West Virginia residents who are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income may want help doing so. This is because roughly two-thirds of all initial applications are rejected. Assistance may come from an attorney or from a representative who is not an attorney. Either way, applicants will pay the same standard fee which is based on how much an individual receives in retroactive benefits.
The fee is capped at 25 percent of benefits up to $6,000. Payment is not made until an application is approved, and the money comes out of the first check that a person receives. Whoever an individual hires may also bill an applicant for any costs incurred during the application process. If an initial application is rejected, the next step may be to ask for a reconsideration or to take the case directly to an administrative law judge.
Historically, the odds of winning a disability hearing in front of an administrative law judge are higher for those with representation. This is because they may understand the guidelines for applying for SSDI or SSI in addition to knowing how to properly document the severity of the disability. If done correctly, a judge may make an "on the record" ruling, which may help a person get benefits sooner.
Those who are unable to work because of an injury or impairment may be entitled to disability benefits. Having the assistance of an attorney may increase the odds of getting benefits either after an initial application or through appeal. Legal counsel may be able to advise an individual as to what information may need to be provided to have an application approved or initial rejection overturned. An attorney may also be able to expedite the process of getting information into an applicant's file.