Attorneys James T. Carey and P. Zachary Stewart

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How long will my SSD appeal take?

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2022 | Social Security Disability

When you are no longer able to work because of a medical condition, you may require disability benefits. Most employees in West Virginia will have made contributions to Social Security throughout their careers. Those contributions lead to Social Security credits that people can claim when they need either disability benefits or retirement benefits.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) benefits can help those who are unable to work because of medical issues but who are also too young to qualify for retirement benefits through Social Security. Unfortunately, the SSD program is infamous for rejecting most applicants. Many people have to appeal to get benefits.

How long will an SSD appeal in West Virginia take?

Two main factors influence the appeal timeline

How long it takes to resolve an SSDI appeal depends on where you applied for benefits and how many stages of appeal you have to go through. You can request a reconsideration shortly after an unfavorable benefits determination. You submit new medical documentation and correct any paperwork mistakes, and then the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a different employee review your application. Sometimes, people can receive an approval based on a reconsideration within a few weeks to a couple of months.

If you have to have a hearing in front of an administrative law judge, then it will likely take longer. Depending on the office that handles your claim, the average wait time varies. The Charleston office has an average wait time of nine months, while Huntington reports a 17-month average. Morgantown is in the middle with a 10-month wait.

Why appealing is better than reapplying

If you believe it would be easy to correct the issue that led to your denial of benefits, it may at first seem like reapplying is the smarter choice when compared with appealing. After all, you could potentially resubmit paperwork within a few days. However, when you reapply, you lose the right to backdated benefits.

If you appeal and the courts or an SSA employee decide in your favor, you can receive backdated benefits starting when you first qualified after you applied. Otherwise, when you reapply, that new application date determines when your benefits would start. Pursuing an appeal after a denial of an SSD claim is often the best solution for those unable to work because of a medical condition.

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