Many people living in West Virginia and throughout the country file for Social Security disability benefits because they have a medical condition that affects their ability to earn a living. In many cases, the initial application for benefits as well as a reconsideration request will be denied. While this can be discouraging, individuals applying for disability may find greater success during the appeals process.
All claims for Social Security disability begin with an initial application. It is estimated that 70% of these applications will be denied by the Social Security Administration. From there, applicants can request a reconsideration although 85% of these applications will likewise be denied.
It is at the appeals stage when applications are more likely to be approved. First, the applicant must appeal the results of the reconsideration. If that appeal is denied, applicants can request a hearing before an administrative judge.
Applicants should be prepared for this hearing because this is often their best chance of getting benefits approved. Preparation should include a full medical history with current medical records showing that recent examinations continue to substantiate the applicant’s claim that he or she is unable to work.
Throughout this process, applicants should pay close attention to appeal deadlines. If these deadlines are missed and the applicant cannot show “good cause” for not making the deadline, he or she will have to begin the application process from the beginning.
Because the process of applying for Social Security Disability can be stressful, some individuals may benefit from speaking with an experienced disability law attorney. An attorney may be able to review the client’s case and assist in the preparation of initial applications as well as appeals. If the disability case goes to the hearing stage, the attorney may provide representation.