Appeal Hearings In West Virginia
In West Virginia, the Charleston office has over a 10% approval rate more than the other two hearing offices, Huntington and Morgantown. There are a total of 26 Administrative Law Judges who serve and attend hearings in the three state offices. The people of West Virginia on average have a higher chance of denial compared to other states. Here is some information about West Virginia’s hearing offices.
Appeal Hearings In Virginia
There are 5 offices and 50 Administrative Law Judges to serve the people of Virginia with disability appeal hearings. Virginia does not range well among the national averages. Applicants have a higher chance of denial and generally have to wait longer for a hearing date. This means it is very important that an application is filled out properly the first time to prevent a denial. An applicant can significant increase his or her chances for approval with the help of representation.
Do You Have An Impairment That Meets Or Exceeds The Listing Of Impairments
The SSA Listing of Impairments, or Blue Book, contains criteria for more than 100 different types of conditions. The listed impairments include conditions related to the heart and cardiovascular system, neurological disorders, muscle or skeletal issues, problems with the respiratory system, congenital issues, acquired diseases such as cancer and HIV, and mental disorders.
It is crucial that you provide medical evidence establishing that you exhibit the signs and symptoms of a listed impairment. Your attorney can work with your treating physician to ensure DDS gets the information it will need in order to make a determination.
Impairments found in the Blue Book are considered to be so severe that, if your condition matches or is equal in severity to one of those conditions, you are considered to be disabled. If you also meet non-medical requirements, you likely would qualify for disability benefits.
If your condition does not meet or equal a listed impairment, then your evaluation would move on to the next step.
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What Is A Disability
Under the provisions for VRS disability retirement, a disability may be:
The result of a physical illness or injury or a cognitive condition. A cognitive disability is a loss or deterioration in intellectual capacity, such as Alzheimers disease.
Non-work related or work-related. A work-related disability is the result of an occupational illness or injury that occurs on the job and the cause is determined to be compensable under the Virginia Workers Compensation Act. A non-work-related disability is the result of an illness or injury that is not compensable under the Virginia Workers Compensation Act.
A chronic condition, such as diabetes or mental illness, that worsens to the point that you no longer can perform your job duties.
Any condition that existed before you were employed in a covered position must substantially worsen for you to be considered for disability retirement.
Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits In Virginia
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Eligible For The Hazardous Duty Supplement
If you have at least 20 years of eligible hazardous duty service credit, you may qualify for the hazardous duty supplement as part of your service retirement benefit. You are not eligible to receive a hazardous duty supplement if you retire on disability. If you qualify for the supplement, compare your estimated disability retirement benefit with your service retirement benefit, including the supplement, before applying for disability retirement to determine which type of retirement is best for you. Your human resource office can assist you. You can also create retirement benefit estimates through myVRS.
Is There A Time Limit On How Long I Can Receive Social Security Disability Benefits
You will continue to receive SSDI or SSI benefits as long as your medical condition prevents you from working.
However, the SSA will review your case from time to time to see if your medical condition has improved. That is one reason you should continue to receive treatment after being awarded a disability benefit.
Virginia Veteran Financial Benefits
The Commonwealth allows military members to exempt up to $15,000 of their basic pay from taxation, but theres a catch. For every dollar of income over the base $15,000 cap, they reduce the deductible allowance. Lets say your base pay is $20,000thats $5,000 over the $15,000 cap. Therefore, you would be only entitled to deduct $10,000 from taxation. If you were paid $16,000, then youd subtract the extra $1,000 from your deductible income and youd be able to exempt $14,000 from your taxable income. The income tax exemption goes away if you receive $30,000 or more in base pay because $15,000 minus $15,000 is zero.
VA National Guard pay is taxed a little differently for Guard members who are O-3 and below. Virginia allows them to deduct pay for up to 39 calendar days or $3,000 .
Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption
Veterans with a VA rating of 100% permanently and totally disabled, and those who the VA considers to be rated 100% due to individual unemployability, are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence.
The spouse who survives the passing of the qualifying service member may also be eligible, if he or she does not remarry and does not relocate to new primary residence.
