Many West Virginia workers who have applied for and are awaiting a Social Security disability insurance approval letter struggle with difficult circumstances. Other than trying to cope with the debilitating effects of the physical or mental condition underlying their claim for disability, they often have had to cut back on the number of hours worked or perhaps stopped working altogether. The financial strain exacerbates an already stressful situation, and they check the mailbox every day waiting for the good news. For some, the wait is longer than for others.
The first issue a disability claimant needs to realize is that the SSDI process is a complex procedure where denials are common with an appeal process at every level of denial. If a claimant wins approval on the initial application or at the first level of appeal, called reconsideration, the approval letter can be received within three months. Unfortunately, the denial percentage initially is regularly over 50% with an even greater rejection percentage on reconsideration. Approval rates are generally considerably higher at the next level of appeal, the disability hearing.
The hearing is, in many ways, like a less formal mini-trial in front of a disability judge. Claimants who win the hearing first receive notice of the approval but do not get the formal award letter indicating the amount of the award, when it dates back to and when the first payment is expected to arrive for another six weeks. This comes only after the time necessary for the initial application and appeal as well as reconsideration and appeal. Many consider the SSDI process a test of endurance as much as a test of disability.
At any stage of the SSDI application process, a claimant can be represented by a Social Security lawyer. Those who have counsel are statistically more likely to prevail than those who represent themselves.