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Minnesota disability benefits

How to Qualify for Disability Benefits in Minnesota

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
Published June 27, 2024
1 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

If you live in Minnesota and can’t work because of a disability, you may qualify for federal financial support. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), approximately 130,000 Minnesotans receive disability benefits, either through Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Insurance. 

Read on to learn about the eligibility criteria for these benefits and whether you might qualify.


How to qualify for benefits in Minnesota

The Social Security Administration (SSA) follows a five-step process to evaluate eligibility for benefits.

  1. Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA): First, the SSA determines if you have Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). If you earn more than $1,550 per month, the SSA considers you capable of SGA, making you ineligible for disability benefits.

  2. Severity of impairment: Your medical condition must significantly limit your ability to perform basic work activities for at least 12 months. The SSA will review your medical records to assess the severity of your impairment.

  3. Meeting SSA’s disability criteria: The SSA maintains the Blue Book, a list of qualifying medical conditions. If it doesn’t include your condition, you’ll need to provide comprehensive medical evidence showing how your condition prevents you from working.

  4. Past work evaluation: The SSA evaluates whether your condition prevents you from performing any of your past work. They will consider your work history and the physical and mental demands of your previous jobs.

  5. Ability to adjust to other work: If the SSA determines that you can’t perform your past work, they will assess whether you can adjust to other types of work. This evaluation considers your medical condition, age, education, past work experience, and transferable skills.

Get personalized advice about your options.

How to qualify for SSDI

To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must meet specific requirements:

  • Disability: Your disability fits within the SSA’s criteria.

  • Duration of disability: Your disability should last at least one year or result in death.

  • Work credits: You accumulated enough work credits by working and paying Social Security taxes. Typically, this means having earned 40 work credits, 20 of which you earned in the last 10 years.


How to qualify for SSI

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) doesn’t depend on your work history but on financial need:

  • Medical eligibility: You must have a disability, be blind, or be at least 65 years old.

  • Asset limits: Single applicants must have less than $2,000 in countable resources, while the limit for married couples is $3,000.

  • Income restrictions: Your total monthly income must fall below the federal benefit rate, which is $943 for 2024.


What is a disability in Minnesota?

There are a range of disabilities that might qualify for disability benefits in Minnesota. To be eligible, your medical condition must significantly impair your ability to work, and you must expect it to last at least one year.

  • Mental disorders: These include conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, which significantly impact daily functioning and the ability to maintain employment.

  • Musculoskeletal system disorders: This category encompasses a range of conditions affecting the bones, joints, and muscles, like arthritis, back injuries, and other degenerative diseases.

  • Nervous system disorders: Conditions like multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease fall under this category as they affect the brain, spinal cord, and nerves.

  • Circulatory system diseases: This category includes heart conditions, hypertension, and other disorders affecting blood circulation.

  • Injuries: Severe injuries that result in long-term disability, such as spinal cord injuries or severe fractures, can also qualify.

  • Neoplasms (cancers): Various types of cancer can qualify if they significantly limit your ability to work and might last at least a year or result in death.


What is the most commonly approved condition in Minnesota?

Mental disorders are the most commonly approved disability type in Minnesota. Mental disorders include a range of conditions from mood disorders, like depression and bipolar disorder, to more severe conditions such as schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.

Get matched with a great disability lawyer in Minnesota

SSA offices in Minnesota

If you need assistance or more information about qualifying for disability benefits, you can visit your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office for help.

Alexandria

2633 Jefferson St Ste 701

Alexandria, MN 56308

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

Phone Number: (888) 224-8869

Fax Number: (833) 950-3711

Austin

404 2nd St Nw 

Austin, MN 55912

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

Phone Number: (866) 504-5010

Fax Number: (833) 950-2178

Baxter

8331 Brandon Rd 

Baxter, MN 56425

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

Phone Number: (866) 331-9087

Fax Number: (833) 950-3393

Bemidji

2900 Hannah Ave Nw 

Bemidji, MN 56601

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

Phone Number: (866) 258-6345

Fax Number: (833) 902-2702

Bloomington

6161 American Blvd W Ste 100

Bloomington, MN 55438

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

Phone Number: (866) 964-7341

Fax Number: (833) 950-3409

Brooklyn Center

3280 Northway Dr Brooklyn Xng Ofc Park

Brooklyn Center, MN 55429

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

Phone Number: (866) 931-0341

Fax Number: (833) 950-3407

Duluth

230 W Superior St Ste 500 

Duluth, MN 55802

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

Phone Number: (855) 863-3560

Fax Number: (833) 902-2690

Fairmont

400 S State St Ste 70

Fairmont, MN 56031

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

Phone Number: (877) 405-0414

Fax Number: (833) 950-2182

See all SSA offices in Minnesota


Get help applying for disability in Minnesota

Applying for disability benefits can feel overwhelming, but Atticus is here to help. Start by taking our quick two-minute quiz to evaluate your eligibility. Once you complete it, a member of our team will reach out to discuss your case in more detail and provide personalized assistance.

We can connect you with a qualified disability lawyer who will guide you through every step of the application process. With Atticus, there are no upfront costs—you only pay your lawyer a one-time fee if they successfully secure your benefits. Working with a lawyer significantly increases your chances of approval and ensures you have expert support to navigate the complexities of your claim.

Frequently asked questions about benefits in Minnesota

What qualifies you for disability in Minnesota?

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 Minnesota?

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 Minnesota?

It takes an average of 6.1 months to get an initial disability decision in Minnesota. 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 Minnesota?

The average SSDI payment in Minnesota is $1,350.71 per month. The average SSI payment is $636.69 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 Minnesota?

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 Minnesota have a state disability program?

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

Related resources:

Minnesota Disability Benefits

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

SSA Offices in Minnesota

A hand drawn image of the lead disability lawyer.
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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