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Arizona disability benefits

How to Qualify for Disability Benefits in Arizona

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
May 28, 2024  ·  2 min read
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Atticus offers free, high-quality disability advice for Americans who can't work. Our team of Stanford and Harvard-trained lawyers has a combined 15+ years of legal experience and has helped over 50,000 Americans apply for disability benefits.

See if you qualify

While Arizona doesn’t offer disability benefits, eligible residents can still qualify through the Social Security Administration’s two programs. As a matter of fact, more than 150,000 residents receive disability through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

Learn more about how to qualify for the federal disability benefits programs in Arizona.


What qualifies for benefits in Arizona?

To qualify for disability benefits, you must pass the Social Security Administration’s five-step evaluation process: 

  1. Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA): SGA refers to any paid work that involves mental and physical labor. In 2024, the Social Security Administration set the SGA limit at $1,550 a month (if you are blind, the SGA limit is $2,590 a month). If you surpass the SGA limit, you can’t qualify for disability. 

  2. Severe impairment: Your medical condition must be so severe that you can’t complete basic work-related activities such as walking or standing. 

  3. SSA definition of disability: The SSA’s Blue Book lists all the conditions that qualify for benefits. We recommend reviewing the Blue Book to see if your medical condition is on the list. If it’s not, dont worry. The SSA doesn’t update its Blue Book frequently, so there are newer conditions that still qualify. If you are unsure, a disability lawyer can provide guidance.

  4. Previous work: The SSA will compare your current work capacity to the work you’ve previously performed in the last 15 years. The SSA will also assess your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC), or the amount of work you can complete despite your mental or physical limitations. 

  5. Other work: The SSA will review your educational background, age, and past work experience to determine your ability to do other kinds of work.

We've helped 3,877 people in Arizona apply for benefits.

How to qualify for SSDI in Arizona

SSDI is one of two federal disability benefits programs under the Social Security Administration. With SSDI, beneficiaries receive monthly disability checks and can qualify for Medicare. 

If you meet the following requirements, you are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in Arizona: 

  • You have a medical condition that has severely limited your ability to work for at least a year. 

  • In the last 10 years, you’ve worked for at least five years. 

  • You regularly paid Social Security taxes during your working years. 


How to qualify for SSI in Arizona

Unlike SSDI, which awards disabled workers who’ve earned 40 work credits, SSI is a needs-based program that provides financial and medical support to people who have disabilities or are 65 and older and have limited resources. 

You can qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in Arizona if you meet the following: 

  • You have a medical condition that hasn’t allowed you to work for at least a year.

  • You currently have less than $2,000 in assets ($3,000 if you’re married).

  • You have less than $943 in countable income ($1,415 if you’re married).


What conditions qualify for disability in Arizona?

Any medical condition that severely limits and prevents you from working can qualify for disability. According to the SSA, the most approved conditions in Arizona are:

  • Mental disorders: 34.3%

  • Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue: 28.9%

  • Nervous system and sense organs: 11.8%

  • Circulatory system: 5.8%

  • Injuries: 3.8%

  • Neoplasms (abnormal growth of cells or tumors): 3.1%

The most common mental disorders among Arizona recipients are:

  • Depressive and bipolar disorders: 19,052 people

  • Intellectual conditions: 11,538 people

  • Psychotic disorders (like schizophrenia): 7,551 people


Can you work while on disability in Arizona?

The short answer: Yes — but to an extent. To receive federal disability benefits you have to have a medical condition or injury that is so severe you’re unable to work. If you work too many hours or make too much money, you risk losing your benefits.You’ll want to pay attention to SGA, or any activity that takes mental of physical effort to complete and results in substantial earnings ($1,550 per month or $2,590 if you’re blind). 

These common activities qualify as SGA: 

  • Office jobs and secretarial work

  • Temp work, seasonal work, and part-time jobs

  • Freelance work

  • Self-employment

  • Delivery work

  • Manual labor, even if you don’t get paid

  • Volunteer work, especially if you do it regularly

  • Consulting

If at any point, your ability to work improves and you surpass the SGA limit, the SSA will phase out your Social Security disability benefits.


Do I need a disability lawyer in Arizona? 

