If you live in Texas and you're unable to work due to a disabling medical problem, you may apply for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA administers a program called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) where if you meet certain medical and work requirements, you'll receive a monthly Social Security disability payment. Depending on your preference, in Texas you may apply for disability online, in person or by telephone.
Meet the requirements for using the online application system for disability. You must be at least 18 years old; worked; paid taxes to Social Security; have a disabling medical condition; and live in the United States, one of its territories or commonwealths.
Gather the information and documentation that is required for you to apply for disability benefits online; you can obtain a checklist from SSA's website entitled "Disability Benefits Checklist for Adults Applying on the Internet." Some items you may need include: last year's W-2 form; the Social Security numbers of your children and spouse; medical records; contact information of any doctors, social workers and other health care providers who have treated you; medications you are taking; and your work history (where and when you worked).
Complete an online Disability Benefits Application on SSA's website.
Fill out an online Adult Disability Report on SSA's website.
Download and print out the Authorization to Disclose Information to the SSA; for health care providers to release your medical information, you must complete, sign and submit this form to your local SSA office.
Find an SSA office near you. There are 70 offices across the state of Texas; to locate the one closest to you, use the office locator on SSA's website.
Mail or bring your completed Authorization to Disclose Information to your local SSA office in Texas.
Wait three to five months to hear about your eligibility for disability benefits.
Call the SSA at 800-772-1213. Tell the representative that you wish to apply for disability.
Decide whether you can attend the disability interview in person or by phone. The representative will schedule an appointment for you either at your local SSA office in Texas or over the phone.
Read through the Disability Starter Kit. If you called the SSA to set up an appointment, you will get the kit by mail. The kit contains helpful information on the disability benefits process and will help prepare you for the interview; it has a checklist of items that you should have with you during your interview and a fact sheet that provides information about applying for disability. Prepare the information and documentation required to apply for disability according to the Disability Starter Kit.
Show up at your interview with the documents and information you have collected. Or, if your appointment is over the telephone, be sure that you are available during that time.
Complete a disability benefits application and a disability report during your interview. An SSA worker will help you with this paperwork either in person or over the phone.
If you don't agree with the SSA's decision about your eligibility for benefits or the amount of benefits that you're eligible for, you may appeal the decision.
- If you don't agree with the SSA's decision about your eligibility for benefits or the amount of benefits that you're eligible for, you may appeal the decision.
Nancy Chen is a professional writer and owner of a pet care business. She is also certified to teach English to middle and secondary school students. Chen holds a bachelor's degree in English and comparative religions from Tufts University, as well as a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University.