Applying For Disability Benefits
You can apply for Social Security Disability benefits online or in person at your local Social Security office. You will be asked to fill out a number of forms, which you should complete with as much detail as possible, and you may be asked to attend a consultative exam. After completing the disability application process, you will receive a decision from the SSA within two to four months. If you are approved for benefits, this notice will tell you when benefits will begin, which benefits you will be receiving, and how much you will be receiving each month. If you are denied benefits, you have 60 days from the date of denial to appeal the SSA’s decision to deny benefits.
If you do need to pursue a Social Security Disability appeal, do not give up hope. A number of applicants who are denied during the initial stage of the application process go on to successfully receive benefits through the process of an appeal
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How An Attorney Can Help
If you speak with a disability attorney who has worked with veterans to get their VA and Social Security disability entitlements, this will help to ensure you have provided all the documentation needed to support your claim. Often there are delays due to insufficient documentation being provided.
Your attorney will have experience and knowledge about how the SSA works and should know what is required to win both a VA and SSD claim. Processing claims for any disability payments often take months and even in some cases years for a decision to be reached. You can normally expect to receive an answer more quickly if you ask an attorney to work on your behalf.
Most attorneys, but not necessarily all, do not require any upfront payments for their services, so you will only need to pay legal fees once your claim have been settled. If your claims are denied you may not be asked to pay any legal fees.
If you are unsure of the terms of hiring an attorney, check with the attorney before going through the hiring process. This will ensure you arent unduly worried about an unexpected bill being posted to you.
As many claims are denied the first time round this shouldnt discourage you, as your chosen attorney can work through the appeals process with the hope of winning a favorable settlement on your behalf sooner rather than later. Complete the Free Case Evaluation today!
Does A Medical Condition Have To Be In The Blue Book
A Social Security disability claimant doesn’t even have to have an impairment that is listed in the Social Security disability blue book to be awarded disability benefits. For instance, migraine headaches are not included in the blue book, but if a claimant’s migraines are severe enough and are well documented, the SSA may grant disability benefits if the migraines make it impossible for the disability applicant to work a full-time job. The keys here are that the condition be a medically determinable impairment and that it reduces someone’s RFC enough so that they can’t do their prior job or any job. In this case, an applicant could qualify for benefits under a medical-vocational allowance. Other common impairments that aren’t listed in Social Security’s blue book include carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia,chronic regional pain syndrome,reflex sympathetic dystrophy, celiac disease, and degenerative disc disease.
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Who Decides If I Am Disabled Under The Ssdi Or Ssi Programs
Depending on when you are approved for Social Security Disability benefits and how many appeals you have to file to get that favorable decision, up to five different tribunals and departments may review and decide your disability claim.
First, the SSA will review your application to ensure you meet the non-medical requirements for the disability program.
If you meet the non-medical requirements, the SSA will forward your case to the Disability Determination Services office in Virginia.
DDS offices are run by the state in which they are located but funded by the federal government. DDS makes the initial disability determination decision on the SSAs behalf using federal laws and regulations. It also decides your Request for Reconsideration if you file one.
The DDS claim examiner assigned to your case may decide that more information is needed. The examiner may request your medical records, ask a state agency medical specialist to give an opinion on your physical and mental capabilities, or send you for a consultative examination. Using this data, the DDS claim examiner will decide if you are disabled or not disabled.
If DDS denies your claim at the initial application and reconsideration levels, you may request for hearing before an administrative law judge . The ALJ is part of the SSAs Office of Hearings Operations .
For more information on this topic, read my article: Who Will Decide My Disability Claim?
How To Qualify For Ssdi Or Ssi
Social Security disability varies quite significantly from other disability benefit programs, such as the VA, workers compensation for Virginia, or long-term disability. In order to qualify for SSDI, an application must be made to the Social Security Administration that includes at least one serious physical or mental condition that either significantly affects normal activities of daily living, significantly affects the ability to do basic work activities, lasts at least one full year or is expected to result in your death, or is severe enough that it prevents your ability to work and earn a substantial and gainful income during the one year minimum period. Individuals that are disabled but still manage to work are denied SSDI benefits, as are individuals that suffer an injury that does not last a full year.
