When applying for Social Security Disability benefits in West Virginia, it is necessary to show an inability to work for at least the next 12 months. However, this does not mean that applicants cannot work at all. Instead, they must stay below the substantially gainful activity level. Of course, merely not going to work for a period of time doesn't necessarily meet the threshold for obtaining benefits either.
West Virginia residents who file for Social Security Disability benefits often face a lengthy process, even when they have serious disabilities that prevent them from working. At the initial stage, many viable disability benefits claims are denied. However, there is a process that applicants can follow to have their claim reconsidered and move forward in the process. The first step after an initial denial is the reconsideration appeal phase.
It's understandable for individuals in West Virginia seeking disability payments from Social Security to assume that the odds of winning a claim are low. However, many filers are unaware that there are different levels in the approval process where a claimant may win a case, even after initial denials. The approval rate of claims that reach a Social Security administrative law judge is more than 65 percent. Just 35 percent of initial filers are granted benefits while 10 to 15 percent win benefits after filing a reconsideration.
Back pain afflicts almost everyone in West Virginia from time to time, but the Social Security Administration sets the bar high when making determinations about disability benefits for back pain. Benefits examiners want to see objective medical tests that document debilitating conditions. A person's ambulatory ability will factor in as well.
The Social Security Administration will periodically review the eligibility of people in West Virginia who receive disability benefits. The likelihood of a person's medical condition improving will determine the frequency of benefit reviews that could occur every three to seven years. Working a job could also trigger a continuing disability review. If the agency's review determines that disability no longer prevents a person from working, then a notice about the cessation of benefits will be sent. A person has the right to appeal the revocation of benefits and even have payments continue during the appeal, but losing an appeal would require the person to repay benefits issued while the appeal was in progress.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many West Virginia residents are qualified to file for Social Security disability benefits. However, it can be difficult to figure out what sort of medical documentation is required for approval.