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Hawaii disability benefits

How to Qualify for Disability Benefits in Hawaii

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
Published June 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

All U.S. residents, including those in Hawaii, have access to federal programs that pay disability benefits. These programs are designed for people who are unable to work because of an illness or injury. To qualify for Social Security Disability Allowance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you’ll need to meet both medical and technical requirements. 


What is the definition of disability in Hawaii?

To determine whether you’re eligible to receive federal benefits in Hawaii, the SSA uses a five-step evaluation process:

  • Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA): The SSA checks if you're engaged in substantial gainful activity. If your monthly earnings are more than $1,550, you may be considered able to work and ineligible for benefits.

  • Severity of impairment: To qualify for benefits, your medical condition must be severe enough to significantly limit your ability to work for at least 12 months.

  • Meeting SSA’s disability criteria: The SSA uses a list of qualifying medical conditions, known as the Blue Book. If your condition is not listed, you will need to provide medical evidence that proves you cannot work.

  • Past work evaluation: The SSA determines if you can perform your past work with your current medical condition.

  • Ability to adjust to other work: If you are under 50, the SSA looks at your medical condition, age, education, and past work experience, and determines if there is any other work you can do.

Federal programs like SSDI and SSI are for total, long-term disability. If your disability is temporary — something that will only prevent you from working for a short time — Hawaii’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) is the right choice for you.

Get personalized advice about your options.

Who qualifies for disability in Hawaii?

The Blue Book, the SSA’s listing of all conditions that qualify for disability, is a good place to start for more information. There are also some compassionate allowance conditions that are speedtracked. But even if your disability isn’t in the book, you can still win benefits if you build a strong enough case proving your limitations. 

In Hawaii, the most common conditions among disability recipients include:

  • Mental health conditions

  • Musculoskeletal disorders

  • Neurological (nervous system) disorders

  • Cardiovascular (circulatory system) disorders

  • Genitourinary disorders (kidney disease)

  • Cancers (neoplasms)

  • Injuries

  • Endocrine disorders

  • Infectious and parasitic diseases

  • Respiratory conditions

  • Digestive system disorders

  • Congenital anomalies (birth defects)

  • Skin conditions

  • Hematological (blood) disorders


How to qualify for SSDI in Hawaii

Medical requirements are only one side of the coin. Here are the other requirements to qualify for SSDI: 

  • You are under the age of 66.

  • You are receiving treatment for your medical condition.

  • You are not currently working at the level of Substantial Gainful Activity (earning $1,550 per month in 2024).

  • You have at least 40 work credits (20 of which were earned in the last 10 years) and have paid Social Security taxes.


How to qualify for SSI in Hawaii

In addition to being considered disabled, the following must be true for you to qualify for SSI: 

  • You are under 66 years of age.

  • You’re being treated for your medical condition.

  • You are not currently working at the level of Substantial Gainful Activity (earning $1,550 per month in 2024).

  • You have less than $2,000 in assets if you are single, or less than $3,000 if you are married, and you (or your spouse) don’t have any other significant income.


SSA offices in Hawaii

You can visit one of the five SSA offices in the state of Hawaii to submit your disability application, or ask questions if you need help filling out the forms (although SSA employees cannot give you legal advice). Here are the addresses and contact information for SSA offices in Hawaii:

Hilo

111 E Puainako

St Ste 710

Hilo, HI 96720

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30AM - 3:30PM

Phone Number: (855) 572-4860

Fax Number: (833) 950-2766

Honolulu

300 Ala Moana Blvd Rm 1114 Fed Bldg

Honolulu, HI 96850

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30AM - 3:30PM

Phone Number: (855) 572-4879

Fax Number: (833) 950-2764

Kapolei

970 Manawai St

Kapolei, HI 96707

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30AM - 3:30PM

Phone Number: (855) 572-4866

Fax Number: (833) 950-2742

Lihue

4334 Rice St Ste 105

Lihue, HI 96766

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30AM - 3:30PM

Phone Number: (855) 572-4842

Fax Number: (833) 950-2768

Wailuku

2200 Main St Ste 125

Wailuku, HI 96793

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30AM - 3:30PM

Phone Number: (855) 572-4863

Fax Number: (833) 950-2740

See all SSA offices in Hawaii


How much are disability benefits in Hawaii?

In 2024, the maximum amount of SSDI benefits you can get per month is $3,822; the average payout in Hawaii is $1,772. The monthly SSI payment cuts off at a maximum of $943, and the average for the state is $580. 

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


Get help with your disability application in Hawaii

If you’re a Hawaiian seeking disability benefits, Atticus is here to help. Take our 2-minute quiz to evaluate your eligibility and a member of our team will contact you to gather more details about your case and guide you through next steps.

We can connect you with an experienced disability lawyer who can help you navigate the application process and represent you at your hearing. There are no upfront costs when you work with Atticus — you only pay your lawyer a one-time fee if they help you win your benefits.

Frequently asked questions about benefits in Hawaii

What qualifies you for disability in Hawaii?

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 Hawaii?

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 Hawaii?

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

How much does disability pay in Hawaii?

The average SSDI payment in Hawaii is $1,416.96 per month. The average SSI payment is $629.34 per month. 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 Hawaii?

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 Hawaii have a state disability program?

Yes, Hawaii is one of the five states with its own state disability program. Hawaiians can apply for temporary disability benefits (TDI) that offer up to 26 weeks of payments. Work injuries aren’t covered, though. If your injury will keep you out of work longer, you can still apply for SSDI and SSI.

Related resources:

Hawaii Disability Benefits

A hand drawn image of the lead disability lawyer.
By Jackie Jakab

SSA Offices in Hawaii

A hand drawn image of the lead disability lawyer.
By Jackie Jakab

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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