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Virginia disability benefits

How to Qualify for Disability Benefits in Virginia

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
May 31, 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

More than 200,000 Virginians with an illness or disability receive federal disability benefits, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or both. Read on to learn more about the eligibility requirements and which conditions qualify for disability benefits in Virginia. 


How to qualify for SSDI benefits in Virginia

To be eligible to receive SSDI benefits: 

  • You must be under 67 years old.

  • Be receiving treatment for a long-term disability that is expected to last longer than one year.

  • Be unable to work because of your condition. Or if you do work, it must not exceed the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit.

  • Have worked at least five out of the last 10 years and earned 40 work credits.

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

What are work credits?

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 benefits in Virginia

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

  • You meet the SSA’s definition of disabled.

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

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


What conditions qualify for benefits in Virginia?

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

  • Mental health conditions: 34.6%

  • Musculoskeletal disorders: 29.0%

  • Nervous system and sense disorders: 10.0%

  • Circulatory system disorders: 7.6%

  • Injuries: 3.2%

  • Cancers (neoplasms): 3.1%

  • Respiratory conditions: 2.7%

  • Endocrine disorders: 2.1%

  • Genitourinary disorders (kidney disease): 2.0%

  • Digestive system disorders: 1.4%

  • Infectious and parasitic diseases: 1.0%

  • Congenital anomalies (birth defects): 0.6%

  • Hematological (blood) disorders: 0.3%

  • Skin conditions: 0.3%

  • Other qualifying conditions: 0.2%


Most approved condition in Virginia

The five most common approved conditions among Virginian recipients are:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders: 63,424 people

  • Depression, bipolar disorder, and related disorders: 24,503 people

  • Neurological (nervous system) disorders: 21,920

  • Intellectual disorders: 20,788 people

  • circulatory system disorders: 16,544


Do I need a lawyer to get benefits in Virginia?

The SSA does not require applicants to hire a disability lawyer, but it’s a good idea to have one. A lawyer can guide you through every step of the application process including: 

  • Helping you fill out the disability application

  • Gathering medical records

  • Filing for an appeal

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

  • Representing you at a disability hearing

Find a great disability lawyer in Virginia.

Get help applying for disability benefits

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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