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 have helped over 10,000 Americans apply for disability benefits.
If you’re struggling to work because of a medical condition, disability benefits can help you make ends meet. As a resident of New York, you’re most likely to qualify for three main disability programs: state disability benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance, and Supplemental Security Income.
We’ll go over application tips and eligibility requirements for all three of these programs, so you can make the best call for your health and financial future.
Applying for New York State disability
To claim temporary state disability benefits in New York — you’ll either submit a form with your employer, or the state workers compensation board. Your employment status dictates how you’ll submit your claim.
If you’re currently employed, or your disability started within four weeks of the last day you worked, your employer is responsible for paying your benefits.
Your employer will need to fill out “Part C” of this form, so be sure to inform them right away that you’re claiming disability. They’re expected to fill out their section within 3 days of receipt.
If you’re currently receiving unemployment benefits, the New York State Special Fund for Disability Benefits pays your benefits. You’ll send the same form to the Workers’ Compensation Board at:
Workers' Compensation Board
Disability Benefits Bureau
PO Box 9029
Endicott, NY 13761-9029.
In both cases, you’ll need to submit your claim within 30 days of becoming disabled — and it’s best to get started early. Your healthcare provider will need to fill out a section of your form (Part B) — and they’ll have 7 days to do so. If you put off submitting, you may be stuck waiting around for your doctor (and/or employer) to finish their statement.
Keep a copy of all forms and documentations for your records.
You should receive a response within 18 days of submission. If you don’t, call the Board's Disability Benefits Bureau at (877) 632-4996.
Should I apply for New York State disability benefits?
If you’re injured or too sick to work, definitely submit a claim. However — know that the New York state disability program is limited, and you may need to apply for additional benefits. Currently, short term state benefits last for a maximum of 26 weeks, and only cover half of your former wages (up to $170 per week).
If you think your injury or illness will last for more than a year, you should also apply for federal disability benefits (SSDI or SSI). It may take longer to be approved for these programs — but they last indefinitely, include healthcare benefits, and often include higher monthly payments.
Applying for SSDI in New York
If you’re too sick or injured to work — and you expect that your condition will last at least a year — federal disability benefits provide you with free healthcare and financial support.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is what it sounds like: disability insurance you’ve paid into through your Social Security taxes. For this reason, the amount you draw from SSDI is based on your previous work history — and there are work history related requirements for qualifying.
For most people — applying for SSDI is a multi-step process:
You send in an initial application: Only 40% of these applications are medically approved in New York — and many more are rejected for technical reasons. For your best chances of success, include your medical records, read our best application tips, and apply with a lawyer. If you’re rejected — don’t be discouraged. Many applicants win benefits during an appeal phase.
You appeal, by filing for reconsideration: This is a simple form to fill out, but your odds of a decision being reversed here are low (17% in New York).
While applying may sound cumbersome, being approved for benefits is life-changing. The average monthly SSDI payment in New York is 1,540.57 per month— and the maximum benefit is $3,822 per month. You’ll also qualify for Medicare, after a waiting period.
To apply for SSI in New York:
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program similar to SSDI. Unlike SSDI, your eligibility is based on your financial need, rather than your prior work experience.
The application process for SSI is the same as SSDI — you can even apply for both programs, simultaneously, with the same application. The only difference is the eligibility criteria. To qualify for SSI in New York you need to have very little income and very few assets. These limits vary based on your marital status:
Monthly income limit from work sources
Monthly income limit from non-work sources (ie. pension, unemployment)
Some things don’t count as assets — and therefore don’t count against your asset limit (ie. your house, the land it sits on, your first car). For more on what does and doesn’t “count,” read: How is SSI Calculated.
If you haven’t worked much, but fall within the asset and income limits, apply for SSI. You’ll get a monthly payment (608.38 per month on average in NY, maximum $943 per month) and access to Medicaid.
Find a great disability lawyer in New York
Do I need a lawyer to apply for disability in New York?
While you don’t need a lawyer to apply for SSDI and SSI — your odds increase substantially with legal representation. Government studies show that applicants with lawyers are three times more likely to win benefits than applicants without.
Good lawyers will fill out your application for you, gather and submit your medical records, represent you at a hearing, and follow up with the SSA on your behalf.
Atticus makes finding great legal help accessible to everyone. Our lawyers charge nothing up front; instead, you’ll pay 25% of your first paycheck — only when you win. For a free consultation with our team: complete our short quiz.
Frequently asked questions
Apply in NY
How do you qualify for disability in NY?
To qualify for state disability benefits in New York, you need to have become disabled “off-the-job” and have your condition confirmed by a medical professional. You’ll need to submit your paperwork to your employer, or to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board, within 30 days of becoming disabled.
How much does NY disability pay?
New York state disability benefits pay 50% of your previous weekly wages per week — up to a maximum of $170 per week. The average monthly SSDI check is worth 1,540.57 per month in New York, and the average SSI check is $608.38 per month.
How long does it take to get NYS disability?
After you, or your employer, submit Form DB-450 it takes 18 days to receive a response from the Workers Compensation Board of New York. At this point, you’ll start receiving benefits, or you’ll be notified of your claim’s rejection. You’ll have 30 days to submit this form.
What is the most disability will pay?
The most New York State disability will pay is $170 per week. The maximum SSDI benefit is $3,822 per month, and the maximum SSI benefit is $943 per month.
What is the maximum weekly benefit for disability in NY?
The maximum weekly benefit for disability in New York is $170 per week in 2024.
Sarah is an attorney at Atticus Law, P.C. Prior to joining Atticus, she was a civil public defender in Brooklyn, NY and a business reporter in Seattle, WA. She is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law.
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