Georgia residents with disabilities have access to financial assistance at both the state and federal levels. Federal programs include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both programs are funded and overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA), but the applications are administered at the state level.

The Georgia Disability Adjudication Services (DAS) receives all applications for review and determines who meets the specified criteria. This agency works under the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA).

Georgians also have access to Medicaid, unemployment insurance, or help through the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD).

DBHDD provides resources to those with intellectual or developmental disabilities including residential care, independent living support for disabled adults, as well as deaf disability services. If you’re a student with a disability, the Georgia Department of Education also has a program to help special populations with assistive technology and classroom support.

Facts About Georgia

About 28% of Georgia’s population has a disability of one kind or another. The highest percentage of these fall into mobility or cognition-related disabilities, followed by independent living (those unable to complete daily errands), hearing, vision, and self-care.

Even though over a quarter of the state’s population suffers from a disability, only 3.9% receive Social Security benefits. Though the requirements for qualifying for SSI and SSDI benefits are limited in scope, many more Georgians may be eligible for disability benefits.

How To Qualify for SSDI in Georgia

Eligibility requirements for Social Security disability benefits are the same across the country, regardless of what state you live in. To qualify, you’ll need to supply supporting documentation and medical records. Many applicants find they must go through one or more steps of appeals to finally get their disability claim approved.

The two main requirements regard the severity of your disability and the length of time you’ve paid into the Social Security tax system.

The most crucial requirement is that your disability must be considered severe enough to impact your ability to work for at least 12 months or is expected to end in death. The SSA has made a comprehensive list of all the disabilities it will approve for disability insurance benefits, and your disability must be listed here. There is a chance that you may be able to qualify even if your disability isn’t listed, but it’s much more likely if it is.

Second, you must show that you’ve contributed to Social Security with an adequate work history, which typically means 10 years of employment. However, there are some exemptions to this rule if your disability is deemed severe enough that you haven’t been able to work in any capacity.

It’s important to note that some people who receive federal disability benefits may still be able to work, though there are income limits. This cap, known as Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), is different based on your disability. For a blind person, the cap is $2,190 a month. For an otherwise disabled person, the cap is $1,310.

If you are currently receiving workers' compensation, it may affect your eligibility. Those working are also protected under legislation such as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other laws intended to provide equal opportunity for disabled people in the workforce. This means your employer must make any reasonable accommodation to help you complete your duties.

How To Apply for SSDI in Georgia

The application process for Social Security Disability occurs in one of three ways: in person, over the phone, or online. Those who want to apply in person can do so at their local Social Security field office.

In Georgia, there are 33 offices to choose from listed below. You can apply online at the federal Social Security website, or over the phone at 800-772-1213.

When you apply, you’ll need to provide personal information about you and your family, as well as documentation of marriages, divorces, or military service. You will also need to show medical records supporting your disability claim including contact information for doctors, clinics, or other health care providers.

How To Appeal a Denial in Georgia

In Georgia, a first-time applicant is only approved 23% of the time, meaning most must people go through the appeals process. Each stage of appeals must be made within 60 days of the preceding denial to be considered.

Reconsideration

The first stage is called reconsideration, and 12% of applicants will be approved. Here your application is reviewed by a new representative who inspects and ensures that no errors were made.

Disability Hearing

If your reconsideration was denied, you can request a disability hearing with an administrative law judge. There are seven Hearing and Appeals Offices in Georgia, and your hearing will be scheduled at the closest office. Many people wish to bring additional supporting documentation or witnesses and seek legal advice from a disability lawyer to aid in their case. The good news is that 54% of cases are approved after the appeal hearing. You can improve your chances of success by hiring a disability attorney.

Appeals Council

The third level of the appeals process is to apply for reexamination online with the Social Security Appeals Council. This council reviews all lower determinations to see if a mistake was made.

Federal Court

The final level of appeal is filing a lawsuit at the district federal court in Georgia. Most people will employ a law firm at this stage.

More Georgia Benefits

SSI

Georgia residents who make an SSDI claim will also be evaluated to see if they qualify for SSI. SSI is another federal insurance program intended for those with lower incomes. SSI benefits are available to those with disabilities, who are blind, and those 65+ with or without a disability. All applicants must meet low-income and limited resource requirements.

Georgia Medicaid

Those who receive SSI payments are automatically eligible for Georgia Medicaid. Medicaid is a joint federal and state health insurance program for low-income individuals. Some recipients of Georgia Medicaid will have small copay obligations, but many people are exempt from this such as pregnant women, members under the age of 21, and those in nursing homes or hospice care.

Georgia Unemployment

Those who need temporary financial assistance due to the loss of a job may be eligible for Georgia Unemployment benefits, a program run by the Georgia Department of Labor. This program can replace a portion of lost income for up to 26 weeks. The current weekly maximum payment is $365.

