Social Security Disability Resource Center

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What are the qualifications for disability in Texas?

Both SSD and SSI are federally administered programs. Because of this, there is no difference between qualifying for disability in Texas versus any other state.

Regardless of the state a person lives in, to be successful on a claim for Social Security Disability or SSI, a person must prove that they do not have the capability to work and earn the Social Security earnings limit, known as SGA.

This is proven through the evidence in an applicant's medical records which can include not only treatment notes and reports of bloodwork, imaging studies, and the like, but also detailed statements from individual physicians who have rendered treatment to a patient and are, therefore, in a qualified position to comment as to how that person's condition actually limits their ability to function, in a physical or mental sense.

Before a disability claim can actually be evaluated by a disability claims examiner at a Texs DDS (disability determination services, where decisions on disability applications and reconsideration appeals are made), two initial determinations must be made that do not have anything to do with the medical evaluation of the claim.

Common questions about filing for disability in Texas
The first is whether or not the claimant is engaged in work activity. However, not just work activity. Social Security does not bar someone from applying for disability because they are working. Social Security focuses on how much a person is able to earn despite having their condition. Therefore, their earnings at the time they are filing for disability must be less than the SGA limit (see the link in the second paragraph above).

If an applicant's earnings are above the allowed amount, the claim will be denied before the medical evaluation can be done. And this will occur at the Social Security office.

The second qualification is whether or not a person's condition is considered severe. This determination is made by the disability examiner assigned to the case. In most instances, the claimant will be found to have at least one severe, medically determinable medical impairment.

In those somewhat rare situations where there is not a single severe condition (for example, if a person filed on the basis of having a cold or sore muscles or a minor sprain), the case will be denied for NSI, which stands for non-severe impairment.

Most claims, however, will proceed to the third step of the 5 step evaluation process. This is where the disability examiner will examine the medical evidence to see if the claimant has a condition that satisfies the criteria of a listing in the blue book.

The blue book is the nickname for the Social Security listings of impairments. There are adult listings and there are child listings. In either case, these are listings of medical impairments, divided by body system (for example, respiratory, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, endocrine, etc), and the specific medical criteria needed for approval.

Most claims are not approved through meeting or equaling the qualifications of a listing. However, this does not mean that a claim that fails to do this will be denied. In fact, the listings do not even make reference to all medical conditions. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia are not included in the listings.

When a case cannot be approved through the listings, the qualifications process moves on to determining if the individual can work.

Step 4 of the 5 step evaluation process is whether a person can return to their past work. The following links address this:

What Does Social Security Disability and SSI Include As Your Past Work?
What does social security mean by past work?
How does Social Security Disability get Information about your past work?

In some disability programs if a person cannot do their former job, they may receive benefits. But this is not true with either Social Security Disability or SSI. If a person is found to be incapable of going back to the work they did before, the decision process moves on the next qualification, which is other work.

If a person is found to be unable to do some type of other work, in addition to being unable to return to their past work, they can generally expect to receive disability benefits because they will have met the SSA definition of disability.

  • Index of Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

  • 56 Answers to Social Security Disability SSI Questions

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability and SSI Back Pay Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    How long does it take for Social Security Disability or SSI?

    Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices

    Tips, Mistakes, How to Qualify, and How to Win Disability

    Tips and Advice for Social Security Disability and SSI Claims

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify for Disability Benefits

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI, How to Win

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Social Security Disability and SSI Appeal Process - How to file appeals

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    SSI Disability Benefits, Questions and Answers

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Information to start with regarding Disability Claims

    An Overview of Social Security Disability and SSI

    What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

    The Disability Requirements to be eligible for SSD and SSI Benefits

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability and SSI Applications

    Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions and Impairments

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    The SSDRC Disability Blog

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Getting disability in North Carolina

    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?