help you find the best equipment and help find funding for that equipment.