From paying off medical bills to losing a significant amount of money caused by a job loss, suffering from a disability can put you in a deep financial hole. Created to address the financial issues stemming from suffering a disability, Social Security disability benefits come from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
A majority of applicants that file disability claims receive a denial from the SSA. This means filing a disability claim in Texas often involves understanding how to file a successful appeal for reconsideration. A Texas disability benefits appeal gives applicants a second chance to make a positive first impression with the SSA.
Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits in Texas
Filing for disability benefits in Texas gives claimants three different ways to receive financial assistance. You can visit one of the 63 SSA field offices in Texas to file your claim. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most offices have remained closed or operate during restricted hours.
The SSA has developed a user-friendly page for applicants to file a Social Security disability claim. Just remember that you might have to wait on hold for a significant amount of time before speaking with a representative from the SSA.
Texas Disability Benefits Claim Statistics
Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, an overwhelming number of appeal hearings held before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) have moved from the courtroom to an online portal. Nearly two-thirds of Texas residents receive a denial letter from the SSA for the initial claim.
Appeal for reconsiderations get approved just 13 percent of the time. This means there is a good chance that your claim can end up in the hands of an ALJ. If your claim goes to an ALJ, you have about a 50 percent chance of winning financial assistance to cover the costs associated with your disability. Texas residents that file a claim for disability benefits wait on average 14 months before attending an ALJ hearing.
Reversing a Social Security Disability Denied Claim
Having disability benefits denied in Texas does not mean you cannot get the money that you deserve for your disability. The SSA has established a multi-step appeals process that starts with the filing of an appeal for reconsideration.
As the first step of the appeals process, an appeal for reconsideration involves going through the same process that you went through when you filed your initial claim. A team of medical examiners from the SSA reviews your appeal for reconsideration, with a focus on confirming that your medical symptoms warrant the approval of Social Security disability benefits.
Receiving Texas disability benefits during the appeals process can involve completing a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment. An RFC assessment is especially helpful for a claimant that has not gathered and organized sufficient medical documentation for the SSA to review.
The physician appointed by the SSA to conduct your RFC assessment is responsible for measuring your ability to complete standard job functions. For example, if your job requires heavy lifting throughout the day, the doctor administering your RFC assessment might put you through some exercises that measure your strength.
An RFC assessment can convince the team of medical examiners from the SSA to approve your appeal for reconsideration.
If you lose your appeal for reconsideration, the next step in the appeals process is to take your claim in front of an ALJ. An ALJ hearing allows you to argue your case in a trial-like setting by interviewing witnesses under oath and submitting evidence that verifies the severity of your disability.
Getting Help Filing a Disability Claim in Texas
Having your Social Security disability denied by the SSA can be discouraging. However, you can come back stronger the second time around by working with a Social Security lawyer.
Your attorney can help you receive disability benefits in Texas by building a stronger case that is backed up by more medical evidence. If your case goes in front of an ALJ, your lawyer does all the legal legwork such as interviewing medical experts that confirm your diagnosis, as well as demonstrating how the symptoms of your disability have prevented you from holding down a full-time job.
If you did not enlist the legal help of a Social Security lawyer when you filed the initial claim, you have a second chance to get legal help before you file an appeal for reconsideration.