People in West Virginia who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance often face an initial denial. This is true even for applicants who have serious disabilities and are currently unable to work. Since denials at the initial stage can be confusing, many are uncertain about the next steps to take. They may think that it is better to file a new application for benefits rather than to go through the appeals process on the denied claim. However, it is generally better to proceed with the appeal.
Applicants for SSDI benefits should keep in mind that up to 65 percent of all initial benefits applications are denied at the initial stage. When they file a new claim, they’ll face those same odds the next time around. The same agency will evaluate the application under the same rules, and it is likely to produce exactly the same results. However, an appeal could provide greater hope. The first appeals stage may not lead to a positive outcome as 85 percent of applicants are rejected during the reconsideration stage.
However, it is necessary to move through the process in order to arrive at the final stage — a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Here, where the judge has far greater independence and decision-making authority, an applicant is far more likely to find success. Indeed, 60 percent of the cases that come before administrative law judges win approval when the applicant is represented by an attorney or other representative. For people without representation, the success rate is 40 percent.
Having proper representation can be key in achieving a positive outcome in an application for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. A disability lawyer can help a claimant prepare a full package and provide critical information that addresses key concerns about the ability to work and the extent of impairment.