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How Does the Social Security Administration Deal with Claims?

When you spend years working and pay money into Social Security, you would think becoming disabled would entitle you to disability benefits in West Virginia. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies a large percentage of disability claims every year.

According to the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), every year the SSA denies around 53 percent of disability claims at all levels. After denial, there are four levels of appeal for Social Security disability claims:

  • Reconsideration. The first level of appeal is reconsideration where a different SSA official than the individual who initially denied your claim reviews existing evidence and any new evidence submitted.
  • Hearing. At a hearing, an administrative law judge who did not take part in the reconsideration or initial denial hears your case. At the hearing your attorney can present evidence, have medical witnesses testify and present arguments in your favor.
  • Appeals Council. The Appeals Council reviews cases at its discretion and either decides the case or returns it to an administrative law judge for further review.
  • Federal Court. You can appeal to a federal court if the Appeals Council decides not to review your case or you disagree with the Appeal Council’s finding.

Because most claims are initially denied and denial can occur again throughout the claims process, it is wise to use a West Virginia disability lawyer to help you with your claim. Representation increases your chances for approval and you owe no out-of-pocket expenses. You only owe attorney fees when the lawyer is successful in getting your claim approved.

The Prim Law Firm can help you fight for disability benefits and also see whether other sources of compensation are available based on your work injury.

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