Should you get help from a disability attorney in Texas if you have not filed yet?

Hello, I resigned from my job in October due to constant pain, anxiety, depression, exhaustion, inability to focus, & fear of a mental breakdown. I am seeing several Dr.s for the many issues I have been experiencing.

After a lot of testing, bloodwork, etc, I found out there's a possibility I may have MS based on my MRI's family history, symptoms, but also have arthritis/disk issues, nerve pain, numbness, incontinence, anxiety, and depression. I am only 54, and thought that my issues would subside after I left my job. However, that hasn't happened and I left almost a year ago.

I am having many cognitive issues: memory, inability to focus, very slow processing, etc. Is there someone that can assist me with applying for Social Security Disability? I'm unable to organize my thoughts on my own and don't know where to turn for help in getting this process started. Should I start with an Attorney? We have lost 1/2 our income with me not working & my husband earns less than 35K a year.

Thank you for any information you may have. Hopeful in Texas.

If you have left your job and are no longer earning a substantial and gainful income as a result of a severe medical impairment (and it sounds, from your description, that all of these things are true), then you should file for disability.

Should you get representation in Texas if you have not filed a claim yet? That is a common question. Some will argue that you shouldn't bother because of two things. One, if you win your case you will have to give up a fee for representation to the attorney or non-attorney who handled your claim (currently, the maximum fee is $6000 which is deducted from your back pay). Two, there is usually little for a representative to do on your case at the initial claim level.

However, your situation is a bit different. It is similar to individuals who, due to a medical condition (memory loss, disabling depression, a condition causing pain, or a condition causing mobility problems), would have significant difficulty initiating the application process.

Common questions about filing for disability in Texas
In such scenarios, I do not think it is unreasonable to look into obtaining representation from either a disability attorney or a non-attorney claimant's representative. Some reps will tell you that they do not handle claims until the actual claim has been filed (meaning they do not want to help you with your paperwork) and some reps will tell you to wait till you have been denied before they will get involved (meaning they understand that there may be little for them to do at that point).

However, some reps will actually take your case and then assist you will getting it filed with a Social Security office. To find this type of rep, you will simply need to start making phone calls. I would guess that you shouldn't have to make too many calls in your area before you find one that will take your case and help you get started. Good luck with your case, sincerely.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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