How to Qualify for Social Security Disability in Texas

Are you struggling with a disability in Texas? Does your condition prevent you from working and covering basic expenses? 

You may qualify for Social Security disability benefits if so. If you meet the criteria, you can apply to the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) for benefits to help you pay for food and other basic needs.

Don’t worry if you have next to no idea how to qualify for disability in Texas. The following overview will help you better understand the process. However, you may want to strongly consider enlisting the help of an attorney when applying.

Understanding the Definition of Disability in Texas

Per the SSA, a condition must have the following qualities to qualify as a disability:

  • It must be a “medically determinable” physical or mental impairment.
  • The impairment must prevent an individual from participating in “substantial gainful activity.”
  • The impairment must be medically likely to either result in an individual’s death or impair their ability to work for at least 12 continuous months.

The definition of a disability in Texas is the same. Per the Texas Health & Human Services Commission, a child who doesn’t participate in substantial gainful activity may be considered disabled if the nature of their condition otherwise meets the above criteria.

What Conditions Qualify for Disability in Texas?

You’ll need to provide evidence (such as medical records) to show your condition meets the criteria to qualify you for disability benefits. One way to get a better sense of whether you qualify is to check the SSA’s Blue Book.

The Blue Book lists the impairments that might qualify someone for Social Security disability benefits. Consult this resource to find out if there is a listing for your condition. If there isn’t a listing for your specific disability, you might still qualify if there’s a listing for a condition that has the same or similar disabling effects. Consider reviewing your case with an attorney for more information.

Types of Disability Benefits Available in Texas

There are two main types of disability benefits you may qualify for in Texas:

Various factors can determine which type of benefits you may qualify for. To qualify for SSDI, you must have worked in the past, paying into the Social Security system and earning sufficient “work credits” to qualify for benefits.

SSI is a needs-based system. You may qualify for SSI if you can demonstrate that, due to minimal resources and income, you lack the ability to cover the cost of living. Naturally, you must still show that you’re unable to tend to your needs because a disability prevents you from working.

Gathering Documentation Required for Disability Applications

Per the SSA, at a minimum, you may need to provide the following information and documentation when applying for disability benefits:

  • Birth certificate (or a similar proof of birth document)
  • Proof you are a U.S. citizen or lawful alien
  • If you had military service prior to 1968, military discharge documents
  • W-2 forms/self-employment tax returns
  • An Adult Disability Report
  • Medical evidence showing you meet the necessary criteria
  • Settlement agreements, pay stubs, information related to workers’ compensation benefits you may have already received, etc.

The SSA may ask you a variety of questions when you apply. It’s impossible to list all the questions they may ask in a single guide, because questions can vary from one case to another.

It’s best to err on the side of caution when gathering evidence for a Social Security disability benefits application in Texas. Statistically, the SSA denies most initial applications. 

You can ask for a reconsideration after a denial. If you still receive a denial, you can appeal your case. Be aware, you may hire a lawyer at any stage in this process, even if you didn’t initially hire one when you started working on your claim.

There are various reasons the SSA may deny a claim. Often, a lack of sufficient medical evidence is the reason for a denial. Thus, you may improve your chances of receiving an approval from the start if you submit more medical evidence than you think you need when applying for benefits.

In addition, the types of documentation you may need to provide can vary depending on the type of disability benefits you’re seeking. For example, perhaps you’re applying for SSDI. If so, you will need to provide documentation showing you’ve earned sufficient work credits. This isn’t a requirement when applying for SSI.

Additional tips that may improve your chances of receiving an approval include:

  • Adhere to a treatment plan and follow a doctor’s advice. The SSA needs to see you’re taking steps to improve your condition.
  • Consider keeping a pain journal or a video log. The purpose of a pain journal or other such log is to describe in detail how your condition affects your ability to perform various daily activities.
  • Carefully check all paperwork when submitting an application. Sometimes, a mere clerical error is enough to slow down the approval process.

When you are ready, you can then apply online, over the phone, or at your local Texas Social Security Office.

How to Find a Disability Lawyer Taking Cases in Texas

Not knowing how to qualify for Social Security disability in Texas shouldn’t prevent you from accessing the benefits you may be eligible for. A lawyer can assist you in various ways in these circumstances, including:

  • Reviewing your case to determine if you qualify for benefits
  • Determining what type of Social Security benefits you may qualify for
  • Gathering the documentation you may need
  • Handling claim paperwork and administrative tasks
  • Representing you during an appeal, if necessary

Most of all, hiring a lawyer simplifies the process. If you have a disability, the various tasks involved in applying for benefits can be quite draining. That’s not something you have to worry about when an attorney is handling your case.

Finding a lawyer handling Social Security disability cases in Texas also doesn’t need to be challenging. Get started today by completing the Free Case Evaluation to get connected with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website.

Additional Disability Resources in Texas:

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