Many West Virginia residents make the decision to apply for Social Security disability benefits after experiencing a significant injury or disabling condition that has left them unable to work. However, lots of applications from people with bona fide disabilities are frequently denied, especially in the early stages of the process. When an applicant receives a notification of a denial, there are several steps that they can take to help protect their interests moving forward.
The first step after receiving a disability benefits denial is to contact the local Social Security office where the claim was initially filed. There, an applicant can request an appeal, and the necessary forms will be sent by mail. Many people choose to instead file a new claim. However, the possibility of success is much greater by appealing a denial than by making a new benefits application.
The next important step for an applicant can be to contact a representative, especially a disability lawyer. While people can represent themselves throughout the process, having an attorney can be very important for achieving a successful outcome. The lawyer will work to prepare the case further for a disability appeals hearing, presided over by an administrative law judge. Legal counsel could also obtain updates, file the appeal and respond to requests for information from the Social Security Administration.
Of course, submitting the appeal before the deadline is particularly important. Social Security provides a total of 65 days to receive the completed appeal. The appeals process is often the most successful mechanism to secure much-needed Social Security disability benefits.