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How To Apply For Disability In Virginia

Virginia provides a number of disability services for its residents. Assistance can be found at the federal level with SSDI or SSI.

Virginia provides a number of disability services for its residents. Assistance can be found at the federal level with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The state also offers Medicaid (a joint state and federal program), unemployment benefits, and academic accommodations to students with disabilities – including assistive technology and testing accommodations under the Virginia Department of Education. This provides assistance to college students who may need disability accommodations while they pursue higher education.

Though SSDI and SSI are federal-funded by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the application process is administered by state agencies. In Virginia, this is done by Disability Determination Services (DDS), a branch of the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitation Services (DARS).


Facts About Virginia

Approximately 4% of Virginia’s residents currently receive a Social Security benefit. However, around 24% have some sort of disability with the majority of those being mobility and cognition-related. While not everyone with a disability can qualify for SSDI benefits, the more people know about the application and evaluation process, the better their chances are of receiving funds.

Virginia has 30 Social Security field offices as well as seven Offices of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) to assist its residents with disability services.

How To Qualify for SSDI in Virginia

All Americans, regardless of where they live, must meet the same set of requirements to receive a Social Security disability benefit. In general, there are two main criteria you must meet – your disability must be classified as “severe,” and you must have contributed sufficiently into the Social Security fund through your years of employment.

Most people will need to show at least 10 years of work history, though you can still be working and receive a benefit. However, there are income limits known as your Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).

These caps are different depending on your disability. Those who are blind can make up to $2,190 in monthly income, and those with developmental disabilities or another physical disability can make up to $1,310. If you are currently working, know that as an employee you are protected from disability discrimination from your employer. A workplace must make any reasonable accommodation to help you complete your duties.

Applicants must also ensure their disability is found on this list compiled by the SSA. These conditions have all been deemed severe enough to limit one’s ability to work for at least 12 months or end in death.

Just because you meet the above criteria doesn’t mean you will automatically qualify. Your application still must be reviewed by DDS, and not everyone who applies will receive a monthly benefit. There are some factors such as receiving workers’ compensation that can affect your eligibility. Regardless, you should always apply even if you think you may be denied.

How To Apply for SSDI in Virginia

You can file a disability claim in one of three ways: online, over the phone, or in person. If you wish to file for Social Security Disability online you’ll do so at the federal Social Security site.

You can also call 800-772-1213 to speak with a representative over the phone. Those wishing to apply in person should contact their closest Social Security field office listed below.

Whichever method you choose, you should take time to gather relevant information beforehand to make the process of applying for a disability benefit smoother.

You will need to provide basic personal information about you and your family including marriage, divorce, and military records as disabled veterans may be entitled to additional benefits from the VA. You will also need to bring medical records along with contact information for doctors and clinics that have treated you regarding your disability. 

How To Appeal a Denial in Virginia

The approval rate for first-time applications in Virginia is 42% which is higher than the national average of 35%. Even so, this means the majority of applicants will have to go through one or more steps of the appeal process if they want to receive benefits. Each step in this process must be completed within 60 days of the previous denial to be considered, and you must go through each step in order.

Step 1: Reconsideration

A reconsideration appeal is when you request a different disability evaluation specialist from DDS review your application to make a new determination. This is usually a quick process and will not require any additional paperwork from the applicant. About 15% of applications are approved at this stage.

Step 2: Disability Hearing

If your first appeal was denied, you can request a disability adjudication with an administrative law judge. This disability hearing will be scheduled at the closest Hearing and Appeals Offices in Virginia and it typically takes around 15 months to get a date.

Most people will be asked to bring additional documentation or provide witnesses like family, friends, or doctors who can speak about the disability. Many will also wish to employ an attorney at this stage. Though it can take a while to meet with a judge, 47% of cases in Virginia are approved at this stage.

Step 3: Appeals Council

If your disability adjudication was unsuccessful, your next step is to ask the Social Security Appeals Council to review your case. They will look at all the previous decisions, determine if an error was made, and rule on whether the decision should be upheld or overturned.

Step 4: Federal Court

Your last option is to file a lawsuit with the district federal court. There are two district federal courts in Virginia, representing the eastern and western districts.

More Virginia Benefits


Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another financial assistance program run by the SSA. When you apply for SSDI, your application will be evaluated to see if you also qualify for SSI benefits. These benefits are for individuals with low incomes, are blind or disabled, or are over the age of 65 with or without a disability.

Virginia also has an Auxiliary Grant (AG) program that adds additional payments for those living in assisted living or adult foster care.

Virginia Medicaid

Virginia Medicaid (Cover Virginia) aims to provide health coverage for residents who may go without due to lack of funds. An individual must make less than $17,131 in annual income to qualify. If you receive SSI benefits you will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid.

