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Who qualifies for Social Security benefits?

West Virginia residents who think they might be entitled to Social Security benefits could be confused about the requirements. There are two types of Social Security disability benefits, and the qualification requirements for each type are based not only on disability but on factors including work history and income.

Getitng maximum family benefits from SSA

The Social Security Administration allows certain family members to receive derivative payments from the eligible family member. These payments are subject to formulas used by the SSA to ascertain maximum benefit levels. The amount is capped at what the SSA calls the Family Maximum Benefit.

Benefits claims can take months to process

West Virginia residents may feel that too much time passes between applying for disability benefits and receiving a response. If an application needs to be heard by an administrative law judge, it could take two years for a hearing to take place. As a general rule, a decision can take about three to four months to reach. These wait times could increase as the number of applications surges because of the aging workforce.

Why benefit applications may take awhile to process

West Virginia residents may find that it takes weeks or months for a decision regarding their application for Social Security Disability benefits. It may be frustrating to know that there is no deadline for when an application must be processed. However, it is also important to know that those who review applications are assessed on their ability to process claims in a timely manner. Therefore, the lack of a timely decision is generally not due to lazy claim reviewers.

Past work can be used to assess disability benefits applications

When West Virginia workers with disabilities apply for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits, their application goes through a series of assessments in order to determine their current disability and eligibility for benefits. The examiner who reviews each application uses a systematic series of steps to analyze the benefits claim; as a part of this process, the applicant's medical records are studied to establish their mental and physical capabilities. This is used to measure the applicant's residual functional capacity, known as an RFC rating.

The consequences of not filing an appeal on time

If a Social Security disability applicant in West Virginia or elsewhere around the country has his or her application or appeal denied, he or she has 60 days to respond. There is also a five-day grace period to allow for a response to be mailed out. Therefore, the appeal needs to be sent to the correct location within 65 days of a denial notice. However, it is possible for an appeal to be accepted even if it is not received in a timely manner.

Appealing a disability ruling

West Virginia residents who are living with a disability may no longer be able to earn a living. These individuals may decide to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Income. Unfortunately, many applications are initially denied, though, with persistence, they may eventually be able to claim their benefits.

Obtaining Social Security Benefits For Progressive Massive Fibrosis

Progressive Massive Fibrosis (PMF), also known as conglomerate masses is a form of lung scarring caused by the accumulation of fibrotic masses in the upper limbs of the lungs. It is most often caused by pneumoconiosis, a lung disease caused by exposure to dust materials.

The factors that determine SSD benefit amounts

If a person is collecting Social Security Disability benefits, the benefit amount remains the same regardless of where that person lives. For instance, if a person moved to West Virginia from New York, the recipient would see no change to future payments. This is because the system is a federal one, which means that the rules apply equally in all states. However, those who receive benefits may see changes to their state supplementary benefits.

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Shawn Taylor, PLLC
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Charleston, WV 25301

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