Texas Work Injury: Maximum Benefit Aamount


Social Security Disability: Does Your Diagnosis Matter?


In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you have to prove that you have a physical or mental condition severe enough to keep you from working for at least one year.  So, your diagnosis will be very important because no judge will believe that a simple muscle sprain will keep you from working that long.  Most judges will believe that a herniated disc or cancer, or major reconstructive surgery, could be severe enough to keep you off work for a long time.

There is another reason why your diagnosis matters, and you may not have ever heard of it.  The SSA calls it a “listing.”  A listing is a list of certain diagnoses that can be an automatic qualifier for disability benefits if you have the right symptoms.

For example, if you have something wrong with your spine, like a herniated disc or stenosis, AND your MRI shows nerve root compression, AND you have pain, range of motion loss, muscle weakness, sensory or reflex loss, AND a positive straight leg raise test, then you might be an automatic qualifier.

There’s no need for you to know how to prove any of that.  These are all things your lawyer and doctor can get put on paper for you.  What’s important to know is that your symptoms are just as important as your diagnosis.  This is because you might have a herniated disc in your spine, but if it is not causing any symptoms, then it is not affecting your ability to work

It is important to regularly follow up with your doctors so that your symptoms will be documented and the right medical testing can be done.  If you have long periods of time between appointments, it makes it more difficult to prove the severity of your condition.

Your diagnosis and your symptoms are both very important to your disability case.  If you think you might be an automatic qualifier for social security disability benefits, give us a call and we’ll check it out.

Texas Workers’ Compensation: Maximum Benefit Amount


If you have been injured in a work related accident in Texas and are now unable to work, how are you compensated?

If your employer is a subscriber to the Texas Workers’ Compensation system, you are entitled to Temporary Income Benefits (TIBs) if you are disabled due to your compensable injury up until you are returned to work or found to be at Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).

But, how is the amount of your disability (TIBs) check determined.  The insurance carrier pays you according to your Average Weekly Wage (AWW).  We provide a video on how the AWW is determined.

However, some injured workers’ pre-injury wage exceeds the maximum amount a party can receive for TIBs.  The maximum amount of TIBs can not exceed the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW).

The State Average Weekly Wage is is equal to 88% of the average weekly wage in covered employment computed by the Texas Workforce Commission. The amount is adjusted beginning on October 1st and running till the end of the following September.

Benfit rates are paid according the the SAWW on the date the injury occurred.

Temporary Income Benefits are paid up to 100% of the SAWW

Impairment Income Benefits are paid up to 70% of the SAWW

Supplemental Income Benefits are paid up to 70% of the SAWW

Lifetime Income Benefits are paid at 100% of the SAWW for the first year the injured worker qualifies for LIBs

Death Benefits are paid at a rate up to 100% of SAWW.

The SAWW for October 2016 through September 2017, is $913.00.

The Morris Firm, PLLC, info@themorrisfirm.net, (214)357-1782

Texas Workers’ Compensation: Disability


After a work injury in Texas, many workers are entitled to benefits through the Texas Workers’ Compensation system.  These benefits include medical benefits and indemnity benefits (money).

From the date of injury, up to the day after an injured worker is found to be at Maximum Medical Improvement, an injured worker may receive Temporary Income Benefits (TIBs), if they are disabled due to the compensable injury.

The Texas labor Code defines disability as the inability because of a compensable injury to obtain and retain employment at wages equivalent to the preinjury wage.

The medical providers fill out DWC-73 forms providing the restrictions to the injured workers’ ability to return to work.  If the restrictions prohibit the injured worker from working their normal hours or duties, they are disabled.

Even if the injured worker is working, they are entitled to TIBs if they are not making their pre-injury wage.  This can be due to reduced hours or a lower weekly wage due to their injury.

Workers may go in and out of disability up until the date that they are found to be at Maximum Medical Improvement.

The Morris Firm, PLLC, info@themorrisfirm.net, (214)357-1782

Texas Workers’ Compensation: Are You Being Paid The Right Benefit Amount?



If a persons injury is handled under the Texas Workers’ Compensation system, they are entitled to receive benefits which are calculated per their pre-injury average weekly wage (AWW).

Temporary Income Benefits (TIBs), Impairment Income Benefits (IIBs), Supplemental Income Benefits (SIBs), Lifetime Income Benefits (LIBs) and Beneficiary Benefits are all calculated by using the Average Weekly Wage.  Therefore, it is vital that the Average Weekly Wage is calculated properly.

Average Weekly Wage is generally calculated by finding the average wage (including fringe benefits) of the worker for the thirteen weeks prior to the injury.  If there is not a thirteen week history of income with the employer, a same or similar employee may be used.

There are calculation for employees that have multiple employers or that work for school districts.  Make sure and experienced person reviews the benefit amount to confirm it has been done correctly.

Daniel L Morris, The Morris Firm, info@themorrisfirm.net, (214)357-1782


Social Security Benefits


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If you become unable to work, you may be eligible for benefits from the United States government.  the two primary types of benefits are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides benefits to disabled or blind persons who are “insured” by workers’ contributions to the Social Security trust fund. These contributions are based on your earnings (or those of your spouse or parents) as required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Title II of the Social Security Act authorizes SSDI benefits. Your dependents may also be eligible for benefits from your earnings record.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) makes cash assistance payments to aged, blind, and disabled persons (including children) who have limited income and resources. The Federal Government funds SSI from general tax revenues. Many states pay a supplemental benefit to persons in addition to their Federal benefits. Some of these states have made arrangements with Federal government to combine their supplemental payment with our Federal SSI payment into one monthly check to you. Other states manage their own programs and make their payments separately. Title XVI of the Social Security Act authorizes SSI benefits.

Many people may apply or be eligible for benefits under both programs.

Daniel L Morris, The Morris Law Firm, info@themorrisfirm.net, (214)357-1782