Getting approved for disability benefits can take a lot of work. The SSA denies most applicants the first time around. Having a disability lawyer can alleviate the application process — every step of the way: 

  • Before applying: Your disability lawyer will collect information on your work history and health. Disability lawyers can access your medical records and use the SSA’s criteria to determine the possibility of winning your disability benefits case. 

  • Application: Your disability lawyer will fill out your application along with any necessary paperwork (i.e. work history reports or medical source statements) that can build a stronger case. Once they submit your application, your disability lawyer will follow up to confirm that SSA received your application. 

  • Reconsideration: If you receive a rejection, your disability lawyer can file for reconsideration through a court hearing. 

  • Hearing: Your disability lawyer will prepare you for the court hearing by predicting questions they believe the judge will ask you. This can help ease your nerves and prepare you to include essential information about your medical condition(s) before seeing the judge. 

Match with a top disability lawyer in Arizona.

SSA offices in Arizona

Arizona currently has 14 SSA offices to help you apply for disability benefits. You can call them or directly speak with a representative in person. Here are a few locations to get started:

Apache Junction

253 W Superstition Blvd

Apache Junction, AZ 85120

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 964-7417

Fax Number: (833) 950-3681

Casa Grande

1637 E Monument Plaza Circle Suite 2

Casa Grande, AZ 85122

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 405-0403

Fax Number: (833) 950-3387

Douglas

600 E 15th St 

Douglas, AZ 85607

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 480-4858

Fax Number: (833) 950-3667

Flagstaff

2715 S Woodlands Village Blvd

Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 319-0735

Fax Number: (833) 950-3659

Glendale

5907 West Kings Ave

Glendale, AZ 85306

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (888) 886-7213

Fax Number: (833) 950-3685

Mesa

702 West Jerome Ave

Mesa, AZ 85210

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 964-1716

Fax Number: (833) 950-3687

Nogales

1760 North Mastick Way 

Nogales, AZ 85621

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 405-5472

Fax Number: (833) 571-0634

Phoenix

16241 North Tatum Blvd 

Phoenix, AZ 85032

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 348-7855

Fax Number: (833) 950-3673

See all SSA offices in the state of Arizona


Get help with applying for benefits in Arizona

You don’t have to apply for disability benefits alone. Take our two-minute quiz to see if you qualify for disability benefits. We’ll do the heavy lifting and create a plan that will improve your chances of winning your disability claim. Our client advocates are ready to help you connect with an Atticus disability lawyer in Arizona.

Frequently asked questions about benefits in Arizona

How do I qualify for disability in Arizona?

To qualify for disability you need to have a condition that prevents you from working for at least a year. You’ll also need to meet certain work history requirements (for SSDI) or be within certain income limits (for SSI). For more on these requirements, read our full write up here.

What conditions qualify for disability in Arizona?

Any condition that will prevent you from working for a year or more can qualify for disability benefits. Some of the most common conditions include musculoskeletal disorders, mental disorders, nervous system diseases, and circulatory system diseases. See our full list of conditions that qualify here.

How long does it take to get approved for disability in Arizona?

It takes an average of 6.1 months to get an initial disability decision in Arizona. Most people who apply are initially rejected, and need to appeal this decision. If you appeal and go to a hearing, the process takes around two years on average. Read more: How Long It Takes to Get Approved for Disability Benefits

How much does disability pay in Arizona?

The average SSDI payment in Arizona is $1,329.39 per month. The average SSI payment is $574.76 per month. What you’ll earn is dependent on your income, or the amount you’ve historically paid into the Social Security program. Read more on what amount you can expect.

How should I prepare my disability application in Arizona?

Answer the application questions truthfully, consistently, and succinctly. You should also ensure that you gather and submit all your medical records with your application. The SSA paperwork can be complicated, so our legal team has written a full guide to the application here.

Does Arizona have a state disability program?

No, Arizona doesn't have a state disability program. Only five states (California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island) have a state program. Residents of Arizona can apply for federal disability programs (SSDI and SSI). Read more about SSDI and SSI here.

Related resources:

Arizona Disability Benefits

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By Jackie Jakab

SSA Offices in Arizona

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By Jackie Jakab

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Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney

Jackie Jakab

Lead Attorney

Jackie Jakab is Atticus’s Legal Director. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, and has counseled thousands of people seeking disability benefits.
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