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Additional Programs And Information:
A team comprising a staff physician or clinical psychologist and a professionally trained analyst makes the disability decision. Applications for Social Security disability benefits may be completed online at;Apply for Benefits. The public may also call SSAs toll-free number, 772-1213, to schedule an appointment in person or by phone. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the toll-free TTY number, 325-0778, weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Find the most conveniently located Social Security office at the;Social Security Office Locator. To apply for Medicaid, visit;Virginia’s Medical Assistance Programs.
The Virginia DDS works in conjunction with SSAs Office of the Inspector General through a Cooperative Disability Investigations unit to prevent fraud in the disability program. The CDI program was established in 1998 to effectively pool resources and expertise to prevent fraud in SSAs disability programs. The CDI programs primary mission is to obtain evidence that can resolve questions of fraud before benefits are ever paid. Reports from CDI Units can also be used to cease benefits of in-payment beneficiaries during the continuing disability review process. For more information about CDI, OIG, or to report fraud, waste, or abuse, visit; or contact Brett Fielding at the number listed below.
SOAR in Virginia
Information for Representatives
Electronic Records Express
Let Our Virginia Disability Benefits Lawyers Help You
If you have a physical or psychological condition that prevents you from working, our experienced Social Security disability attorneys at Marks & Harrison can help you through the SSD application process.
We also can assist you if your claim has been denied. You have the right to request a reconsideration of the DDS decision on your application. If necessary, we can request a hearing before an administrative law judge. Our caring and knowledgeable lawyers can guide you through the process and aggressively advocate for you.
We know the important role that SSD benefits can play in our clients lives. We will work tirelessly for you.
To schedule a free consultation, contact us today. We can serve you from our Richmond office or from any of our nine offices located throughout Virginia.
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Virginia Veterans Recreation Benefits
Hunting & Fishing Licenses
- Resident Veterans who are 100% permanent and total with a service-connected disability can have a lifetime hunting and fishing license at no charge, and a saltwater fishing license at a discount
- Those with a 70% or more VA disability can apply for discounted freshwater fishing and hunting permits
- Active duty members stationed in Virginia pay resident rates for hunting and fishing permits
State Park & Facility Admission
No Virginia residency required for any Veteran with 100 percent VA disability to receive a Veteran disability passport. This passport grants free parking and per-person free admission for the Veteran and an attendant if needed. The pass covers boat launch and horse trailer parking too. It does not provide for camping and special rentals, but it will get the disabled veteran half-off the costs for swimming, camping, and renting equipment and shelters.;
Types Of Disability Policies
There are two types of disability policies.
Short-term policies may pay for up to two years. Most last for a few months to a year.
Long-term policies may pay benefits for a few years or until the disability ends.
Employers who offer coverage may provide short-term coverage, long-term coverage, or both.
If you plan to buy your own policy, shop around and ask:
How is disability defined?
How long do benefits last?
How much money will the policy pay?
Social Security & Covid
COVID-19 has brought changes to how Social Security is conducting business. This video will tell you how to contact Social Security; how to apply of appeal, Social Securitys current actions on applications, appeals, hearings, reviews and overpayments; and rule changes on deadlines and other Social Security expectations when applying or appealing.
When Can I Apply
There are no minimum requirements for age or service under VRS disability retirement. You can apply from the first day of employment or within 90 days of your last day of employment. If you are on leave without pay, you have up to 24 consecutive months on leave without pay to apply for disability retirement; after 24 months, you are no longer eligible to apply. If you are on active duty military leave, you can apply at any time while on military leave, even if it exceeds 24 months.
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Information You Need To Apply
Before applying, be ready to provide information about yourself, your medical condition, and your work. We recommend you print and review the . It will help you gather the information you need to complete the application.
Information About You
- Your date and place of birth and Social Security number.
- The name, Social Security number, and date of birth or age of your current spouse and any former spouse. You should also know the dates and places of marriage and dates of divorce or death .
- Names and dates of birth of children not yet 18 years of age.
- Your bank or other and the account number.
Information About Your Medical Condition
- Name, address, and phone number of someone we can contact who knows about your medical conditions and can help with your application.
- Detailed information about your medical illnesses, injuries, or conditions:
- Names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers, and dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals, and clinics.
- Names of medicines you are taking and who prescribed them.
- Names and dates of medical tests you have had and who ordered them.
Information About Your Work:
- Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, or other .
We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns, or medical documents, but we must see the original of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.
Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. We will help you get them.