Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

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

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Qualifying for disability in Texas at a hearing

Continued from: Eligibility and qualifying for disability in Texas

According to recent statistics published by SSA, of all applications for Social Security disability that were decided at the hearing level, 76 percent resulted in an allowance. Statistics show that applications for both SSD and SSI had an allowance rate of 55 percent. These statistics were for all classes of applicants including disabled workers, disabled adult children, and widowers and widows.

In Texas, the hearing approval rate varies from 40% (the Houston Bissonnet hearing office) to 42% (the San Antonio hearing office), to 47% (the Houston North hearing office), to 50% (the Dallas downtown hearing office), and to 52% (the Dallas North hearing office).

As one can see, the odds of winning at a disability hearing in Texas are a bit lower than in the nation at large, and lower than in many other states. For this reason, of course, it becomes even more important for a person filing for disability in Texas to be fully prepared by the time they get to a disability hearing.

Common questions about filing for disability in Texas
Texas disability hearings

The process of reaching a decision at a disability hearing is arguably the same as with the intial claim or reconsideration appeal. That's because the same system of rules and eligibility requirements is in place. Once again, the decision-maker, this time a judge, must determine if a claimant meets a listing.

Note: See If the person filing for disability meets the listing, can the judge still deny benefits?

If they do not, the judge will determine if the claimant is incapable of returning to their past work. If so, are they incapable of doing some type of other work? If that is true, the judge may approve the case.

However, there are differences between the hearing and the first two levels, the application and reconsideration appeal.

1. While an examiner does not meet the claimant, the judge will see the claimant and their representative (who may be an attorney or non-attorney representative) at the hearing (unless the claimant is scheduled for a video hearing which the claimant has the right to decline).

2. Social Security will not gather any medical evidence for the case. So, this means that the last evidence in the case file will be from the reconsideration appeal, meaning it will be many months old. Since Social Security cannot approve a case without recent medical evidence, it will be incumbent on the claimant or their representative to obtain records from recent medical visits and submit them to the judge.

3. While disability examiners routinely ignore the statements provided by a claimant's own doctor at the application and reconsideration levels, judges give them credence if they are in line with the claimant's other medical evidence. Thus, a doctor's statement in the form of a medical source statement can help qualify a case.

4. At the first two levels, examiners make their decisions in a vacuum. But at the hearing, the judge will ask the claimant questions. The disability attorney or representative may also ask questions. If the judge has elected to have a medical expert or vocational expert present at the hearing, the attorney may ask questions of that individual.

The goal at the hearing, whether the claimant is represented or not, is to show that, based on the available evidence, the claimant no longer possesses the ability to work and earn a substantial and gainful income, either at their past work, or at some type of other work. Doing this will require showing that the medical evidence demonstrates that enough functional limitations exist as a result of the claimant's condition, or conditions, so as to make work activity not possible.

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?