Georgia residents can apply for disability benefits through their local Social Security Administration field office. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has manages two programs to provide disability payments to those who have been 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 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 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). Once processed, the SSA sends the application to Georgia's Disability Adjudication Services (DAS) agency. A claims examiner requests your medical information from your doctors and determines whether you are disabled.
The main DAS office is in Stone Mountain. There are satellite offices in Athens, Dalton, Savannah, and Thomasville as well. Here is their contact information.
1551 Juliette Road
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
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).
There are public and private agencies within the state to provide assistance and advocacy for the disabled, including:
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. You may want to hire a disability attorney to present your case for benefits on appeal. 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. Arrange a consultation with a Georgia disability attorney.