Social Security Disability RC

How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
Social Security Disability list of impairments
How to Qualify for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyers FAQ, Disability Back Pay

You should file for disability benefits in Texas as soon as you become disabled

Because the disability process (and this goes equally, of course, for Social Security Disability and SSI disability benefits) can be so long, not to mention emotionally draining and financially devastating, you should file for disability soon as you become disabled (What makes you disabled for SSD, Social Security Disability Benefits, OR SSI?).

That's the short answer to the question of when a person should file for disability in Texas. Here's a more detailed answer. Since, in the Social Security Administration's eyes, you cannot be working and earning above a certain amount each month and still be considered disabled, you should file for disability as soon as your condition restricts your ability to work and earn at least a certain amount in monthly gross earned income.

What is this gross monthly earnings cap, above which you are not considered disabled? This amount is referred to as SGA, or substantial gainfuly activity, and the amount changes each year. It is subject to change and in the last few years has changed every year as an adjustment for inflation. Too see the current SGA limit on earned income for those who are either A) applying for disability or B) receiving disability benefits, you may wish to view this page: SGA limit on earned income for disability beneficiaries. Remember: if you earn at least this much, you are not eligible to receive Social Security Disability or SSI benefits no matter how bad your physical and/or mental condition was. And this pertains even to cases in which an individual's condition actually meets a listing.

Common questions about filing for disability in Texas
Why you should file for disability as soon as possible

The most basic reason is that the process is long and claims are often denied at the first two levels of the system. Disability applications tend to take 3-4 months to process to a decision. Sometimes they take considerably longer. With a denial rate of approximately 70 percent nationwide on initial claims and a denial rate of 67.4 percent in Texas in a recent year, this means that most applicants will need to file a request for reconsideration appeal.

However, reconsiderations have an even higher turn-down rate. In the same recent year in Texas, reconsideration appeals had an 87.4 percent denial rate. Therefore, these same claimants were forced to file the second appeal, the request for a disability hearing. At the hearing level in Texas in that same year, 59.8 percent of cases heard by judges were approved. Less than half.

However, if you count these individuals plus those who were actually approved at the disability application and reconsideration levels, it turns out that about 75 percent of applicants can expect to be approved for SSD or SSI as long as they pursue the appeals process at least as far as the level of a hearing involving a judge.

Can you still file for disability even if you are working at the time? Yes, but as was mentioned, if your monthly gross earnings are at the SGA level or higher, you will not be eligibile to actually receive benefits. In fact, though your application will be taken, it will be very quickly denied (this is called a technical denial) without the benefit of ever having gone through the medical evaluation process.

How do you go about making an application for Social Security Disability benefits in Texas?

If you are disabled and unable to work, you should contact your nearest social security office as soon as possible. This is literally all you need to get the ball rolling for a disability application.

Once you get someone on the line, simply inform them that you need to file for disability benefits. That by itself will get the application process started. At that point, arrangements will be made for you to be interviewed either at a local social security office, or, perhaps more conveniently, over the phone.

Whether your disability application will be for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) or SSI will be determined by the social security office (meaning you will have no control over this).

How does this determination get made? If the disability application is for a minor, the claim will be for SSI. If the disability application is for an adult who has worked but has an insufficient number of work credits to quality for SSDI, it will also be for SSI.

However, if the disability application is made by an individual who has paid a sufficient amount into the "system", meaning that they have achieved insured status, the application will be for SSDI, most commonly referred to as Social Security Disability.

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

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

Who can help me file for disability?

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?

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, 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 homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.