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Virginia disability benefits

How to Apply for Disability Benefits in Virginia

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
May 30, 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

If you’re a resident of the state of Virginia and can’t work due to an illness or disability, you might qualify for federal disability benefits programs, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). According to the Social Security Administration, more than 200,000 Virginians qualify for SSI, SSDI, or both. Learn more about how to apply for disability benefits programs in Virginia. 

What types of disability benefits are available in Virginia?

Virginia does not offer a statewide disability program. However, sick or injured Virginians may qualify for Social Security benefits through the federal government or a private insurance company. As a resident of Virginia, your options include:

  1. Social Security Disability Insurance: SSDI is geared toward those unable to work long-term due to disability, and offers monthly payments and Medicare. To qualify, you must have previously worked and paid taxes.

  2. Supplemental Security Income: If you have a little-to-no work history, very little income, and few assets, you might be eligible for SSI, a similar federal program that pays monthly benefits and includes Medicaid.

  3. Veterans disability benefits: If you’re a veteran with an injury from military service that prevents you from working, you could receive benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

  4. Private disability insurance: If you were covered by long-term or short-term disability insurance by an employer or private insurance company before your injury or illness began, check with your provider to see if you have access to disability benefits. 

We've helped 4,223 people apply for benefits in Virginia.

SSDI vs. SSI: What’s the difference?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are government programs that provide monthly payments and health insurance coverage to people who can’t work because of a non-work-related injury or illness. Here are some of the differences between SSDI and SSI:

  • Work history: SSDI is for people who have worked at least five out of the last 10 years and have paid taxes into Social Security. SSI is for people with little to no work history and very low income and assets.

  • Payment amounts: SSDI payments depend on the amount you paid into Social Security taxes. On the other hand, the amount of SSI benefits you can get depends on your assets and income level. Typically, monthly SSI payments are lower than SSDI benefits.

  • Healthcare: Medicare goes to SSDI recipients, while Medicaid goes to SSI beneficiaries.

How to apply for disability benefits in Virginia

There are three ways to apply for Social Security disability benefits in Virginia, including:

  1. Online: Visit ssa.gov, click “Create Account,” and verify your identity. You can then download the application and fill it out before uploading and submitting it online.

  2. Over the phone: You can call the SSA national number at 1-800-772-1213 or contact a regional office near you. 

  3. In person: An agent at your local SSA office can help you complete your application. However, they are not allowed to provide legal advice. For more support, call Atticus to connect with a lawyer who can help you through each step. 

It’s normal to have your application rejected the first time you apply. Although some people get accepted the first time, nearly 70% of applicants are denied and must file for reconsideration. Reconsiderations are often denied as well, about 91% of the time, and applicants must request a hearing with an administrative law judge.

At a hearing, about 54% of people win benefits — and your odds increase significantly if you work with a lawyer. On average, those who have lawyers are three times more likely to get benefits than those who do not. We wrote at length about what to expect at a hearing and your chances of winning your appeal

SSA offices in Virginia

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 Virginia. 


22581 Center Pkwy Accawmacke Office Pk

Accomac, VA 23301

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

Phone Number: (866) 964-1019

Fax Number: (833) 912-2320


5510 Cherokee Ave Ste 200

Alexandria, VA 22312

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

Phone Number: (888) 472-2402

Fax Number: (833) 950-2294


3280 Lee Highway 

Bristol, VA 24202

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

Phone Number: (866) 504-5013

Fax Number: (833) 950-2282


1470 Pantops Mountain Pl 

Charlottesville, VA 22911

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

Phone Number: (866) 613-3959

Fax Number: (833) 950-2300


1010 S Craig Ave 

Covington, VA 24426

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

Phone Number: (888) 527-9334

Fax Number: (833) 950-2298


1014 S Main St 

Culpeper, VA 22701

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

Phone Number: (877) 531-4694

Fax Number: (833) 912-2316


The Market Square Shopping Center

3295 US Hwy 29 

Danville, VA 24540

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

Phone Number: (866) 331-5398

Fax Number: (833) 950-2290


324 Commerce Rd 

Farmville, VA 23901

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

Phone Number: (866) 269-4346

Fax Number: (833) 950-2598

See all SSA offices in Virginia

Do I need a lawyer to apply for benefits in Virginia?

The SSA does not require applicants 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

Find a great disability lawyer in Virginia.

Get help with your disability benefits application

If you’re applying for disability benefits in Virginia, 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 Virginia

How do I qualify for disability in Virginia?

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 Virginia?

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 Virginia?

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

The average SSDI payment in Virginia is $1,371.15 per month. The average SSI payment is $621.51 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 Virginia?

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 Virginia have a state disability program?

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

Related resources:

Virginia Disability Benefits

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By Jackie Jakab

SSA Offices in Virginia

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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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