Virginia Unemployment

The Virginia Employment Commission oversees Virginia Unemployment benefits. These social services are intended to help those who have become unemployed through no fault of their own with financial help. Virginia’s program pays out a maximum of $378 a week for a total of 26 weeks.

Virginia Social Security Offices

SSA Field Office Locations in Virginia
Richmond DTN SSA Office1834 West Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23220
(866) 679-6684
Roanoke SSA Office612 S Jefferson Street
Suite 100
Roanoke, VA 24011
(866) 701-8179
Norfolk SSA Office5850 Lake Herbert Dr
First Floor
Norfolk, VA 23502
(866) 858-6089
Bristol SSA Office2484 Lee Highway
Bristol, VA 24202
(866) 504-5013
Lynchburg SSA Office7618 Timberlake Rd
Lynchburg, VA 24502
(866) 964-6142
Staunton SSA Office1600 N Coalter St
Grnbrier Off Pk Bldg 2
Staunton, VA 24401
(888) 632-6896
Petersburg SSA Office100 Poplar Drive
Petersburg, VA 23805
(877) 803-6322
Danville SSA Office3295 Us Hwy 29
Danville, VA 24540
(866) 331-5398
Newport News SSA Office11706 Jefferson Avenue
Newport News, VA 23606
(866) 331-9169
Alexandria SSA Office6295 Edsall Road
Plaza 500 Suite 190
Alexandria, VA 22312
(888) 472-2402
Winchester SSA Office323 Hope Drive
Winchester, VA 22601
(866) 331-2320
Covington SSA Office1010 S Craig Avenue
Covington, VA 24426
(888) 527-9334
Charlottesville1470 Pantops Mtn Pl
District Office
Charlottesville, VA 22911
(866) 613-3959
Wytheville SSA Office130 Withers Lane
Wytheville, VA 24382
(888) 632-6893
Wise SSA Office253 Ridgeview Road SW
Wise, VA 24293
(877) 405-7843
Richmond East SSA Office245 E. Williamsburg Rd
Sandston, VA 23150
(866) 218-2307
Farmville SSA Office324 Commerce Road
Farmville, VA 23901
(866) 269-4346
Portsmouth SSA Office3305 Airline Blvd
Portsmouth, VA 23701
(866) 593-8851
Suffolk SSA Office502 Hillpoint Blvd
Suffolk, VA 23434
(866) 835-7769
South Boston SSA Office2049 Hamilton Blvd
South Boston, VA 24592
(888) 327-1407
Fairfax SSA Office11212 Waples Mill Rd
Suite 105
Fairfax, VA 22030
(866) 829-3158
Fredericksburg9915 Jeff Davis Hwy
Fredericksburg, VA 22407
(888) 759-3919
Manassas SSA Office9500 Center Street
Manassas, VA 20110
(855) 210-0123
Martinsville SSA Office320 W Commonwealth Blv
Martinsville, VA 24112
(877) 405-9780
ChesterfieldSuite 100
600 Southlake Blvd
North Chesterfield, VA 23236
(877) 773-7231
Culpeper SSA Office1014 S Main St
Culpeper, VA 22701
(877) 531-4694
Virginia Beach2875 Sabre St
Suite 100
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
(888) 377-5237
Accomac SSA Office22581 Center Pkwy
Accawmacke Office Pk
Accomac, VA 23301
(866) 964-1019
Hampton SSA Office1521 Hardy Cash Dr
Ground Floor
Hampton, VA 23666
(866) 592-2669
Harrisonburg SSA Office351 North Mason Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
(866) 964-1718

Virginia Hearing and Appeal Offices

Virginia is in Region 3 (Philadelphia), which services Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and District of Columbia.

Region 3 – SSA Office of Hearing Operations in Virginia
SSA Hearing Office – Charlottesville1470 Pantops Mountain Place
2nd Floor
Charlottesville, VA 22911
(866) 613-2969
SSA Hearing Office – Falls Church5107 Leesburg Pike
One Skyline Tower, 12th Floor
Falls Church, VA 22041
(703) 605-7555
SSA Hearing Office – Falls Church5107 Leesburg Pike
One Skyline Tower, Suite 700
Falls Church, VA 22041
(703) 605-8405
SSA Hearing Office – Falls Church5107 Leesburg Pike
Suites 105A, 109A, 1504
Falls Church, VA 22041
(877) 229-3532
SSA Hearing Office – Norfolk5850 Lake Herbert Drive
3rd Floor
Norfolk, VA 23502
(866) 931-9167
SSA Hearing Office – Richmond1100 E. Main Street
Suite 225
Richmond, VA 23219
(877) 405-3665
SSA Hearing Office – Roanoke612 South Jefferson Street
Second Floor, Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011
(866) 592-3548

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