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Ohio disability benefits

How to Qualify for Disability Benefits in Ohio

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
Published June 26, 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

Ohio residents who cannot work due to illness or injury can access federal disability programs, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both SSDI and SSI provide health insurance and pay monthly disability benefits to beneficiaries, but have different criteria to qualify.

If you live in Ohio and have an injury or medical condition, you could join the more than 300,000 Ohioans who qualify for federal disability benefits programs. Learn more about SSDI and SSI and how to qualify for disability benefits in the Buckeye State. 

How to qualify for disability benefits in Ohio

After you submit your disability application, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will review your disability claim and decide whether your impairment qualifies you to receive either SSI, SSDI or both. Understanding the SSA’s evaluation process can help you submit an application with the highest likelihood of getting approved. The SSA will evaluate your application by answering the following five questions:

  1. Are you gainfully employed? If you are healthy enough to work at what the SSA calls a “substantial gainful level” (SGA) or enough to earn over $1,550 in 2024, the SSA will not grant you disability benefits.

  2. Do you have a severe impairment? To qualify for disability benefits, your impairment must be projected to last longer than 12 months and must severely limit your ability to work and perform basic tasks.

  3. Does your disability meet the SSA’s definition of disability? The SSA’s Blue Book lists qualifying medical conditions that meet the severity requirement to be considered a disability. If your diagnosis is not in the Blue Book, you must provide medical evidence to prove that you cannot work.

  4. Can you do the work you’ve done in the past? The SSA also considers whether you’re still able to do the work you’d done in the past, and how much you could do with your current limitations. If you’re still able to do your previous work, you will likely not meet the criteria for qualifying for disability.

  5. Can you do any other types of work? If you’re under 50, the SSA will also consider your education and experience to decide if there are any other types of jobs you could do based on your ability, education and experience.

Get personalized advice about your options.

How to qualify for SSDI

To qualify for SSDI you must be

  • Considered disabled under government rules 

  • Have worked and paid Social Security taxes 

To qualify for SSDI, you typically need 40 work credits, half of which should have been earned in the ten years before you became disabled. You accrue work credits from the SSA based on your earnings. 

As of 2024, you get one credit for every $1,730 in your paycheck, whether through wages or self-employment income. You can earn a maximum of four credits per calendar year. Follow the link to learn more about work credits.

How to qualify for SSI

SSI is a need-based program, and the eligibility requirements are based on resources and assets. You may qualify for SSI in Ohio if:

  • You meet the SSA’s definition of disabled

  • You have very few assets (less than $2,000, or $3,000 for married couples)

  • You make very little income (less than $943 a month)

What conditions qualify for disability in Ohio?

According to the latest SSA data, here are some of the most common conditions among those who received SSDI disability benefits in Ohio: 

  • Mental health conditions: 36.5%

  • Musculoskeletal disorders: 28.3%

  • Neurological (nervous system) disorders: 9.5%

  • Cardiovascular (circulatory system) disorders: 7.0%

  • Respiratory conditions: 3.4%

  • Injuries: 3.0%

  • Cancers (neoplasms): 3.0%

  • Endocrine disorders: 2.2%

  • Genitourinary disorders (kidney disease): 1.4%

  • Digestive system disorders: 1.4%

  • Infectious and parasitic diseases: 0.7%

  • Congenital anomalies (birth defects): 0.7%

  • Hematological (blood) disorders: 0.2%

  • Skin conditions: 0.2%

  • Other qualifying conditions: 0.2%

The most common mental health disorders among Ohio recipients are: 

  • Depression, bipolar disorder, and related disorders: 47,961 people

  • Intellectual disorders: 37,095 people

  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders: 17,196

SSA benefits in Ohio 

If your application for benefits is approved you may receive benefits under SSI, SSDI or both: 

SSI: The maximum SSI benefit is $943 per month in 2024, though the average in Ohio is $625. If you receive money from other sources, you will likely get less because the government deducts other income from your SSI check. SSI recipients get Medicaid immediately once they qualify.

SSDI: In Ohio, the average SSDI monthly payout is $1,662, but it can be as much as $3,822 in 2024. After a two-year waiting period, SSDI recipients also get health insurance through Medicare. Benefits last as long as you’re disabled — sometimes for decades.

Estimate your disability benefit amount in just a few steps

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

monthly check


Do I need a disability lawyer in Ohio?

According to the SSA, applicants are not required to hire 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

SSA offices in Ohio

The SSA recommends calling their national number or checking their website for up-to-date information. However, if you’d like to speak to someone in person, you can visit one of the 56 field offices in Ohio. 


2 S Main St 2nd Fl

Akron, OH 44308

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

Phone Number: (877) 600-2858

Fax Number: (833) 950-3081


2166 Romig Rd

Akron, OH 44320

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

Phone Number: (866) 837-5359

Fax Number: (833) 596-0581


4815 State Rd 

Ashtabula, OH 44004

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

Phone Number: (877) 223-6059

Fax Number: (833) 950-3085


743A East State St 

Athens, OH 45701

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

Phone Number: (877) 840-7683

Fax Number: (833) 950-3427


1050 Hospital Dr 

Batavia, OH 45103

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

Phone Number: (800) 453-0494

Fax Number: (833) 950-3068


3591 Park East Dr

Beachwood, OH 44122

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

Phone Number: (877) 402-0823

Fax Number: (833) 950-3429

Bowling Green

745 Innovation Dr

Bowling Green, OH 43402

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

Phone Number: (866) 931-7674

Fax Number: (833) 950-3403


1225 Woodlawn Ave Ste 105

Cambridge, OH 43725

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

Phone Number: (866) 883-5281

Fax Number: (833) 950-3703

See all SSA offices in Ohio

Get help with your disability application

If you’re applying for disability benefits in Ohio, 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 help you get your benefits and the one-time lawyer fee is capped at 25% of your back pay.

Frequently asked questions about benefits in Ohio

How do I qualify for disability in Ohio?

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 Ohio?

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 Ohio?

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

The average SSDI payment in Ohio is $1,303.69 per month. The average SSI payment is $636.07 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 Ohio?

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 Ohio have a state disability program?

No, Ohio 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 Ohio can apply for federal disability programs (SSDI and SSI). Read more about SSDI and SSI here.

Related resources:

Ohio Disability Benefits

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

SSA Offices in Ohio

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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