What Is the Disability Claims Process in The Houston Area?

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What Is the Disability Claims Process in The Houston Area? - handicap sign

Disability Claims Process in The Houston Area

If you believe you have grounds to open a disability claim, it is important to educate yourself about the steps involved in this process and to consider retaining an experienced lawyer to represent you throughout. An attorney who can answer your questions and guide you through this process can reduce a great deal of the stress associated with recovering disability benefits. When looking for a disability attorney in Houston make sure you seek out someone who has a broad background in this area and who is highly knowledgeable about the process and the typical pitfalls that can occur. 

What happens if you become ill or sustain an injury that means you can’t go back to work? In addition to the pain of coping with the injury and the uncertainty of your future, you don’t need the added stress of trying to get disability benefits on your own through the traditional application process. 

This is where knowing that you should hire a disability attorney in Houston right away can relieve your fears; even the initial application for disability benefits is confusing at best, and many people might not realize the importance of what they put on that paper for the purposes of their case review. Don’t find out too late that you made a costly mistake; hire a lawyer well in advance to try to get the application right the first time around. 

Approval Rates for Disability in Texas

There are two federal programs that you might be entitled to disability benefits through. It is believed that there are more than 25,000 individuals in Houston getting benefits through disability insurance. The social security approval rate for supplemental security income and social security disability insurance is around 43% for the initial application and a further 20% more might be successful in requesting reconsideration. 

There is a very tight approval process particularly with recent budget cuts, meaning that anyone who is planning to apply for disability should be willing to retain an experienced disability attorney in Houston to assist them if and when they get denied. Furthermore, it can be beneficial to retain a disability attorney in Houston at the outset of submitting your first disability claim because this can help reduce your margin for error or unnecessary delays that are caused by failing to fill out your application properly. 

Certain conditions are also more difficult to get approved. You want to apply with a compelling case that is illustrated in your medical records and all the proper paperwork the first time around. Even when you do this, it’s still possible that you could make a mistake or that a stringent application reviewer denies you. 

Since you are likely going to rely on disability benefits to pay your bills and take care of your children, you’ve got enough to cope with in the wake of this major change to your life. Knowing that you can ask questions of a disability attorney in Houston gives you an important lifeline to make this challenging process much easier and more clear. 

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  • How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits in Houston?

    The primary factor evaluated in any social security application for disability benefits is whether or not the applicant is unable to engage in substantial gainful activity as a result of a documented medical impairment. A certified medical practitioner must be able to testify or state the documented medical impairment and how it impedes the applicant's ability to participate in substantial gainful activity. 

    During the process of your application, you might retain a disability attorney in Houston to evaluate your case and perform an initial assessment to help you understand whether or not you have enough work credits, have had appropriate FICA payroll tax withheld and whether or not your disability meets the determination standards created and used by the social security administration. In the event that you have not accumulated appropriate work credits during this time, you could still be eligible for supplemental security income. 

    There are similar aspects of applying for SSDI and SSI and it is beneficial to retain a disability attorney in Houston who has helped applicants with both types if you are not yet sure of your next steps. A disability attorney in Houston can assist with putting together a strong case that is worthy of approval by the SSA and helps to minimize the possibility for mistakes made that could lead to unnecessary denials. The initial application phase is in fact the most important component of your case and when done properly, can decrease the possibility of having to go through the reconsideration phase completely. 

    A complete collection of documentation of the disability and all medical records should be properly organized for submission to the SSA and all paperwork should be filled out correctly. If there are any possible gaps in your case, your disability attorney in Houston can advise you about these and help you to gather the necessary evidence to support your claim. 

    If you’re even thinking about applying for disability benefits, start collecting your medical records now. You might even want to discuss your condition with your doctor to get their opinion about whether you have reached maximum improvement for the time being. In addition to your doctor, consider speaking with a disability attorney in Houston to get support for your questions around receiving disability benefits for yourself. 

    Likewise, if you’re trying to help a family member with this application, you know just how hard it is to understand what’s being requested in the questions asked. You’re probably fairly nervous about whether making a statement one way or another could harm your loved one’s disability application. This is a common concern and one that prompts family members to call a Houston disability lawyer. Even if you’ve already started the paperwork and information gathering process, you might want to speak to a knowledgeable lawyer sooner rather than later to make sure you haven’t missed anything. 

  • What If I've Already Been Denied? 

    One of the most common reasons to reach out to a disability attorney in Houston is because you have already been denied by the social security administration. Bear in mind that it is in fact quite normal to be denied the first time around and in fact many believe that the government denies plenty of claims that could potentially be successful and counts on an applicant's lack of knowledge or lack of confidence in their claim to keep going forward. 

    There are many cases that could be successful in recovering disability benefits if they were assisted by a knowledgeable disability attorney in Houston or go through the reconsideration process. A social security disability attorney in Houston will be familiar with the types of medical records needed as well as any problem solving efforts that could be required to complete missing information or any flaws associated with the case. Determinations are usually submitted approximately 120 days after the application has been filed. When you work with an experienced disability attorney in Houston, you get the benefit of not just their experience in the cases they have handled but also their access and knowledge of previous cases and past case rulings. 

    Most people are not familiar with the lengthy time period involved in the reconsideration phase. The processing time for the average office of disability adjudication and review is nearly one year, clocking in at 339 days. Initial applications received by disability offices have a denial rate of 40%. At this point in time you'll need a disability attorney in Houston who is familiar with the reconsideration and disability appeals process. This has four stages including reconsideration, a hearing followed by an appeals council review and a district courts case. 

    Your appeal will proceed in the order listed in the event that you obtain a denial. Having an attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your case and can also guide you through this stressful process in a much simpler manner. If you find yourself in need of a social security disability attorney in Houston, you will need to be prepared to gather all of your medical records first. It is strongly recommended that you educate yourself by learning more about the process of recovering disability benefits and whether or not the social security administration has a history of categorizing your medical condition as one that prevents you from substantial gainful activity. In any of these circumstances, the support of an attorney can help ease your fears and ensure that you get your questions answered when they arise for the duration of your case.  

    Time is of the essence both with a new disability case and with a request for reconsideration. Don’t wait too long to take action or the window for getting support for your claim might close. Make sure to keep track of all information related to the case and the important dates for submission; this information could prove extremely helpful in the future when it’s time to submit to the review board.      

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