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How to Qualify for Disability Benefits in Georgia

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
March 18, 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 have helped over 10,000 Americans apply for disability benefits.

See if you qualify

If you live in Georgia and cannot work due to an injury or illness, you may qualify for Social Security benefits. The Social Security Administration states that more than 200,000 Georgians receive disability benefits. We’ll walk you through the disability programs available and the eligibility requirements. 


Disability benefits programs in Georgia

Georgia has no state disability program, but disabled workers can get support with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both programs offer monthly payments and healthcare coverage, but the eligibility requirements and benefits differ.

  1. SSDI: Social Security Disability Income is for people who have worked at least 5 of the last 10 years and paid into Social Security taxes. SSDI benefits include Medicare coverage after a five-month waiting period. The monthly payments are generally higher than SSI benefits.

  2. SSI: Supplemental Security Income is a need-based program for people with little to no work history and very few resources. SSI benefits include Medicaid health insurance.

You may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if your injury or illness is work-related. 


How to qualify for SSDI in Georgia

To qualify for SSDI, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You’re under 67 years old 

  • You are being treated for a long-term disability that is expected to last more than one year

  • You’re unable to work because of your condition (if you do work, you do not exceed the substantial gainful activity limit)

  • You have worked at least 5 of the last 10 years and earned 40 work credits

What are work credits?

A work credit determines whether you have worked long enough and paid enough Social Security taxes to qualify for Social Security Disability insurance. In 2024, you earn one work credit for every $1,730 in your paycheck through wages or self-employment income. Per calendar year, you can earn a maximum of four credits.

What is substantial gainful activity?

Substantial gainful activity, SGA for short, is the level of work activity and earnings the Social Security Administration considers significant enough to indicate an applicant is ineligible for disability benefits. In 2024, the SGA threshold is $1,500 per month or $2,950 if you’re blind. For self-employed workers, the SSA evaluates your profit (total income minus operating expenses) to determine SGA. 

You can engage in work while receiving benefits, but getting close to or exceeding the SGA limit could jeopardize your eligibility for benefits.


How to qualify for SSI

To be eligible for Supplemental Security Income, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are 65 or younger (if you are older than 65, you can get SSI without proving you have a disability)

  • You have a medical condition that will prevent you from working for at least one year

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

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

Learn more about what the SSA considers countable assets and resources in this in-depth checklist. 


Medical conditions that qualify for disability in Georgia 

You must be able to prove your medical condition is severely limiting and prevents you from being able to work. According to the latest SSA data, here are some of the most common conditions among recipients in Texas:

  • Mental health conditions: 33.4%

  • Musculoskeletal disorders: 27.4%

  • Neurological (nervous system) disorders: 11%

  • Cardiovascular (circulatory system) disorders: 7.9%

  • Injuries: 3.9%

  • Cancers (neoplasms): 3.1%

  • Endocrine disorders: 2.8%

  • Genitourinary disorders (kidney disease): 2.7%

  • Respiratory conditions: 1.9%

  • Digestive system disorders: 1.4%

  • Infectious and parasitic diseases: 1.3%

  • Congenital anomalies (birth defects): 0.6%

  • Hematological (blood) disorders: 0.3%

  • Skin conditions: 0.2%

  • Other qualifying conditions: 0.2%

The most common mental health disorders among Texas recipients are: 

  • Depression, bipolar disorder, and related disorders: 72,579 people

  • Intellectual disorders: 47,146people

  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders: 23,786

Read our full guide about medical conditions that qualify for disability benefits.


How much are disability benefits in Georgia?

Georgians receiving SSDI benefits can get a maximum monthly payment of $3,822 in 2024. The average SSDI payment in the Peach State is $1,688.

Average and maximum disability benefits in Georgia

SSI payments are a maximum of $943, but the state average is $597 per month. 

Your payment amount depends on several factors, including your work history, income, and resources. Create an SSA account on SSA.gov to find your exact payment amount.

