West Virginia residents may feel that too much time passes between applying for disability benefits and receiving a response. If an application needs to be heard by an administrative law judge, it could take two years for a hearing to take place. As a general rule, a decision can take about three to four months to reach. These wait times could increase as the number of applications surges because of the aging workforce.
One way to decrease the wait time is to provide an examiner with the information they need to make a decision. Generally, decisions are made based on an interpretation of available medical records. The more information about a medical history a person can provide, the better the odds are that they'll obtain a timely and favorable ruling in an initial application.
Individuals who are concerned about the amount of time it takes to process their application could contact the examiner. The examiner might explain why the application has not been processed and if there is anything that could expedite the situation.
If an individual is unable to work, they may be eligible to receive disability benefits. Generally, an individual must show that they cannot find gainful employment for at least a year because of a mental or physical condition. Those who submit complete medical records may increase their odds of having an application approved. However, if an application is denied, an attorney can help a person with the appeal process. This may involve a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.