Who processes my DARS application in Texas?The Social Security Administration (SSA) process can be complicated to understand, and at any given time, you may be unsure who is reviewing your application or how long you may have to wait to hear from the SSA.
So how does the process work? The first step is to complete the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application and mail it or take it to the nearest SSA office. Next you may spend weeks or months waiting to hear from the Social Security Administration, most likely wondering if the application has been lost.
Each states process is a bit different, but this blog will address who processes information for Texas applicants and why it may take so long to get the answer you so desperately need.
Who is DARS?
Texans with disabilities, who are applying for SSDI or SSI, must first apply for benefits at their local Social Security Administration office. If the local SSA office determines that the applicant meets the nonmedical requirement of either SSI or SSDI they will forward the application to DARS or the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services.
If your application does not meet the nonmedical requirements for SSDI or SSI the regional SSA office will immediately send a denial notification and your application will not be forwarded to the DARS office, your medical records will not requested and the SSA will not evaluate the severity of your case.
If your application meets the nonmedical requirements for disability it is sent to DARS, and it will be assigned to a disability specialist. DARS will request your medical records and determine if your condition meets or exceeds a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments. If it does not, they will review your age, work history, education and residual capacity to work to decide if you qualify for SSDI or SSI through a medical vocational allowance.
If the DARS office does not have enough medical information to make a disability determination decision they will send you to a consultative examination for a physical or mental evaluation. The consultative examiner will provide information to the DARS office so a disability decision can be made.
Mission of DARS
According to DARS their mission is,"To improve the quality of life for Texans with disabilities who apply for or receive SSA disability benefits, by making timely and accurate disability determinations."
DARS is funded entirely by the Social Security Administration and they are responsible for reviewing the SSDI or SSI application; however, the SSA is solely responsible for determining whether an applicant is eligible to receive disability benefits.
How do I contact the Texas DARS office?
Due to the length of processing there may come a time when you may want to contact the DARS office and find out the status of your application. To contact the DARS office in Texas you can call them at 512-437-8000 or 1-800-252-7009 with information or questions concerning your claim.
DARS Division of Disability Services
P.O. Box 149198, Austin, TX 78714-9198
Expediting my Disability Case
Because the disability determination process can take weeks, months or years the most important thing is to understand who is processing your application, what information they need and to periodically follow-up on your application to ensure it has not been lost.
Why does it take so long to get a disability determination? The answer is simple. There are millions of applicants for disability each year and the SSA is simply overwhelmed by disability applications.
- Social Security Disability in Garland, TX (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- SSI v. SSDI (disabilitybenefitshome.com)