During their working careers, Texas residents contribute to the Social Security Disability Insurance trust. Social Security Disability operates similarly to Social Security Retirement. The FICA portion of the withholdings from your paycheck are distributed to several trusts, like Social Security Retirement, Medicare and SSDI. When you need them later, you apply to the federal government for the benefit and, ostensibly, you receive it.
In the case of SSDI, you become entitled to the benefits when you suffer an injury, illness or chronic condition that prevents you from working. Such maladies can range from broken bones and sensory impairments, such as blindness, to skin disorders and mental health issues. When applying for SSD benefits, your claims must be substantiated by medical evidence.
Once they receive your claim and the supporting evidence, the Social Security Administration makes a decision about your eligibility for benefits. This process can take up to several months. If you are approved, you will begin receiving SSD benefits. If you are denied, you can request a review of your claim in a hearing with an administrative law judge, or ALJ.
Unfortunately, the wait times for a hearing with an ALJ are at least a year in most places, with the national average approaching 20 months. There is not much you can do to get around the wait times and bureaucracy that surrounds the SSDI claims process. However, a government study has shown that claimants with representatives are three times more likely to be successful than unrepresented claimants.
Our firm's experienced Social Security Disability lawyers can help to ensure that your initial claim is timely, filled out correctly and properly documented. In the event of an appeal, we can work to improve your chances of success. Please visit our firm's Social Security Disability page to learn more about how we can help you.