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What are the disability requirements for filing a claim in Texas?

Both Social Security Disability and SSI disability are federal programs administered by the Social Security Administration. Therefore, filing for SSDI or SSI benefits in Texas will be remarkably similar to what a person encounters in any other state.

There are different types of "requirements" concerning the SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) and SSI (supplemental security income) programs. On this page, we will divide them into easily understandable categories.

The first type of requirements are basic application requirements. And by this we mean the requirements for which a person can simply be allowed to file a disability claim. These requirments also fall under the category of non-medical requirements.

Common questions about filing for disability in Texas
Application requirements in Texas

To be eligible to file for SSI disability, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States. SSI is a need-based program. It provides disability benefits to individuals who may never have worked (including minor-age childen), or who have not worked for long enough that they may no longer be covered for SSDI, meaning they have lost their insured status.

Because SSI is need-based, a requirement for filing for SSI is that a person must not have more than a certain amount in countable assets. For SSI, the limit on how much you can have in assets is currently $2000. See: What are countable assets for SSI?

To be eligible to file for SSDI, you must also be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States. But you must also be insured for SSDI as a result of work credits earned through work quarters.

SSDI is for individuals who have worked long enough to be covered by the program, though it should be noted that many people were once covered for SSDI but lost this coverage after not being in the work force for a long period of time.

SSDI does not have any restriction on how much a person can have in assets. It is simply not an issue.

However, both SSDI and SSI do limit how much a person can work and earn and still be considered eligible to receive disability benefits. This is because neither program assumes that a disabled person cannot work at all. Instead, both programs assume that while a person may be able to engage in some amount of work activity, their physical or mental condition simply prevents them from being able to work and earn a substantial income.

Both a person's assets and current income will be evaluated before any real work is done on a disability case. If a person is found to have too much in assets or earnings, the claim will never make it onto the desk of a disability examiners, examiners being the case processing specialists that make decisions on SSDI and SSI claims for the Social Security Administration. Instead, it will receive what is known as a technical denial.

Medical eligibility Requirements and proving disability

To be eligible to receive disability benefits in Texas, an individual must prove that their case satisfies the Social Security definition of disability. The definition states that one must have a medically determinable severe impairment.

What does this mean? It means, first of all, that the impairment must be considered severe versus non-severe. A broken bone will typically be considered severe (though in very few instances will this result in an approval) while a sprain or laceration will typically be considered non-severe. To use other examples, simple headaches may be considered non-severe while migraines or cluster headaches may be considered severe.

Whether or not a condition is severe will be assessed by the disability examiner working on the case. If a claimant only has non-severe conditions, the case will be denied on the basis of NSI, or non-severe impairment. However, this does not happen often because most people do file claims based on verifiable severe conditions.

How severe must a condition be? The definition of disability also states that the disabling condition must last at least one full year. This is the benchmark that is used. However, it does not mean that a person must wait to be out of work or disabled for a year before applying. It means that the medical evidence must indicate that the condition will be disabling for at least one full year. If the condition will improve to less than an disabling state within a year, then the claim will be denied on the basis of duration.

The definition of disability also states that condition must be severe enough--in the limitations that it imposes--that the individual will be prevented from being able to engage in work activity at a level that earns them a certain minimum income, referred to as substantial and gainful employment. Of course, this inability to work and earn this minimum level of income must exist for at least one full year.

Finally, on the issue of severity, the SSA definition of disability states that the condition must be severe enough that it may possibly result in death.

Now, how does the Social Security Adminisration's definition of disability actually get used to make decisions on disability cases. The page following this one explains that.

Qualifying and Eligility for Disability in Texas.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

General information

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?