What Kind Of Disability Benefits Can You Expect In Houston, TX?

If you’re applying for disability for the first time, you may be wondering what to expect after your application is approved and you’re successful. Of course, every case is different, and we can’t give specific legal advice here. But if you’re getting ready to apply for disability benefits, we can offer a general idea of what you might be able to receive.

What Kind Of Disability Benefits Can You Expect In Houston, TX?

Two Types Of Disability

Disability comes in two versions: SSDI and SSI. While they’re both commonly called “Social Security,” they’re slightly different, but use the same means for determining disability.

  • Supplemental Security Income—for those who have never worked, and/or have limited income. SSI is need-based, and is not related to work history. To apply, you must have less than $2,000 in assets of any kind (cash, stocks, bonds, life insurance, etc.) as an individual, or $3,000 as a couple.
  • Social Security Disability Insurance—for those who have worked and earned enough “work credits,” this program is paid into through payroll taxes (visible on your paycheck stub and W-2.) SSDI pays you or certain members of your family if you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes through regular payroll deductions. You’ll also need to be “medically eligible,” that is, have a long term severe and total disability that keeps you from doing “substantial gainful activity.”

It’s also possible to receive both SSDI and SSI at the same time, depending on your situation. The current maximum federal benefit rate is $750. Should your SSDI fall below that, SSI could make up the difference, depending on what other incomes you may have. However, if you are living with someone, and they are providing food and/or shelter without charge, these “in kind” benefits can be subtracted from your monthly benefit checks.

Texas Disability Benefits

Once you’ve applied for either SSI or SSDI, your claim file is sent to the Texas’s Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency, part of the state’s Department of Assistive and Rehabilitation Services (DARS). DDS claim examiners will review your file, including medical information, and decide whether you meet Social Security’s disability definition. If your claim is denied, you can request a DDS reconsideration.

If you’re eligible for SSI in Texas, you are automatically eligible for Medicare, and should be automatically enrolled. If you’re not automatically enrolled, you should contact your local Social Security to ask about it. You may also be eligible for SNAP benefits (also known as “food stamps.”) These depend on where you live and what your monthly income is.

For disability recipients in who receive Medicare-paid institutional care, Texas adds $60 for those with “countable income” of less than $60 per month. Additionally, as a resident in institutional care, you would only be able to keep $30 of your federal SSI payments.

While Texas doesn’t award additional disability benefits, the state offers additional resources and programs for individuals who are on disability. You can find some Texas disability resources here.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is also available to help with applying for SSI, SSDI and SNAP benefits, as well as independent living services. You can call 211 from anywhere in Texas, or go to Your Texas Benefits website to find a local office.

Assistance is available in the City of Houston through The Houston Mayor’s Office For People With Disabilities. You can contact them by calling 832-394-0814, or email at mopdmail@houstontx.gov.

Waiting Periods

SSDI has a five-month waiting period to begin benefits. Even if your disability is approved on the first try, you won’t be receiving checks until at least the fifth completed month after you become disabled. However, it’s more likely that approval will take six months to a year. Once your payments start, you’ll also receive a “backpay” lump sum for the months you were eligible but weren’t paid.

Your Houston LTD Disability Attorney

Most attorneys aren’t familiar with the intricacies of disability filings, but we are. With over 4,000 successful cases, we focus on helping disabled people receive the benefits they need. We’ve handled multiple situations that are similar to yours. We have the experience to help you through the process for a successful outcome.  The Herren Law Firm can help you with your application, any necessary appeals and help you get the disability benefits you need so you can live your life. Contact us today at 713-682-8194 to schedule your free consultation. There’s no obligation, and no up-front fees.  We only collect if we win your case.


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