Social Security Disability Benefits in Texas
According to Gerontologist, up to 90 percent of older adults living with a disability in a retirement/eldercare/elderly community use some form of assistive technology. If you are disabled, there may be resources available. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers monthly benefits for people of all ages with serious disabilities.
What types of benefits are available?
The SSA offers two forms of disability benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both programs require that you be disabled for at least 12 months.
To qualify for SSDI, you must have worked throughout your life. The SSA will evaluate your job history based on a metric called Work Credits.
To qualify for SSI, you do not need to have worked, but you must have little income or assets. An SSI applicant cannot own more than $2,000 in cash, stocks, bonds, or life insurance.
Health insurance and Social Security benefits
If an applicant qualifies for SSDI benefits, he or she will automatically be enrolled in Medicare after 24 months.
SSI applicants are not eligible for Medicare, but they can receive Medicaid. Medicaid is a state-run program. In Texas, anyone approved for SSI benefits will also automatically be approved for Medicaid.
Some assistive technologies that Medicare or Medicaid may cover are prosthetic devices, canes, crutches, walkers, and both powered and manual wheelchairs.
Additional assistive technology from the SSA
In addition to offering assistive technology coverage through health insurance, the SSA has two programs that allow recipients to pay for assistive technology.
The first program is called “Ticket to Work.” It allows SSDI or SSI recipients to work for at least 9 months without fear of losing their health insurance or Social Security benefits. The Ticket to Work program can be used to obtain vocational rehabilitation services or assistive technologies that make working easier for people with disabilities. These assistive technologies include computer software for the deaf, vans and other vehicles for transportation, wheelchairs, one-handed typewriters, and more.
The second program is called the Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS) and is only available for SSI recipients. PASS allows people on SSI to set aside any income outside of SSI payments for items that would help them perform work. The SSA will not pay for any assistive technologies an SSI recipient may wish to purchase, but saving money under the PASS program will not disqualify beneficiaries from SSI.
How to apply for benefits
Anyone who qualifies for SSDI benefits can complete the entire application online. SSI applications can be started online, but must be finished in-person at a local SSA office. Texas currently has more than 70 SSA offices. Some of the main locations
Austin: 1029 Camino La Costa, Austin, TX 78752
Dallas: 10824 N. Central Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75231
El Paso: 11111 Gateway West, El Paso, TX 79935
Houston: 8989 Lakes At 610 Dr., Houston, TX 77054
San Antonio: 8020 Alamo Downs Pkwy, San Antonio, TX