Texas Social Security Benefits

Texas Social Security Benefits | Herren LawSocial Security Benefits are not only for retirees! Most everyone is familiar with retirement benefits, but what if you need help before you reach the ripe old age to retire?

We spend our formative years working hard, keeping the proverbial nose to the grindstone. Coming from a society of workaholics, we rarely take vacations, multi-tasking is a given, and our only objective is to climb the ladder-to-success. Then, the unthinkable happens. This wasn’t part of any long-term plan and it certainly isn’t by choice.

Social Security Benefits for the Disabled

Many deserving people have difficulty with the complicated process of applying for disability benefits and appealing unfavorable decisions.

At Herren Law Office we guide our clients through this process and are often the difference between success and failure.

Below you’ll find important information to begin your research on Disability Benefits.

This can be a bit overwhelming and we encourage you to contact us for a Free Case Evaluation. Complete the online form or call us now and we’ll work through this information with you.

What is the Disability Benefits Insurance Program

The Social Security Administration administers the Disability Benefits Insurance (DBI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The Disability Benefits Insurance program is available to any former worker who is unable to work, for any reason, and who has accumulated sufficient quarters by payment of FICA taxes. To be eligible, the former worker must have 40 quarters during the ten years preceding the onset of disability, twenty of which must have been during the preceding five
years.

Applying

Each claimant must file a written application. The Social Security Administration will accept applications in person in one of the District Offices and on the Internet. Applications can also be made on the telephone. The District Office will assign a certain date and time and call the applicant for a telephone interview. Telephone applications must be followed up with a signed written application. At the Herren Law Office in Houston, an experienced disability attorney can also help you file your application from our office.

Date of Onset

Note that the 40/20 quarters requirement is based upon the onset date of the disability, usually the date on which the applicant last worked. It is not dependent on the date of application. Before you apply give some careful thought to the onset of your disability. The onset is the date on which you could no longer work. Sometimes a person will attempt to work after the true onset date. If the work attempt(s) is of only a short duration you should go back in time to the date of last full time employment and request that any subsequent employment be considered an unsuccessful work attempt.

Finding Your Benefit Level

Any worker or former worker can determine the amount of her disability benefits. Contact the Social Security Administration and request an earnings report. The earnings report is a compilation of annual wages reported for every taxpayer. It also includes the calculated amount of disability benefits for that wage earner as well as the wage earner’s family’s maximum benefits.

Medicare Included

In addition to the monthly cash benefits, Social Security Benefits include Medicare. The former worker is eligible for Medicare two years after the onset of disability. The benefits are comparable to retirement and could be called early retirement. But if you become unable to work while close to early retirement age (approximately 62) you should nevertheless apply for disability benefits instead because of the substantially greater amounts during the life of the individual.

Caution

The application for Social Security Disability should be taken very seriously by all concerned. The applicant should be sure that they are not able to obtain and to hold a job. This means any job, not just the job that they are most familiar with. Disability is not as good as working. Once this determination is made then you should resolve to go the distance with your Representative and see the process through to completion.

Right to a Hearing

Each applicant has the right to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. The judges are positioned in every metropolitan area according to the case load. If one area is behind on its cases another area will send in support judges to hear the cases. You and your Representative should take full advantage of this step to present your case. The judges all follow the same rules. Nevertheless, each judge is different in their own way. Unfavorable decisions by the Administrative Law Judge can be appealed to another step within the Administration, and in some cases to federal court. In rare cases the case will have merit for appeal to the Circuit or even to the Supreme Court level. The applicant should be sure that their Representative is ready, willing and capable of taking their case to federal court if necessary.

Call (713) 682-8194 for a free consultation with a leading disability attorney in Houston, or visit our Houston office.

If you are unable to travel, we will come to you!