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Past medical records and Social Security disability benefits

Many West Virginia residents who are no longer able to work due to a disability file for Social Security benefits. These applicants may wonder how far back the Social Security Administration goes when looking at medical records for proof of a disability.

How to react after receiving a denial letter

West Virginia residents who file for disability benefits should expect that their applications will be denied at the initial level. Applications will also likely get denied at the reconsideration level. However, it is important to know that a denial typically has little to do with the strength of a person's case. It is also important to understand that an applicant has 60 days from the date of a denial to appeal it.

How Social Security claims get 'worked on' and evaluated

When a medical disability makes it impossible or very difficult for an individual in West Virginia to earn a living, they may file a claim to receive Social Security payments. Such claims are first sent to the state's disability determination services (DDS) agency. A specialist referred to as a disability examiner will then be assigned the case. This is the person who reviews the medical documents included with the application along with their sources.

Silica dust causing black lung disease in coal miners

Some West Virginia coal miners may be among those in several states who are suffering from a form of black lung disease that is caused by silica dust. More dangerous than coal dust, it is afflicting miners at a younger age, who are declining more rapidly than those with black lung disease caused by coal dust.

Advantages of appealing disability denial compared to new claim

When people in West Virginia file claims for Social Security Disability, they could face an uphill battle because many claims result in denials. Although this is discouraging, disability applicants can continue their pursuit of benefits. Starting over with a new claim might appear to make sense, but the appeals process actually involves less work and could have a better chance of succeeding.

Mental conditions may qualify for disability benefits

Whether a West Virginia resident has a physical or mental condition, a decision on a Social Security disability claim will be based on available medical records. This may mean providing records from a family physician or anyone else who has treated an applicant. There are many different types of applicable mental ailments, such as anxiety, bipolar disorder or impaired memory. The occurrence of panic attacks or depression could also prevent a person from working or remaining employed.

Supreme Court to weigh-in on how SSDI is determined

Social Security Disability Insurance is determined by an often complicated process heavily dependent on established rules and regulations. The Social Security Administration also publishes manuals and handbooks to help its disability evaluators to reach a conclusion. There are multiple levels of appeal within the SSA and the federal court for those West Virginia applicants who are dissatisfied with the outcomes of their cases. Now, however, a rarity will occur; an SSDI case is to be heard before the Supreme Court in December 2018.

Fibromyalgia and Social Security Disability

For people in West Virginia struggling with fibromyalgia, the consequences and symptoms can be severe and disabling. The disorder can cause muscular and skeletal pain throughout the body and is often accompanied by other symptoms, including memory problems, sleep issues, fatigue and mood changes. While fibromyalgia is still poorly understood in many ways, researchers believe that the condition amplifies pain because it changes the way the brain processes signals associated with pain.

The odds of getting benefits without a hearing

West Virginia residents who apply for Social Security Disability benefits will likely need to see a judge to have their applications approved. However, there is a chance that a person will obtain benefits without having to do so. About 30 percent of applicants will be approved after submitting their initial claim. Another 15 percent are approved at the reconsideration appeal level. To increase the chances of approval before the hearing level, individuals should see their own doctor.

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