Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Requirements for Disability
Applications for disability
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after a Denial
Mental Disability Benefits
Denials for Disability
Appeals for denied claims
Disability Benefits from SSA
Child Disability Benefits
Qualifications and How to Qualify
Working and Disability
Disability Awards and Notices
Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys
Social Security List of Conditions
What Social Security considers disabling
Medical Evidence and Disability
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by NC
disability advocate Tim Moore
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Getting ready for a Disability Hearing in Texas
If you have filed an application for either Social Security Disability or SSI in Texas, have been denied, and now need to have your case heard by a federal administrative law judge, you will certainly want to prepare before your disability hearing date comes around.
But how do you prepare for an SSI or SSD disability hearing? Well, consider first how far off your hearing date is. The time required to get a disability hearing can be very extensive.
That is, if you file a "request for hearing before an administrative law judge" and send it in to the social security office, that office will have to transfer your file to the Office of Hearings and Appeals (note: hearings offices are now known as ODAR, the office of adjudication and review, though the former name actually makes more sense) that handles your jurisdiction. "Which" hearing office your case winds up at will probably determine, to a great extent, how long it will take for your case to be scheduled for a hearing.
Why is this the case? Simply because different different disability hearing offices serve different populations and, consequently, may have larger or smaller backlogs to contend with. Unfortunately, you can't do anything about which hearing office will handle your hearing, just as you are allowed no input into which administrative law judge will eventually hear your case.
The general rule is something akin to this, however: once you request a Social Security Disability or SSI hearing, you can probably expect, in most cases, to wait at least a year before a hearing date is granted. In some parts of the country, the wait is close to two years, so, in this regard, a wait time of a year, though bad, is not the absolute worst case scenario.
According to recent data provided by SSA, the waiting time to get a hearing date in Texas after a hearing has been requested is as follows: Fort Worth disability hearings office: 11 months; San Antonio disability hearings office: 16 months; Rio Grande disability hearings office: 18 months; Dallas (downtown) disability hearings office: 14 months; Dallas north disability hearings office: 12.5 months; Houston (north) disability hearings office: 10 months; Houston (bissonnet) disability hearings office: 13 months.
Common questions about filing for disability in Texas
But, because in any scenario, it will take a long number of months to get a disability hearing scheduled...there is really little for you to do with regard to preparing for a hearing. Probably the best advice is simply this: if you have access to medical care, keep going. Because the decision that will be made on your SSD or SSI claim will be based on what's in your medical records. And the more your medical history is documented, the better.
Now, on the other hand, if you have requested a hearing for SSI or SSD and have had some indication that your hearing date may be approaching soon...you should do exactly the same thing. Yes, that's right. Keep going to the doctor periodically. Because as important as your cumulative medical record is, it is even more important for a disabilty judge to see that your condition is disabling currently, as in "the here and now". Without recent evidence on which to decide your claim (no older than 2 months),it will be very difficult for an administrative law judge to conclude that you are, in fact, disabled.
Maintaining regular medical treatment will be one of the best ways for you to prepare for your hearing. However, preparing for your hearing doesn't stop there. To win your case, you would be advised to get representation before your hearing in Texas. Remember the old adage "He who represents himself has a fool for an attorney"? That also applies to disability hearings simply because judges (who are also attorneys) preside over them.
Getting a disability lawyer in Texas is one of the best ways to prepare for your hearing. But adequately preparing for you hearing also means obtaining a social security attorney prior to the hearing date. Ideally, you should get a lawyer at least two months prior to your ssd or ssi hearing so the lawyer will have plenty of time to prepare, i.e. gather your medical records, make copies of them, send copies to the judge handling your case, and read them himself.
Most likely, your disability representative (meaning your disability attorney or your non-attorney disability representative who may be a former SSA employee) will attempt to obtain what is known as a medical source statement from at least one of your treating physicians. Medical source statements can be powerful tools for winning cases at the administrative law judge disability hearing and such statements can provide evidence that is far superior to simply one's medical records which very often do not possess the type of information regarding an individual's functional limitations which is needed to win a claim.
Your disability representative will probably also inquire, prior to a hearing, into your case file and vocational work history. Therefore, properly preparing for a Social Security Disability hearing will also include:
A) Reviewing your Social Security file to learn why your claim was denied at the application and reconsideration appeals,
B) Learning about your medical treatment history, including your diagnoses, treatment, and reponse to treatment, and
C) Learning about your work history -- this is vital since SSA denies most claims on the basis of a claimant's supposed ability to perform some type of other work even if they cannot return to their past work.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Filing for disability in Texas
What are the qualifications for disability in Texas?
When do you file for Texas disability benefits? - when you become disabled
SSI vs Social Security Disability in Texas
Winning a Social Security Disability or SSI award in Texas
Disability for depression in Texas
Disability approval process - Getting disability in Texas
Resource links for Filing a Texas disability application
Can I apply for temporary and later permanent Disability in Texas?
How much can I get from Social Security Disability in Texas?
Eligibility and qualifying for disability in Texas
Social Security Disability Status in Texas
Disability appeals in Texas
What if you get denied disability in Texas?
Can you avoid a Social Security Disability Denial in Texas?
The Social Security Disability and SSI appeals process in Texas
Starting an appeal on a disability claim in Texas
What are the chances of winning a disability appeal in Texas?
How many disability appeals do you get in Texas?
Filing a Texas Disability Appeal
Disability Hearings in Texas
How long does it take to get a disability hearing decision in Texas?
Going to and getting ready for a disability hearing in Texas
Don't waste your Texas disability hearing - be prepared
Qualifying for disability at a hearing in Texas
Texas Disability Attorney questions
Get a qualified disability attorney, lawyer, advocate in Texas
Should you get help from a disability attorney in Texas if you have not filed yet?
What does a disability lawyer in Texas do to help you win benefits?
How Much Are The Fees For A Disability Lawyer In Texas?
How do Disability Lawyers in Texas get paid their fees?
Qualifying For Disability in Texas, will I qualify?
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits
Disability qualifications - Who will qualify is based on functional limitations
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
How to file for disability and the information needed by Social Security
What conditions do they Award Disability Benefits for?
How does back pay for Social Security disability work?
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI? Part I
To get a Social Security Disability or SSI Award do you have to have a Permanent Disability?
Social Security Disability Status - when should I call to check
Do Lawyers Improve The Chances of Winning Social Security Disability or SSI?
What is qualifying for disability based on?
How to qualify for disability - The Process of Qualifying for Benefits
Receiving a Social Security Disability Award Letter
How long does it take to get disability?