Free Case Evaluation AVAILABLE 24/7

Close this search box.

Who Is Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits in New York?

eligibility Social Security Disability

Disability benefits can be crucial in helping disabled New Yorkers stay afloat financially. Over 22% of New Yorkers report having some kind of disability. The Social Security Administration offers two main different types of Social Security disability benefits to help disabled Americans meet their basic needs. 

However, to maintain the integrity of these systems, the application process to receive benefits requires a lot of detail and attention. The Social Security disability lawyers in New York at Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani, LLP, are experienced in helping clients apply for Social Security disability benefits in New York. 

To understand who is eligible for New York Social Security disability benefits, it is crucial to learn about the different types of benefits and their eligibility requirements.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSDI or SSD, is a program run by the government that pays monthly benefits to people who qualify as disabled. These benefits help people who are physically  and/ or psychologically unable to gainfully work and pay their monthly expenses.  

Medical Requirements

Part of qualifying for SSDI benefits in the state of New York is meeting the state’s definition of “disabled.” The disability does not have to be related to work, but it must prevent the person claiming the disability, also known as the claimant, from completing work.

This could be one of the disabilities found in the Social Security Administration’s official list of impairments, but it does not have to be. In New York, any disability that prevents the claimant from being able to perform work, also known as limiting one’s residual functional capacity (RFC), can be considered a qualifying disability.

Medical Records

Claimants must be able to substantiate their disability. This means producing accurate and up-to-date medical records providing evidence about the severity and history of the disability. The evidence must prove that the disability significantly limits the claimant’s ability to work. The state of New York evaluates claims to verify them and can deny claims with insufficient evidence.


Claimants must also prove that their disability will last at least 12 months or otherwise end in death. A claimant must have had their disability for at least five months before receiving benefits. 

This does not mean you should wait five months before seeking disability benefits; the application process can take up to a year. New York disability insurance assistance, such as that from an experienced lawyer, can help claimants make important decisions about timing their applications for Social Security disability benefits in New York.

Non-Medical Requirements

There is another non-medical requirement to qualify for SSDI. You must have worked through the Social Security Administration long enough to earn sufficient work credits. 

You can earn up to four work credits per year. Generally, people must have earned at least 40 credits to qualify for Social Security benefits, and half of those credits must have been earned in the last 10 years. 

However, the specific amount of work credits needed to qualify for SSDI depends on how old you were when you became disabled. The younger you were when you became disabled, the fewer credits you will need. 

All of these requirements can make the process confusing. People with disabilities are protected by the Civil Rights Division under the United States Department of Justice. However, even with these protections, the application and qualification processes to receive disability benefits can be very hard to navigate, making it hard for qualified people to receive the benefits to which they are entitled. 

The New York Social Security disability claims lawyers at Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani, LLP, help provide Social Security disability help for New Yorkers. Reach out today for New York disability insurance assistance.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)


There is another type of disability benefit for which some New Yorkers are eligible. Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is an economic need-based benefit some disabled people can receive.

Unlike SSDI, SSI does not require any work history. Eligibility is based on financial and disability status; work credits have no impact. To qualify for SSI, you must:

  • Be disabled, blind, or over 65 years old
  • Be a U.S. citizen (or meet specific requirements for non-citizens)
  • Have a monthly income below the U.S. benefit rate (currently $1,971 per month)
  • Have assets not worth more than $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple

You may collect SSI and SSDI concurrently. In 2022, 1 million people nationwide collected both SSI and SSDI. However, many people qualify for one but not the other.

Collecting Social Security disability in NY can be overwhelming with all these systems, requirements, and processes in place, but with experienced NYC Social Security disability lawyers helping you, the process becomes much more manageable.

Can Veterans Get Disability Benefits in New York?

Veterans have higher rates of disability than non-veterans. In fact, 19.5% of veterans receive some form of disability compensation payments. Many veterans wonder whether they can collect VA benefits and SSDI. SSDI for veterans is separate from VA benefits; they operate under distinct government agencies and have different application processes. Receiving VA benefits will not impact or decrease your SSDI benefits.

Your VA benefits may impact your Supplemental Security Income, however. Because SSI is need based, any VA benefits you receive might contribute to your monthly income and decrease the amount of SSI you are eligible for.

Contact Social Security Disability Lawyers in NYC Today

Having knowledgeable lawyers by your side can make the process of accessing SSD benefits in New York approachable and clear. The legal team of Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani, LLP, can help guide New Yorkers navigating the Social Security disability benefits systems. Let us answer all your questions and take the mystery out of this process.


How long does it take to get approved for SSDI in NY?

It can take at least six months to get approved for SSDI in New York. A disability benefits application in New York can take several months, especially in gathering all the medical evidence required to prove a disability. 

Once the application is submitted, the state of New York determines whether you are eligible. The Social Security Administration then determines how much money you are eligible for. Experienced Social Security disability lawyers like those at Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani, LLP, can help with these processes.

What qualifies as a disability in NY?

Any condition that significantly limits your ability to work gainfully can qualify as a disability in New York. Gainful work means work that earns over the federal monthly threshold required to receive disability benefits.

The Substantial Gainful Activity amount for people with disabilities (other than blindness) in 2023 was $1,470 per month. You must prove with medical records that your disability prevents you from work that would enable you to earn over that amount of money.

How much do you make on disability in NY?

How much you make on disability in NY depends on which disability benefits you have applied for and for which you are deemed eligible. The average amount people with disabilities received from the Social Security Administration in January 2024 was $1,711/month

However, most people also apply and are eligible for other benefits, like SSDI and VA benefits. Most benefits have a maximum amount. For example, the maximum amount people can receive from SSI is $943/month. An experienced lawyer can help you determine which New York Social Security disability benefits you are eligible for and how to file for benefits in NYC accurately.

About The Author

Picture of Michael Serres, ESQ.

Michael Serres, ESQ.

Michael Serres, ESQ. is a reputed Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Astoria, Queens, NY. He graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 1989. Mr. Serres was admitted to practice law in New York State in 1990 and is admitted in the Federal District Courts for the Southern and the Eastern Districts of New York. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Workers’ Compensation Bar Association and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Queens County Bar Association.