Georgia residents can apply for disability benefits through their local Social Security Administration (SSA) field office.
The Social Security Administration manages two programs to provide disability payments to those who have become disabled and are no longer able to support themselves and their families: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The State of Georgia does not offer state short-term disability benefits.
Disabled persons may apply for one or both of the federal disability assistance programs available through the SSA.
To qualify for the SSDI program, a person must have:
To qualify for SSI, a person must have:
In Georgia, SSI recipients automatically receive Medicaid, and they may also be eligible for food stamps.
Georgia has a number of SSA field offices that can provide application forms and assistance with SSDI or SSI claims. The disability application may be submitted through the Georgia SSA field office, over the SSA toll-free phone line (800-772-1213), or online through the SSA's website (www.ssa.gov).
After receiving it, the SSA sends the application to Georgia's Disability Adjudication Services (DAS) agency. There, a claims examiner will request your medical information from your doctors. With the help of a medical consultant who works for DAS, the examiner will determine whether you're disabled.
The main DAS office is in Stone Mountain. Here is the contact information for the main DAS office.
1551 Juliette Road
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Note that, in other states, this agency is called "Disability Determination Services," or DDS (and that's how we refer to the state agency on this website).
The federal government funds the SSI program (Supplemental Security Income) and pays a federal payment of $914 to people who are disabled and have limited income and resources. In some cases, the State of Georgia adds on a small state supplement (currently $20) to the federal SSI payment.
The Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) manages the SSI supplement. You don't need to apply separately for the state SSI supplement because the DHR will identify recipients who are eligible (currently, only those living in Medicaid facilities). Other states make larger payments directly to SSI recipients who are living on their own.
There are public and private agencies within the state to provide assistance and advocacy for the disabled, including the Georgia Advocacy Office. Here is their contact information:
Georgia Advocacy Office, Inc.
150 East Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite 430
Decatur, GA 30030
However, the Georgia Advocacy Office will not provide legal representation for your appeal hearing, should you be denied disability benefits.
If you need to attend an appeal hearing, you may want to hire a disability attorney to present your case for benefits to the judge. If your case requires repeated appeals and it reaches federal court, then you must be represented by a disability attorney. It may be wise to save time and stress by consulting an attorney early on in the appeal process.
Updated July 14, 2023