How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Is it Difficult to Win Social Security Disability in Texas if you have Mental Illness?

Answer: Yes. It can be fairly difficult to win a case in Texas if your primary allegation that you list on a disability application involves a mental condition.

Why is this? I'll draw upon my experience as a former disability examiner for the social security administration to answer this question.

1. Disability examiners know very little about any specific mental illness, or mental illness in general. True, they have the impairment listing manual available to them (also known as the "blue book", a manual that lists the disability criteria for a number of conditions) and they are trained to look for indications of functional limitations in a claimant's medical records.

However, meager training with regard to the nature of mental illness logically leads to a meager understanding of the functional limitations that are part and parcel of mental illness. And this, without a doubt, has an impact on decisional outcomes.

2. Disability examiners (and their unit supervisors and unit psychological consultants) are far too quick to make the determination that a claimant's mental condition has not, or will not, satisfy duration. What do I mean by duration? The definition of disability used by the social security administration carries with it the requirement that, for a condition to be considered disabling, it must last at least 12 months.

Unfortunately, certain forms of mental illness tend to exhibt a pattern of exacerbation and remission. That is, they appear to get better and worse. Bipolar disorder is a good example of this phenomenon.

However, the appearance of a condition remissing may amount to nothing more than "appearance" and may give rise to a conclusion that is entirely incorrect. For instance, a disability examiner may conclude that a claimant's state of disability did not last long enough to satisy the social security administration's defintion of disability when, in actual fact, the condition, from a practical standpoint, never ceased to be functionally limiting at all.

Under Social Security Disability or SSI disability you can win on the basis of a mental disability (and this includes but is not limited to any one of the following impairments: depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, autism, mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, schizophrenia, personality disorder, somatoform disorder, etc)? The answer, of course, is yes.

However, as with any case based on one or more impairments, there is always the chance that an approval will not be made on the basis of satisfying a listing in the listing book but, rather, on the basis of a medical vocational allowance (simply put, if the medical evidence indicates that you can no longer perform your past work or reasonably be expected to perform some type of other work, you may be approved). Also, as with all cases, there is the strong statistical likelihood that a case will not be approved at the disability application level. If a case is denied at the application level, however, a claimant may (and should) file a disability appeal.

The first appeal is the request for reconsideration and the second appeal is the request for hearing before an administrative law judge.

What are your chances of being approved in Texas at either appeal level? At the reconsideration level, in most states, a claimant stands approximately an 85 percent chance of being denied a second time. However, at the disability hearing level a claimant has approximately a forty percent chance of winning benefits if they are unrepresented and approximately a 60 percent chance of winning benefits if they are represented by a disability lawyer or by a non-attorney claimant's representative.

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 SSDRC.com

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 SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Physician Support for Your Social Security Disability Case in Texas
Why most SS Disability Claims are Denied in Texas
Getting seen by a doctor for Social Security Disability in Texas
Is it Difficult to Win Social Security Disability in Texas if you have Mental Illness?
Social Security Disability in Texas and Physicians
What is the Representation Fee for disability claim in Texas?
Who is eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI Disability in Texas?
The Texas Disability Hearing and Doctor Records
Will my doctor help me on my disability case in Texas?
How many people win Disability Benefits from Social Security in Texas?
What do I Bring to a Social Security Disability Application Interview in Texas?

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
How does back pay for Social Security Disability work?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Status of your Social Security Disability or SSI case
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
What is qualifying for disability based on?
How to qualify for disability, qualifying for Benefits
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Disability application, how to file in Texas
Texas disability requirements
Eligibility and qualifying for disability in Texas
What are the qualifications for disability in Texas?
Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in Texas?
Getting a Texas disability lawyer, attorney, or advocate

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com 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 SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.