Generally speaking, residents of West Virginia and other states are required to wait for a period of five months before they start receiving Social Security disability benefits. The waiting period begins in the month after the established onset date of the person's disability and ends five months after that. In some cases, it may be possible for a person to receive benefits without going through the five-month period but only under specific circumstances.
In order for arthritis to qualify as a disabling impairment under Social Security disability rules, it must prevent the person from working at the level of substantial gainful activity. The SGA level is a threshold on monthly earnings determined by the Social Security Administration to be self supporting. People in West Virginia who earn more than the SGA limit are generally not considered disabled by the SSA. Typically, the applicant's level of work activity will be examined by claims representatives during the interview process.
People in West Virginia with mental and physical disabilities may be eligible to receive disability benefits if they are unable to work. Some people may wonder if their application will be handled differently if they have a disability related to mental illness as opposed to a physical impairment. The evaluation process used by disability examiners and administrative law judges is the same, but there may be differences in how a claim is dealt with.
When a person is unable to work, it is much more than just an inconvenience. The lack of an ability to earn a living is a threat to a person's emotional and financial well-being. Thankfully, there are legal options available to these individuals -- including seeking benefits from the Social Security Administration.
Those who apply for disability benefits in West Virginia may be required to attend a consultative examination, or CE. This generally occurs when a person has medical records that are considered outdated or provides no medical evidence at all. In some instances, the person reviewing the case needs more information to determine how severe a person's condition is. In such a scenario, an individual will usually be sent to see a specialist.