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West Virginia Social Security Blog

The factors that determine SSD benefit amounts

If a person is collecting Social Security Disability benefits, the benefit amount remains the same regardless of where that person lives. For instance, if a person moved to West Virginia from New York, the recipient would see no change to future payments. This is because the system is a federal one, which means that the rules apply equally in all states. However, those who receive benefits may see changes to their state supplementary benefits.

The amount that people receive depends on a variety of factors, but cost of living is not one of them. The only way they would receive less in benefits in a given month is if they had substantial work activity or if their benefits were garnished. The only way benefits are garnished is to repay student loan, federal tax or back child support debts. They will not be garnished to repay a credit card company or similar creditors.

Appeal period for SSD

West Virginia residents have the right to submit an appeal if their claim for disability benefits has been denied. The Social Security Administration gives claimants 60 days from the date of their decision notice to file an appeal.

Although the appeal period is 60 days long, SSA provides an extra five days to account for the mailing of the decision notice. As a result, claimants have a total of 65 days to submit their appeal.

What to know about applying for permanent disability

If a West Virginia resident is granted disability benefits, he or she will be subject to continuing disability review (CDR). Individuals may be scheduled for diary review dates one, four or seven years after initial benefits are granted. It's important to note that a person must be totally disabled to receive social security disability (SSD) or SSI benefits. This is true even if the disability itself is not necessarily permanent.

Those who want to apply for benefits must show that their condition will not allow them to meet the substantial gainful activity threshold. To obtain benefits, an applicant will prove that the condition won't allow them to return to work or perform any other tasks for at least a year. When an individual is subject to review, he or she must once again show through proper documentation that the condition has not improved since first applying for benefits.

Disability and depression

Many people in West Virginia struggle with clinical depression. For some, the symptoms can be so severe that they interfere with a person's ability to work. Individuals who are unable to work due to their depression might choose to file for Social Security disability benefits.

To qualify for disability benefits, a person's condition must be expected to prevent them from holding a job for at least 12 months or be expected to end in death. A person who is applying for disability must also be able to provide proof about the nature and severity of his or her condition. This is typically done with notes and records from treating medical providers. Severity is determined by how the condition affects a person's ability to perform daily living activities such as cooking, shopping or bathing as well as social functioning and concentration.

The three factors for widow or widower Social Security claims

Your spouse’s passing is a stressful time. Finding yourself in a position to have to plan for you future can be a daunting task. You want to make sure your financial situation is solid, but it can be tough to know where to begin. Determining your Social Security income is usually a good place to start.

If you’ve recently lost a spouse, you should be aware of the Social Security survivors benefits that you’re entitled to. By understanding the three main factors that the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers when deciding your benefits, you can be better prepared for your future.

Housing crisis among disabled individuals

Many West Virginia residents apply for Social Security benefits when they find that they are no longer able to work due to a disability. Across the country, the rising costs of owning or renting a home are outpacing the government benefits received by disabled individuals.

The average Social Security disability monthly payment is only $763 while, on average, a small studio apartment rent payment would cost nearly that entire amount. In some states with higher rent, disabled individuals would not even be able to afford a rental payment.

Does your diabetes qualify you for disability benefits?

Diabetes is a disease that affects many West Virginia residents. How this type of disease will affect its victim differs on a case-by-case basis, and for some, it is possible to manage symptoms and live a relatively normal life. For some, however, this is not possible. You may find that your case of diabetes is severe enough to impact your ability to work.

If you cannot work due to a disabling condition, such as diabetes, you could be eligible for disability benefits. If you are sick, unable to hold gainful employment and unsure of how you will earn a living, you would be wise to explore your option for potentially securing this type of benefits.

Timelines vary for receiving Social Security Disability benefits

Disabilities can impose significant financial hardships on people in West Virginia. Although the process of applying for benefits and gaining approval takes time, the Social Security Administration does strive to make decisions in a timely manner.

People who gain approval for their disability claim either during the original application process or at a reconsideration appeal receive their money more quickly than people who need a hearing with an administrative law judge. When approvals emerge from appeals or initial applications, the agency sends them directly to the applicable regional Social Security office. Once the local office gets the paperwork, a claims representative will set up the claim for payment. Money will be disbursed the first month that the person is eligible for benefits.

Pain is a factor in Social Security determinations

Many individuals living in West Virginia live with pain. It can sometimes be managed effectively, but in other cases, pain can interfere with a person's ability to hold a job. If the pain persists, applying for Social Security Disability benefits may be a good idea.

The standards for receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration are stringent. The majority of first-time claims are denied, and it is not unusual for applicants to have to appeal the Social Security administration's decision more than once. In some cases, however, there are steps an applicant can take to increase their chances of approval.

Mistakes after being denied Social Security Disability

West Virginia residents that have applied for SSI, or social security disability benefits, and have been denied should be careful to avoid making certain mistakes afterward. A denied claim does not have to be the final answer.

One significant error to avoid is not filing an appeal after receiving a denial notification. Applicants, or claimants, should continue to pursue their claims if they believe they are entitled to the benefits. Statistics show that a large number of claims that are pursued through the appeals process are approved.

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