Working Man Creative | How Do You Get Disability in West Virginia?
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How Do You Get Disability in West Virginia?

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How Do You Get Disability in West Virginia?



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To get disability in West Virginia you must first file an application with the Social Security Administration, by either filling out an application online or going in person to your local social security office. It is not at all difficult to file for social security disability benefits in West Virginia.

However, it is difficult to win social security disability (SSD) or supplemental security income (SSI) benefits in West Virginia, where in recent years only about 3 out of every 10 disability applications have been approved. If your initial disability application is turned down and you choose to fight the decision, you can file an appeal with the state Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency; however, since this is the very same agency that shot down your claim the first time around, you should not be overly optimistic about the outcome.

Actually, the West Virginia DDS has one of the worst approval rates for disability appeals, or requests for reconsideration, in the country. Nationally, only about 15% of reconsideration appeals are successful. In West Virginia, the numbers are even more dismal: In only about 1 out of 10 reconsideration appeals is a disability examiner’s decision to deny a claim overturned.

If you live in West Virginia and have been denied disability benefits, there is still hope. Keep in mind that, although it is true that very few disability cases are successful in West Virginia, the odds aren’t great anywhere else in the country either.

In West Virginia, like every other state, the best chance for winning disability benefits is at the second appeal level. Why? Because the second appeal for benefits is decided by a federal administrative law judge (ALJ), rather than a state disability examiner. For whatever reason, ALJs are statistically more likely to grant disability claims than DDS. And, if you have a lawyer, the odds of approval are even better-more than 60 percent of all disability appeals are approved when the claimant has legal representation. Keep in mind that, due to current backlogs in the system, it can take up to two years to have your case heard before an administrative judge! After the long, long disability determination process: initial application, reconsideration appeal, and finally, your chance to appear before a federal judge; you really need to be well prepared.

So, if your initial claim for social security disability benefits is denied, start looking around for a good disability attorney or non-attorney rep as soon as possible, as it’s highly likely you will need to appear at a disability hearing. A lawyer experienced in representing disability cases can help you present your medical records in the most convincing light possible.

In West Virginia, where the odds of being approved for SSD or SSI are even lower than the national average, a well-organized, persuasive, legally sound case is critical to winning benefits.

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