How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Using a Disability Attorney in Texas

Claimants who have Social Security representation in Texas tend to have a higher likelihood of being approved, generally need to file fewer appeals, and often have more favorable "dates of onset" (the date the disability is proven to have begun) resulting in higher amounts in back pay benefits.

Link: Questions about using attorneys and representatives on disability claims

Representation on a claim may be provided by a disability lawyer or a specialized non-attorney disability representative. Many non-attorney disability representatives are former Social Security Administration field office Claims Specialists and DDS (disability determination services) Disability Examiners.

A qualified representative will possess a knowledge of Social Security administrative law and procedures. This is especially true with regard to how claims are approved through the Social Security listings and the medical vocational grid rules. A qualified and competent representative or lawyer will also be skilled in the ability to obtain the most relevant case evidence, analyze it correctly, and incorporate it as part of a winning strategy for a claim.

Common questions about filing for disability in Texas
What will a disability attorney or non-attorney representative do to win a case? Representatives perform many functions such as filing timely appeals, keeping track of the status of a claim, responding to requests from the Social Security Administration for additional information (such as regarding the claimant's daily activities, their medical treatment sources, and their work history), and sending out reminders to claimants about consultative medical examinations that have been scheduled for them.

However, what a representative does to win a claim is essentially the following:

1) Analyze the history of the claim, i.e. why and how it was previously denied.

2) Obtain relevant, current, and compelling evidence (which is usually medical in nature but may also be vocational, or work, related), and

3) Present a basis for approval of the claim according to Social Security regulations (the code of federal regulations), Social Security rules (the grid framework rules), and the various SSRs (social security court rulings).

To learn about fees for representation, see: "How do disability lawyers get paid?"

Additional information

In prior years, the federal government has reported that less than forty percent of claims for Social Security Disability (SSD) and supplemental security income (SSI) filed in Texas have been approved by DDS, the state disability determination services agency that makes decisions for SSA. In a recent period, only 33 percent of disability applications were approved, making it necessary for nearly 70 percent of claimants to begin the appeal process.

Those who filed their first appeal were even less successful--less than twenty percent of requests for reconsideration filed in Texas were approved. In a recent period, in fact, approvals at the reconsideration level were only 12 percent, which, statistically, is in line with the rest of the country.

Given these numbers, if are thinking about filing for SSD or SSI benefits in Texas, it may be worthwhile to seek consultation about your claim early on. It can be helpful to get an attorney or representative involved after your application has been denied because they may be able to spot weaknesses or omissions in the original information you supplied, and help provide a fresh slant on your case before the reconsideration process with a new disability examiner begins.

Your lawyer can also ensure that appeals that you intend to file are received at the Social Security Office before the 60-day deadline is up, which is very important: Appeals not filed within the deadline are automatically denied, giving you no choice by to start over with a new claim, putting you several months behind in this already time-consuming process, but also potentially eliminating some of your eligibility for disability back pay (due to starting over with a new filing date)

While it is true that some disability lawyers will not take a case until it has been denied by a state disability examiner, due to disability claim backlogs more lawyers and non-attorney disability representatives are increasingly taking claims prior to a denial being issued.

And, in many instances, representatives are able to make strong attempts to win claims as early in the process as possible. When this occurs, the need for a hearing may be eliminated, saving many months of case processing time and allowing claimants to receive their benefits much sooner.

Having said this, if your initial claim for disability has already been denied, it is still unlikely that you will win disability benefits from a reconsideration appeal. However, this still presents an argument for obtaining representation, simply because the second appeal in the process is the "request for hearing before an Administrative law judge".

Studies have shown that individuals who appeal a disability claim denial and appear before a disability judge stand a greater than 60 percent chance of being approved, if they are represented by a disability lawyer, whereas unrepresented claimants have an average approval rate of approximately 40 percent.

Clearly, this level of consideration offers the best odds of winning benefits for those filing for disability in Texas and applicants are strongly advised to get a disability lawyer or non-attorney disability representative at this point if they haven’t already.

Those represented before federal disability judges by an attorney simply win benefits significantly more often than those who appear with no legal representation. Judges at hearings, in fact, will often advise claimants who arrive unrepresented that they may have their hearing date rescheduled if they would like to take the opportunity to seek representation.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

General information

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

Disabiity 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?

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.