Good Question: Why do New Yorkers on disability have to send applications to Kentucky?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — If you’ve applied for disability benefits for yourself or a loved one, you may wonder, why does the paperwork get sent out of New York State?

A viewer who recently went on disability wrote to us saying:

“I noticed that the forms have to be sent to Kentucky. The office is called NYS OTDA (office of temporary and disability assistance) but paperwork goes to Kentucky. Shouldn’t this be an office in New York?”

I checked on the OTDA’s website and found plenty of forms for different kinds of assistance. My next step was to reach out directly to the office. I got this response from a spokesperson:

“The Social Security Administration and other federal agencies contract with a company to handle incoming mail records. The mail facility that services NY OTDA/DDD is located in Lexington, Kentucky. Inbound mail is sent to the Lexington Site where it is converted from paper to digital format and transmitted through SSA secure channels to NY for the purpose of processing a new or continuing disability claim.”

In other words, the paperwork is processed here in New York State. The reason it is sent to Kentucky is so that it can be converted from paper to digital, and so it can be securely transferred back to New York State to be processed.

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