Georgia Social Security Offices

SSA Field Office Locations in Georgia
Atlanta-D/T SSA Office
401 W Peachtree St NW
Suite 2860 Flr 28
Atlanta, GA 30308
(866) 931-9946
Savannah SSA Office
430 Mall Blvd
Savannah, GA 31406
(866) 366-4923
Albany SSA Office
1522 W 3rd Ave
Albany, GA 31707
(877) 319-0733
Macon SSA Office
3530 Riverside Drive
Macon, GA 31210
(888) 759-3917
Athens SSA Office
1650 Prince Avenue
Athens, GA 30606
(866) 964-3294
Columbus SSA Office
7263 North Lake Dr
Columbus, GA 31909
(877) 784-3688
Augusta SSA Office
115 Robert C Daniel Jr Pkwy
Augusta, GA 30909
(877) 616-2523
Waycross SSA Office
303 Isabella St
Waycross, GA 31501
(877) 405-3578
Lagrange SSA Office
1300 Lafayette Pkwy
Suite A
Lagrange, GA 30241
(866) 836-6744
Rome SSA Office
480 Riverside Pkwy NE
Rome, GA 30161
(866) 964-1006
Milledgeville SSA Office
109 Cypress Corners
Milledgeville, GA 31061
(866) 348-5817
Thomasville SSA Office
1916 Smith Avenue
Thomasville, GA 31792
(888) 491-1886
Gainesville SSA Office
2565 Thompson Brdg Rd
Suite 210
Gainesville, GA 30501
(866) 331-2309
Valdosta SSA Office
3149 Perimeter Park Ln
Valdosta, GA 31602
(866) 829-2617
Brunswick SSA Office
134 Juniper Ct
Brunswick, GA 31520
(866) 964-6563
Dublin SSA Office
919 Hillcrest Pkwy
Dublin, GA 31021
(888) 655-6438
Griffin SSA Office
1548 Flynt St
Griffin, GA 30223
(866) 964-1005
Southlake SSA Office
6670 Merchants Way
Morrow, GA 30260
(866) 331-2215
Dalton SSA Office
301 Point North Pl
Dalton, GA 30720
(866) 593-5681
Kennesaw SSA Office
200 Chastain Center Blvd NW
Suite 250
Kennesaw, GA 30144
(866) 964-4690
Gwinnett SSA Office
4365 Shackleford Rd
Norcross, GA 30093
(877) 803-6320
Decatur SSA Office
3554 Covington Hwy
Decatur, GA 30032
(877) 626-9909
Atlanta West SSA Office
3800 Camp Creek Pkwy
Bldg 2400 Suite 122
Atlanta, GA 30331
(877) 828-1694
Statesboro SSA Office
1050 Brannen St
Statesboro, GA 30461
(866) 748-2088
Toccoa SSA Office
155 Big A Rd
Toccoa, GA 30577
(877) 405-7655
Villa Rica SSA Office
908 S Carroll Rd
Villa Rica, GA 30180
(866) 331-2318
Winder SSA Office
389 East Broad St
Winder, GA 30680
(866) 331-9071
Cordele SSA Office
510 E 15th Ave
Cordele, GA 31015
(888) 225-8869
Warner Robins SSA Office
220 Carl Vinson Pkwy
Warner Robins, GA 31088
(866) 931-7084
Tifton SSA Office
732 2nd St W
Tifton, GA 31794
(877) 635-3542
Covington SSA Office
9180 Covington Bypass Rd
Covington, GA 30014
(877) 873-9106
Vidalia SSA Office
104 W Third St
Vidalia, GA 30474
(866) 931-2518
Newnan SSA Office
246 Bullsboro Dr Suite B
Newnan, GA 30263
(855) 863-3561

Georgia Hearing and Appeal Offices

Georgia is in Region 4 (Atlanta), which services Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Region 4 - SSA Office of Hearing Operations in Georgia
SSA Hearing Office - Atlanta61 Forsyth Street, S.W.
Atlanta Fed Ctr Ste 20T10
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 562-1182
SSA Hearing Office - Atlanta245 Peachtree Center Avenue
Suite 500, Marquis 1
Atlanta, GA 30303
(866) 964-7350
SSA Hearing Office - Alpharetta4100 Old Milton Parkway
2nd Floor
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(855) 210-1031
SSA Hearing Office - Augusta115 Robert C. Daniel, Jr. Pkwy
Augusta, GA 30909
(888) 872-1596
SSA Hearing Office - Covington10155 Eagle Drive
Covington, GA 30014
(866) 708-3231
SSA Hearing Office - Macon484 Mulberry Street Suite 500
Macon, GA 31201-7929
(866) 331-2191
SSA Hearing Office - Savannah8 Southern Oaks Court
2nd Floor
Savannah, GA 31405
(866) 964-7590