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Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Texas

Federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) offers financial support to disabled Americans who are expected to be unable to work for at least one year. SSDI beneficiaries are also entitled to receive federally funded health care benefits like Medicare or Medicaid. In order to collect SSDI benefits, an individual must have worked at some point in their lifetime. Unfortunately, applying for SSDI benefits can be difficult for many Americans.

Roberta Roque, an Advocate Supervisor at Disability Rights Texas, believes the SSDI application process is often tough for many citizens. She said confusion can result in multiple applications, an increased number of appeals, and ultimately, a delay in benefit approval for disabled Americans. She also stated regulations and policies are written in a way that often confuses applicants.

According to Charlie Brittian, a Project Manager at the Social Security regional office in Dallas, many disabled Americans believe all initial SSDI applications are denied. Meanwhile, Roque said applicants with mental health issues often feel their SSDI applications are denied because their disabilities are not physically apparent. Brittain, however, believes most SSDI benefit denials are the result of incomplete medical files because the nation’s Social Security Administration (SSA) does not actually make disability determinations. Instead, state Disability Determination Services offices receive medical records and make disability decisions. Unfortunately, state agency employees never meet SSDI applicants and if records requests are not fulfilled after a certain amount of time, an application is eventually denied. Brittain recommends applicants contact medical providers in order to ensure medical documentation for any disability is submitted in a timely manner. In extremely limited instances, the SSA will also incur the costs of a medical examination.

An SSDI applicant has 60 days to file an appeal following any denial. If an appeal is not timely filed, the application process must begin anew. Instead of appealing a denial, however, many applicants simply apply again. Each time the process is begun, it takes at least three months for an application decision. If an applicant files an appeal and it is denied, however, the applicant may request a hearing. A hearing generally occurs about six months after the denial of any SSDI appeal in the State of Texas. Overall, the entire process can easily take one year from start to finish. Regrettably, many disabled applicants simply become frustrated and give up.

Many Americans believe social security benefits are only available to those who have reached retirement. SSDI was established to provide monetary assistance to injured or disabled Americans who are unable to work for at least 12 months. If you have a mental or physical disability that has left you unable to work, you are urged to discuss your condition with an experienced Texas social security disability lawyer today.

Contact the attorneys at Carabin Shaw if you would like to apply for or were denied SSDI benefits. Our hardworking El Paso social security disability lawyers are available to gather your medical records, help you file your initial SSDI application, or file your appeal. We are also ready and willing to represent you in an SSDI hearing. At Carabin Shaw, our diligent attorneys assist clients throughout Texas including Austin, Beaumont, Beeville, McAllen, Laredo, Seguin, El Paso, Rockport, and San Antonio. To schedule a free confidential consultation with a capable Texas lawyer, call Carabin Shaw toll free at (800) 862-1260 or contact us through the law firm’s website.

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Calls for Federal Cell Phone Ban, Texas Injury Lawyers Blog, April 28, 2012
Additional Resources:

The road to disability payments is rocky, by Brittany Hoover and Walt Nett, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

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