Filing for Disability in Texas

The wait times for ALJ hearings in Texas for Social Security and SSI disability benefits are shorter than the national average.

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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and SSI disability benefits are provided through the federal government, but the disability determination process differs in each state. In Texas, after you apply to Social Security for disability benefits and your application is reviewed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) field office, your application is sent to the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) in the Division for Disability Determination Services (DDS). It is here that a disability specialist is assigned to your case to make a decision regarding whether or not you will receive disability benefits.

What are my chances of winning disability benefits in Texas and what is the average wait time?

In Texas, you have a better-than-national-average chance of receiving benefits after your initial application: 38% of initial applications are approved in Texas, while only 34% are approved nationally. Additionally, the processing time for initial cases is four days less than the national average, with average processing time in Texas being 85 days for initial cases.

At the disability hearing level (the second level of appeal), you have a less-than-national-average chance at winning benefits in Texas, but the wait time to get a hearing is significantly less. In Texas, you will wait an average of 8 months for a hearing, while the national average is over 11 months. Your chance of having your disability claim approved is 41%, while your chance of being denied benefits are 43%. If you are represented by a disability lawyer, your chances of winning increase.

Stage of Application

Texas

Nationally

Initial Application

38%

34%

Reconsideration Review

12.7%

11.3%

Appeal Hearing

41%

58.3%

Hearing Wait Time

240 days

349 days

If I am awarded disability benefits, how much can I expect to receive in Texas?

How much you receive as a disability benefit depends upon the type of benefit you qualify for. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) award amounts depend on the amount that you paid into the Social Security system while working. In contrast, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based benefit, and monthly payments are set by the federal government. For SSI, an individual will receive $698 per month and a couple will receive $1,048 per month (in 2012). These amounts are based on those individuals who have no countable income.

However, each state has the option of paying an additional monthly amount to individuals receiving SSI who reside in their state. In Texas, if you are residing in a Medicaid facility, such as a nursing home, you are eligible to receive up to $60 from the State of Texas on top of your payment from the federal government. (Couples who are living in a Medicaid facility will be considered two individuals once they have lived together for more than 30 days in the Medicaid facility.)

SSI recipients living independently don't receive a state supplementary payment from the State of Texas.

Are there any vocational resources available to me if I need job retraining?

Texas offers vocational rehabilitation services through DARS in the Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS). Individuals may apply to receive vocational rehabilitation services with DRS. Contact information is below.

DARS Division for Rehabilitation Services

4900 North Lamar Blvd.

Austin, TX 78751
Telephone: (800) 628-5115

If you do not wish to go through DRS or are having difficulties with DRS, you can contact the Client Assistance Program (CAP) at Advocacy, Inc. Contact information is below.

Advocacy, Inc.

7800 Shoal Creek Blvd., #171-E,
Austin, Texas 78757
Telephone: (800) 252-9108

How can I contact the Texas DDS where my claim was sent?

Texas has a central DDS office that handles all cases that are approved at the Social Security field offices. Once your application is filled, all questions should be directed to the central office:

DARS Division of Disability Services
P.O. Box 149198, Austin, TX 78714-9198
Telephone: (512) 437-8000 or (800) 252-7009

How can I contact the hearing office in Texas where my disability hearing will be held?

The Regional Hearing Office (Region 6) that covers Texas is located in Dallas:

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

Suite 460
1301 Young Street
Dallas, Texas 75202-5433
Telephone: (214) 767-9401
Fax: (214) 767-9407

There are also 11 local hearing offices (called Offices of Disability Adjudication and Review, or ODAR) that service the state of Texas. Due to Texas's size, four of the 11 ODAR offices that services Texas are actually located in other states. Contact information is below.

The following ODAR services the following field offices: Austin, Corsicana, Fair Park, Oak Cliff, Dallas-West, Georgetown, Lufkin, Mid-Cities, Temple, and Waco

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

Plaza of the Americas
North Tower, Suite 600
700 North Pearl Street
Dallas, Texas 75201
Telephone: (866) 563-3885
Fax: (214) 880-9869

The following ODAR services the following field offices:Dallas-North, Denton, Greenville, Longview, McKinney, Palestine, Pleasant Grove, Sherman, Tyler, and Waxahachie

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

Park Central VIII, 8th Floor, Suite 800
12770 Merit Drive
Dallas, Texas 75251-1220
Telephone: (866) 331-7135
Fax: (972) 341-5153

The following ODAR covers: Abilene, Amarillo, Big Spring, Brownwood, Cleburne, Fort Worth, Fort Worth - South, Lubbock, Midland, Odessa, Pampa, Plainview, and San Angelo

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

Federal Office Building, Room 9A27
819 Taylor Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
Telephone: (866) 613-2744
Fax: (817) 978-4961

The following ODAR covers the following field offices: Angleton, Brenham, Bryan, Galveston, Houston-Northwest, Houston-Southwest, McAllen, and Pasadena, TX

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

9945 Bissonnet Street
Houston, Texas 77036-8203
Telephone: (866) 779-5456
Fax: (713) 349-7380

This ODAR covers the following field offices: Beaumont, Conroe, Houston-Downtown, Houston-Northeast, Houston-Southeast, and Port Arthur

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

GTML Federal Building, Suite 500
1919 Smith Street
Houston, Texas 77002
Telephone: (877) 850-7829
Fax: (713) 209-3262

The following ODAR services Brownsville, TX and Harlingen, TX

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

2009 West Jefferson Avenue
Suite 200
Harlingen, TX 78550
Telephone: (877) 452-6985
Fax: (956) 364-0815

This ODAR covers: Alice, Corpus Christi, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Kerrville, Laredo, San Antonio, San Marcos, Seguin, and Victoria, TX

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

Trinity Building, Suite 100
4204 Woodcock Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78228-1323
Telephone: (855) 829-8915
Fax: (210) 733-8054

This ODAR covers the Marshall field office:

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

Louisiana Tower, Suite 700
401 Edwards Street
Shreveport, Louisiana 71101-6129
Telephone: (866) 690-1805
Fax: (318) 676-3889

The following ODAR covers the El Paso and El Paso-Downtown

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

555 Broadway, NE
Suite 200
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
Telephone: (866) 731-3998
Fax: (505) 346-7862

This ODAR covers the Vernon and Wichita Falls field offices:

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

301 NW 6th Street
Suite 300
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102
Telephone: (866) 701-8094
Fax: (405) 231-5142

This ODAR covers the Mount Pleasant and Parisfield offices:

SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

524 South 2nd Street
McAlester, Oklahoma 74501
Telephone: (877) 748-9767
Fax: (918) 423-7612

Also, if you want legal help, you can visit our Texas disability lawyer page to find a local lawyer who can help you with your claim.

by: , Contributing Author

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