West Virginia residents may find that it takes weeks or months for a decision regarding their application for Social Security Disability benefits. It may be frustrating to know that there is no deadline for when an application must be processed. However, it is also important to know that those who review applications are assessed on their ability to process claims in a timely manner. Therefore, the lack of a timely decision is generally not due to lazy claim reviewers.
Generally speaking, an application will remain in limbo until a reviewer has the medical records necessary to make a decision. This may be delayed if an applicant providers incomplete or inaccurate contacts for a doctor or hospital. Even if the information is accurate, it may take time for a doctor or hospital to respond to a request to transfer needed information. In some cases, a decision cannot be made until an applicant receives surgery or another type of therapy.
If the treatment helps to improve a person's condition, it may not be possible to receive benefits. When an examiner has any doubt about how a person may respond to treatment, a decision is generally not made until after it is complete. To be eligible for benefits, an individual must be unable to support him or herself for at least a year.
Those who have an inability to work may want to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. If an application is denied, it might be advisable to work with an attorney to appeal that decision. Applicants may also wish to work with an attorney to find out why an application may be taking longer than anticipated to be processed.