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

Getting ready for a Disability Hearing in Texas

If you have filed an application for either Social Security Disability or SSI in Texas, have been denied, and now need to have your case heard by a federal administrative law judge, you will certainly want to prepare before your disability hearing date comes around.

But how do you prepare for an SSI or SSD disability hearing? Well, consider first how far off your hearing date is. The time required to get a disability hearing can be very extensive.

That is, if you file a "request for hearing before an administrative law judge" and send it in to the social security office, that office will have to transfer your file to the Office of Hearings and Appeals (note: hearings offices are now known as ODAR, the office of adjudication and review, though the former name actually makes more sense) that handles your jurisdiction. "Which" hearing office your case winds up at will probably determine, to a great extent, how long it will take for your case to be scheduled for a hearing.

Why is this the case? Simply because different different disability hearing offices serve different populations and, consequently, may have larger or smaller backlogs to contend with. Unfortunately, you can't do anything about which hearing office will handle your hearing, just as you are allowed no input into which administrative law judge will eventually hear your case.

The general rule is something akin to this, however: once you request a Social Security Disability or SSI hearing, you can probably expect, in most cases, to wait at least a year before a hearing date is granted. In some parts of the country, the wait is close to two years, so, in this regard, a wait time of a year, though bad, is not the absolute worst case scenario.

According to recent data provided by SSA, the waiting time to get a hearing date in Texas after a hearing has been requested is as follows: Fort Worth disability hearings office: 11 months; San Antonio disability hearings office: 16 months; Rio Grande disability hearings office: 18 months; Dallas (downtown) disability hearings office: 14 months; Dallas north disability hearings office: 12.5 months; Houston (north) disability hearings office: 10 months; Houston (bissonnet) disability hearings office: 13 months.

Common questions about filing for disability in Texas
But, because in any scenario, it will take a long number of months to get a disability hearing scheduled...there is really little for you to do with regard to preparing for a hearing. Probably the best advice is simply this: if you have access to medical care, keep going. Because the decision that will be made on your SSD or SSI claim will be based on what's in your medical records. And the more your medical history is documented, the better.

Now, on the other hand, if you have requested a hearing for SSI or SSD and have had some indication that your hearing date may be approaching should do exactly the same thing. Yes, that's right. Keep going to the doctor periodically. Because as important as your cumulative medical record is, it is even more important for a disabilty judge to see that your condition is disabling currently, as in "the here and now". Without recent evidence on which to decide your claim (no older than 2 months),it will be very difficult for an administrative law judge to conclude that you are, in fact, disabled.

Maintaining regular medical treatment will be one of the best ways for you to prepare for your hearing. However, preparing for your hearing doesn't stop there. To win your case, you would be advised to get representation before your hearing in Texas. Remember the old adage "He who represents himself has a fool for an attorney"? That also applies to disability hearings simply because judges (who are also attorneys) preside over them.

Getting a disability lawyer in Texas is one of the best ways to prepare for your hearing. But adequately preparing for you hearing also means obtaining a social security attorney prior to the hearing date. Ideally, you should get a lawyer at least two months prior to your ssd or ssi hearing so the lawyer will have plenty of time to prepare, i.e. gather your medical records, make copies of them, send copies to the judge handling your case, and read them himself.

Most likely, your disability representative (meaning your disability attorney or your non-attorney disability representative who may be a former SSA employee) will attempt to obtain what is known as a medical source statement from at least one of your treating physicians. Medical source statements can be powerful tools for winning cases at the administrative law judge disability hearing and such statements can provide evidence that is far superior to simply one's medical records which very often do not possess the type of information regarding an individual's functional limitations which is needed to win a claim.

Your disability representative will probably also inquire, prior to a hearing, into your case file and vocational work history. Therefore, properly preparing for a Social Security Disability hearing will also include:

A) Reviewing your Social Security file to learn why your claim was denied at the application and reconsideration appeals,

B) Learning about your medical treatment history, including your diagnoses, treatment, and reponse to treatment, and

C) Learning about your work history -- this is vital since SSA denies most claims on the basis of a claimant's supposed ability to perform some type of other work even if they cannot return to their past work.

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

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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.