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The importance of having medical records that specify disability

When West Virginia residents seek disability benefits through the Social Security Administration, they must present medical records that spell out their physical or mental limitations. Although an applicant might experience these disabling limitations that prevent holding a job, medical records might not offer much information beyond a diagnosis. To correct this problem, people facing the possibility of disability should explicitly describe their mental or physical difficulties during doctor visits.

Role of expert witnesses in disability cases challenged

People in West Virginia applying for disability benefits after they are no longer able to work may be concerned about the impact of expert testimony in their cases. The U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing a case that will touch on the level of backup data that vocational experts and others in disability cases are required to provide in order to support their assertions. In particular, the case addresses whether the testimony of an expert is sufficient evidence that jobs are actually available to a disabled worker seeking benefits.

Benefit applications drop in West Virginia

According to a recently released report, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds are now expected to run out in 2032 instead of 2028. This is because applications for benefits dropped by 1.5 million in 2017, and it is believed that the economic upturn is partially responsible for that. A stronger economy means more job opportunities for those who may not be able to do manual labor or other physically strenuous tasks.

Questions at SSDI hearings

West Virginia residents who submit applications to the Social Security Administration for disability benefits will have to answer numerous questions about their medical and work histories as well as their medical treatment sources. The answers they provide will be entered on a disability report form to be filed with their disability claim and application.

Disability hearings can be positive for SSDI applicants

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance can be a lengthy, stressful process, particularly when the financial assistance is desperately needed by an applicant. However, the process often involves several stages of review. The initial application and the reconsideration appeal, the first two stages of the process after a West Virginia claimant files an application, are both decided inside the Social Security Administration by disability examiners.

Social security benefits can help black lung sufferers

Workers in West Virginia who have been employed in the coal mines for many years may face lifelong health effects as a result of years of work underground breathing in coal dust. Known as "black lung," the lung diseases and damage caused by long-term coal mining work can be a permanent disability that prevent miners from going back to work. For people suffering from this severe illness, filing for Social Security Disability can be an important step.

The interplay between SSD and LTD benefits

If a Virginia resident receives long-term disability (LTD) benefits, he or she may be required to also file for Social Security Disability. The LTD provider will reduce the amount of money an individual receives by the amount a person receives from the government. For instance, if someone were receiving $1,000 a month in LTD benefits and received $500 from the government, the LTD provider would reduce its payout by $500.

Approaches to speed up disability decisions by citing dire need

An applicant in West Virginia pursuing Social Security Disability benefits might have grounds to submit a dire need request when threatened by the loss of a home. The expected shutoff of utilities or an inability to purchase medicine might also qualify as a dire need. People with disability claims pending at the hearing level could benefit from submitting a dire need request. If the agency finds the request to have merit, then a hearing for the applicant might be scheduled as soon as possible ahead of other cases.

Slow decision process for SSD

West Virginia residents who have submitted an application for Social Security Disability benefits should be prepared to wait for what could a significantly long time before they receive a decision. The process for determining disability can be a lengthy one as disability examiners have no deadline by which they are required to come a decision.

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