Overview of Disability
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SSD Mistakes to avoid
Disability for Mental
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Disability through SSA
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Disability for Children
How do I qualify for it?
Working and Disability
Disability Award Notice
Disability Lawyer Q&A
Disability Conditions List
What is a disability?
Your Medical Evidence
Filing for your Disability
SSD SSI Definitions
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Eligibility and qualifying for disability in Texas
Continued from: Social Security Disability and SSI requirements in Texas
To qualify for disability benefits in Texas through the Social Security Disability or SSI program, a person must prove the following:
1. Their medical evidence (which usually consists of their medical records, but can also consist of one or more statements from their treating physcian) must show that they have at least one severe mental or physical medical impairment.
2. The impairment, or impairments, should be severe enough that it lasts at least a full year while also making it impossible for the claimant to:
a) Work and earn a substantial and gainful income at one of their past jobs (done in the 15 year relevant work period that existed prior to the point at which their condition became disabling according to Social Security).
b) work and earn a substantial and gainful income at some type of other work. What does Social Security mean by other work?
How does it actually get proven that a person's case meets this criteria, thus qualifying for disability benefits? We should approach this in two separate ways. First, how decisions are made at the disability application level and reconsideration appeal level and, secondly, how decisions are made at disability hearings.
Common questions about filing for disability in Texas
How disability examiners begin to work on cases
After a person files a claim for disability, either in person at a local Social Security office, over the phone with a local Social Security office, or online, their claim is sent to DDS, or disability disability determination services.
Practically as soon as the case arrives at a Texas DDS, it is assigned to a disability examiner. The examiner's first job will be to start requesting MER, or medical evidence of record. The letters requesting medical records that are sent to the various doctors and hospitals that have provided treatment to a claimant will be determined by the information provided at the time of application.
Therefore, it is very important to list all treatment sources, dates of treatment, names of doctors, contact information. The difficulty invovled with getting all of a claimant's medical records constitutes the single largest contributor to how long disability applications take.
Amazingly, some people only give very sketchy information about their treatment sources on their disability report form, almost as if they think the disability examiner can magically make this information appear. But doing this can cause one's own case to move a lot slower than it might otherwise.
After the medical records have arrived, however, the examiner will begin to comb through the medical records to look for A) what the disagnosed conditions are, B) what the response to treatment has been, C) what the prognnosis is, and D) evidence of functional limitations that affect the ability to do normal daily activities and engage in work activity.
How you qualify for disability in Texas?
Essentially, the disability examiner who is working on the SSDI or SSI claim is looking to see if a person has a medical condition (which can be physical or mental) that satisfies the approval criteria of a listing in the blue book. The listings, or blue book, or impairment listing manual, contains dozens of conditions and the criteria for what makes a person disabled if they have the condition. The criteria is very detailed and based on specific, objective findings such as reports of imaging (MRI, XRAY, CT scan), blood work, spirometry, and other types of medical testing.
Most claims that qualify for disability in Texas are not approved by meeting or equaling the requirements of a listing. The listing requirements for most conditions are fairly difficult to meet.
If the disability examiner does not see that an approval can be made through a listing, then the examiner will use the information in the medical records to assess what the claimant's level of functioning is, otherwise known as their residual functional capacity. A person's RFC rating, for physical conditions, ranges from sedentary, to light, to medium. An RFC rating will indicate how much weight a person can lift, how long they can sit, stand, or walk, and may also reference a person's ability to reach, grasp, bend, crouch, see, hear, and tolerate certain environmental conditions.
If an individual's condition is mental, the RFC rating will address the ability to remember, concentrate, and interact with co-workers and supervisors.
How are these residual functional capacity ratings used? The examiner will look at the person's work history to see if they still have the physical and/or mental ability to go back to one of their former past jobs. To make this determination, the examiner will look at the information provided by the claimant to try to identify each job in something known as the DOT, or dictionary of occupational titles (sort of like using a phone book or doing a Google search).
For example, if someone states that their last job was "truck driver", the examiner will attempt to find out what kind of truck driver. Dump truck driver? Tractor-trailer-truck driver? Delivery truck driver? The one that is identified is important because each job will have different duties and requirements, and require different things from the individual.
And for this reason, again, it is very important the person filing for disability provide very detailed information about their work history in addition to their medical history.
If it appears to the examiner that the claimant cannot go back to their past work, then the examiner will consider their limitations, age, education, and the level of skills they have attained in their work to see if they can actually do some type of other work. If they are so severely limited that this is not possible, they will be approved for disability under either SSDI or SSI. And this type of approval, as opposed to being approved via a listing, will be something known as a medical vocational allowance because it involved reviewing both the medical history and the work history too.
More at Qualifying for disability in Texas at a hearing
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?