Texas Disability Benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance and SSI

Find out about Texas' state supplemental payments, plus how to appeal a denial of Social Security disability or SSI and whether you qualify for Medicaid.

By , J.D. · University of Virginia School of Law

If you are a resident of Texas and you can no longer work due to a long-term physical or mental disability, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To apply for SSI or SSDI, you can contact the Social Security field office nearest you or you can call Social Security at 800-772-1213. You can also start your application online. But if you are applying for SSI, you must have a phone or in-person appointment to complete your application.

Disability Evaluation in Texas

Once Social Security determines that a claimant (disability applicant) in Texas meets basic eligibility criteria for either SSI or SSDI, the agency sends the claimant's file to Texas's Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency. Texas's DDS is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Claims examiners who work at DDS review medical information in the claimant's file and decide whether the claimant has a condition that meets Social Security's definition of disability.

DDS has just one office, in Austin. Its mailing address is: Division of Disability Determination Services, P.O. Box 149198, Austin, TX 78714-9198, and its telephone number is (800) 252-7009.

Disability Appeals in Texas

If your initial claim is denied, the next step in Texas is to seek a "reconsideration" from DDS. If your request for reconsideration is denied, then the next step is to ask for a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). ALJ hearings are administered through Social Security's Office of Hearing Operations (OHO), formerly known as the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The main OHO office in Texas is located at Suite 460, 1301 Young Street, Dallas, Texas 75202-5433. Its telephone number is (214) 767-9401.

OHO also operates eight hearing offices that serve Texans. Hearing offices are located in Fort Worth, Harlingen, and San Antonio, plus Dallas and Houston each have two hearing offices. In addition, the hearing office in Oklahoma City serves some Texans close to their borders. To find the office that serves your location, check Social Security's hearing office locator.

Additional Assistance for SSI Recipients in Texas

State supplement. Texas does not pay out additional state payments to all SSI recipients in the state, but it does supplement SSI for those receiving institutional care that is paid for by Medicaid. SSI recipients who live in Medicaid-funded nursing homes or intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities can receive a monthly supplement of $60, so long as their countable income is less than $60. The supplement is meant to offset the cost of institutional care.

SSI recipients living in Medicaid facilities only get to keep $30/month of their federal SSI payment. So institutionalized individuals with no countable income who are eligible for the full federal benefit rate of $771 will receive $90/month ($30 in SSI and $60 in the state supplement).

These state supplemental payments are administered by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). If you live in Texas, you can call 2-1-1 to find an HHS office near you. You can also use the My Texas Benefits site to find the closest office.

Medicaid. All SSI recipients in Texas, regardless of their living situations, are automatically eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid eligibility for SSI recipients in Texas is administered by the Social Security Administration. If you receive SSI, you should automatically be enrolled in Medicaid. If you have not been enrolled, contact your local Social Security office to find out why.

Texas Disability Lawyers

If you want help with your reconsideration or appeal hearing you can locate an attorney to handle your disability case in Texas by putting your zip code in the disability attorney locator tool below.

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