How to apply for Disability in Texas
Many Texans believe that it’s easy to get approved for disability benefits once their mental or physical condition stops them from engaging in substantially gainful employment. But that’s not entirely true. There are other steps to take in order to get approved for disability.
This long term disability care guide walks you through how to apply for Disability in Texas, how to qualify, and what to do if the application is denied.
Types of social security benefits Programs in Texas
First, it’s essential to understand the types of benefits programs the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides to eligible citizens—both in Texas and other states. They include:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Individuals who have worked and paid into the program for a certain period of time may qualify for SSDI benefits regardless of their income or assets before the onset of disability.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI is a need-based program catering to people who did not pay enough into the system to qualify for SSDI benefits, including children.
So an individual eligible for SSDI may still qualify for SSI benefits. However, we recommend using the help of an expert to explore all available options when applying for disability in Texas.
What qualifies for Disability in Texas?
The term “disability” can have multiple meanings in the Texas Disability rights. For example, a certain impairment may qualify for disability benefits through the worker’s compensation system but not meet the standard definition of disability according to SSA.
When it comes to what conditions automatically apply for disability, the SSA generally describe an individual as qualified for disability if their condition prevents them from earning a certain amount of monthly income or stops them from engaging in substantial activity, which includes:
- A physical or mental condition that has been proven medically, and
- Has lasted or may last for at least 12 months.
After applying for social security benefits, the Texas Disability Determination Service (DDS) will review applicant information and determine if they suffer from the impairment.
To determine eligibility, DDS will undergo its 5-step evaluation process.
The process is as follows:
1. Assess if an applicant can perform a substantially gainful activity
The SSA will consider if they engage in substantially gainful activity and earn above a certain amount of money per month. In 2018, the amount for statutorily blind people was $1,970 per month and $1,180 for non-blind people.
2. Confirm if the condition is “severe”
Does the impairment interfere with daily activities, including work? If yes, the applicant’s evaluation automatically moves to the next level. But if not, they’re not considered disabled.
3. Check if their impairment is listed in the Bluebook
When it comes to how to file for disability, the blue book is an important book to check out.
The SSA’s blue book contains a list of impairments that, if the applicant suffers from any of these, they’ll be considered disabled.
4. Confirm if they can still be able to do their former work
DDS usually conducts a “residual functional capacity” assessment. They’ll first confirm if an impairment stops the applicant from working. If yes, DDS will proceed to the next stage. If not, the applicant will not be considered disabled.
If not, DDS will consider the applicant disabled and eligible for benefits. But if applicants can adapt to other works, they’ll be regarded as ineligible for benefits.
5. When you have accumulated 40 work credits from SSA, you may be eligible for SSDI.
You must have earned half of these credits within the last ten years before your disability. However, the required work credit to qualify is less than 40.
How long can I expect to wait to get approved?
In most cases, getting a response to your disability claim can take between 3 to 5 months. But, the time it took to gather documents and evidence will also influence the timing.
Applicant’s information will be forwarded to the right state organization that determines the disability status.
Tips for getting approved faster
There are specific steps that can help reduce the timeframe of getting a response from SSA after submitting your social security disability application form.
The following tips can help get disability benefits approved faster.
Provide every medical evidence: Avoid keeping the disability services examiner waiting for missing proof and documents. Be sure to send every required document along with the application.
Include all your doctors information in the application: when filling out the application, list the names of Doctors that have treated your condition, including the date you visited them and their office address. This will help the SSA quickly get in touch with the doctor and confirm your claims.
Ask your doctor for letters: Your doctor’s letter showing your condition and the associated symptoms can go a long way to prove your case for a qualifying disability. Try to request letters from multiple doctors and submit them along with the application.
Keep track of your application’s progress: always monitor your application. The Social Security Administration may contact you for additional information or evidence. You want to get it to them quickly.
How much does Disability pay in Texas?
There’s no distinct difference between what an individual can receive in Texas and most places in the U.S.
Someone who filed for SSI in Texas and got their claim approved can receive the general SSI benefit.
This amount can change with each year—and will almost certainly change if you move states.
The maximum SSI benefit is $2400 per month, and the average amount currently received in Texas is $1200.
Keep in mind that it’s common for some people to receive less than this average per month.
How Trajector helps me
Regretfully, many people struggle with applying for SSI or SSDI benefits, and they need to appeal their rejected applications. At Trajector, we’ve been helping disabled and injured Texans apply for benefits for the past decade.
If you’re planning to apply for social security disability benefits, we can help. We’ll ensure that you have your medical records, information, and other required paperwork properly organized and submitted along with your application.
The more documentation that supports your claims that you’re unable to work due to illness and disability, the faster it can take SSA to make a decision. Not having enough evidence can slow down their decision-making process.
If your claims are denied initially, we can help appeal the decision and increase your chances of success.
We’re happy to work with you to appeal a denied claim and help you fight for your deserved benefits.
Contact us today, and let’s start with a consultation.