Estimate your disability benefit amount in just a few steps

We'll use the Social Security Administration's formula to estimate your monthly benefit.

Average
monthly check

$1,489


Do you need a disability lawyer in Georgia?

The Social Security Administration does not require applicants to have a disability lawyer, but it’s a good idea to have one. A disability attorney can help you with every step of the application process, from completing paperwork to navigating the appeals process. 

A lawyer can help you:

  • Fill out the disability application

  • Gather medical records

  • File for an appeal

  • Prepare you for a disability hearing in front of an administrative law judge

  • Represent you at a disability hearing

Applying for disability benefits with the help of a lawyer increases your chances of winning Social Security disability benefits by three times. 

Disability lawyers in Georgia

Here are a few Atticus law firms in the state of Georgia:

Matthew T. Berry & Associates LLC

2751 Buford Hwy NE, Suite 600, Atlanta, Georgia 30324

Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson, L.L.P.

577 Mulberry St., Suite 600, Macon, Georgia 31201

Rogers, Hofrichter & Karrh, LLC

225 Glynn St. S, Suite 1, Fayetteville, Georgia 30214


SSA offices in Georgia

Georgia has more than 33 SSA field offices. You can visit or call your local field office to apply for benefits.

Albany

1522 W 3Rd Ave

Albany, GA 31707

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

Phone Number: (877) 319-0733

Fax Number: (833) 950-2562

Athens

1650 Prince Ave

Athens, GA 30606

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

Phone Number: (866) 964-3294

Fax Number: (833) 950-2566

Atlanta

3800 Camp Creek Pkwy Bldg 2400 Ste 122

Atlanta, GA 30331

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

Phone Number: (877) 828-1694

Fax Number: (833) 913-2075

Atlanta

401 W Peachtree St Nw Ste 2860 Flr 28

Atlanta, GA 30308

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

Phone Number: (866) 931-9946

Fax Number: (833) 950-2558

Augusta

115 Robert C Daniel Jr Pkwy

Augusta, GA 30909

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

Phone Number: (877) 616-2523

Fax Number: (833) 950-2570

Brunswick

134 Juniper Ct

Brunswick, GA 31520

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

Phone Number: (866) 964-6563

Fax Number: (833) 950-2866

Columbus

7263 North Lake Dr

Columbus, GA 31909

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

Phone Number: (877) 784-3688

Fax Number: (833) 950-2568

Cordele

510 E 15Th Ave

Cordele, GA 31015

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

Phone Number: (888) 225-8869

Fax Number: (833) 597-0062

See all SSA offices in Georgia


Get help applying for benefits in Georgia

If you’re applying for disability benefits in Georgia, Atticus can help. Take our 2-minute quiz, and a member of our team can offer personalized advice about your disability claim — and connect you with a lawyer if you’d like. 

There are no upfront costs to working with Atticus. You only pay your lawyer if they win you benefits and the one-time lawyer fee is capped at 25% of your final payout.

Frequently Asked Questions about Disability Benefits in Georgia

What qualifies you for disability in Georgia?

To qualify for disability, you must have a condition preventing you from working for at least a year. You’ll also need to meet specific 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 Georgia?

Any condition preventing 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 Georgia?

It takes an average of 7 months to get an initial disability decision in Georgia. Most people who apply are initially rejected and need to appeal this decision. If you appeal and go to a hearing, the process can take nearly two years. Read more: How Long Does it Take to Get Approved for Disability benefits?

How much does disability pay in Georgia?

In 2024, the average SSDI payment in Georgia is $1,702.77 per month. The average SSI payment is $597.72. What you’ll earn depends 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 Georgia?

Answer the application questions truthfully, consistently, and succinctly. You should also 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.

Is it easy to get disability in Georgia?

Getting disability benefits in Georgia is a complex, often long process. A few things can make it easier: Being over 50, having a particularly severe condition (on the SSA’s “compassionate allowance list”), or working with a disability lawyer. Read more: 5 signs that you’ll be approved for disability benefits.

See what you qualify for

How long has your condition made it hard to work?

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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