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Process for applying for disability in West Virginia

When you are disabled by an injury or a medical condition, you might find that you have to file for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits to help you to make ends meet. In West Virginia, when you need SSDI benefits, you will go through the Division of Rehabilitation Services, Disability Determination Section. Because the Social Security Administration requires that every state processes the applications for disability with only a few exceptions, most people who live in West Virginia will have their claims processed in the state.

In order to qualify for SSD in West Virginia, you must be unable to work for 12 months at a minimum. This requirement means that you can't do any work at all because of a mental disability, a physical disability or a combination of both. The disability has to be 100 percent. Unlike programs like veterans' benefits, you can't be partially disabled.

When applying for benefits, you have to go through the Social Security Administration by either visiting the website, calling the toll-free number or visiting a Social Security office. From there, the application will be processed. In some cases, a medical evaluation might be necessary. After the application is processed, you will either be denied or approved. You will get a letter in writing to let you know the decision.

If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. This is a time-sensitive matter because you only have 60 days to appeal from the date on the notice. In some instances, going through the appeal can be complex. It is vital that you understand the applicable laws that govern SSDI benefits so you can launch an appropriate appeal.

Source: West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services, "Disability Determination" Aug. 20, 2014

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