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

Social Security Disability denied in Texas

If your claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is denied in Texas (and the vast majority, about 70% of those filed each year, are denied) then you should appeal the decision. And you should do this as soon as possible despite the fact that SSA allows an appeal deadline of 60 days from the date of your denial.

This first appeal is referred to as a request for reconsideration, and it is decided by the same agency that denied the initial application, the state disability determination services (DDS). Given the fact that the same organization that denied the initial application is in charge of reviewing the denial, the following statistic should not come as any surprise: about 81% of all reconsideration appeals are denied as well. This is true for disability claims filed in Texas and practically every other state.

So why bother appealing? Well, the purpose of filing a first appeal is not so much that it affords a claimant any real chance of winning at the first appeal level, but that it allows the claim to advance to the second level of appeal, which is far more likely to be decided in favor of the claimant. Second appeals are decided by federal administrative law judges (ALJs) who, though bound by the same Social Security rules as DDS examiners, have a lot more discretion when ruling on disability cases.

In addition, at a disability hearing claimants are afforded the opportunity to elaborate on both their symptoms and exactly how those symptoms prevent them from earning a living wage. Claimants also have the option to be represented by a disability attorney or a non-attorney disability representative (many of whom are former Social Security and DDS employees and have an indepth knowledge of how the system works) at their hearing, which can absolutely improve their chances of winning.

About 60% of all disability denials that occur at the first two levels of the system (disability application and reconsideration appeal) are overturned by ALJs when the claimants have legal representation.

Is it ever a good idea to forgo the appeal and simply start all over with a new claim? Rarely. Unless there is some highly significant new medical evidence, a new claim is likely to yield the exact same result as it did the first time around.

There are some exceptions, however. If your initial claim denial was based on a technicality, such as the fact that you had too many assets, or made too much money at the time, then a new claim makes sense (if your financial situation has worsened).

Essential Questions

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Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

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Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

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These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

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Permanent Social Security Disability

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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.