If you live in the State of Virginia and you are unable to work because of a medical condition, you can apply for disability benefits in Virginia. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), both of which offer monthly disability benefits to individuals who meet specific criteria and who can provide hard medical evidence to support their claim. Here are some of the basic details for filing a disability claim in Virginia.
Social Security Disability Benefits in Virginia
Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are a federal program, so it is available to individuals in every state. You can file for disability benefits at a field office.
There are 30 field offices located throughout the state. Field offices are in Accomac, Alexandria, Bristol, Charlottesville, Covington, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Hampton, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Manassas, Martinsville, Midlothian, Portsmouth, Richmond, Roanoke, Sandston, South Boston, Staunton, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Winchester, Wise, and Wytheville. You will work with the field office that is nearest your residence. You can get in contact with your local field office by calling 1-800-772-1213 and speaking with a SSA representative.
After your disability claim and supporting evidence have been submitted, they will be reviewed by Disability Determination Services (DDS). DDS makes decisions on disability decisions based on your medical records, medical and psychological evidence, continuing disability review, and the statement from the applicant.
There are five DDS offices located throughout the state. These offices are in Roanoke, Norfolk, Fairfax, and two in Richmond. Each office represents specific counties or regions. In Virginia, 43.5% of disability claims are approved during the initial review, which is slightly more than the national average of 38.4%.
Denied Disability Benefits in Virginia
When a disability claim is denied, you will receive a letter detailing why your claim was denied. The letter will explain how to file an appeal, which is also called a request for reconsideration. Nationwide about 13.7% of claims are approved during the reconsideration stage, but in Virginia 15.1% of claims are approved during this step.
You will want to provide additional information that addresses the reason that your claim was denied. More medical evidence, statements from those familiar with your situation, and notes from physicians can be helpful to your claim at this point. If your claim is denied at this stage, you can ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ).
You do have limited time to request a hearing, so be sure to get your appeal filed before time runs out. You do not want to start your claim from scratch. If you continue it, and then you are approved, you may be eligible for back pay to the original date of filing or the date when you were determined disabled.
It can take several months to get an administrative law hearing set. In Virginia, 47.4% of claims are approved when the claimant appears before an ALJ. The claimant will be questioned and must testify before the ALJ. A disability lawyer can help the claimant prepare for questioning.
Usually, a vocational expert is at an administrative law hearing and they recommend to the judge whether the claimant can work based on their testimony and on the medical evidence that has been submitted. Hard medical evidence and supporting documentation are essential to the success of a disability claim.
Help Filing For Disability Benefits in Virginia
If you are unable to work because of a medical condition and you meet specific criteria, you may qualify for disability benefits in Virginia. You will need to prepare a detailed list of your medical providers, including the dates of service along with their contact details.
The claim form must be completed truthfully and in detail. You should also consult with a Social Security Disability attorney who represents disabled workers in Virginia. A lawyer can be able to review your file and determine if you have the supporting documentation that your claim needs to be successful.
Disability attorneys take cases on a contingency basis, so you will not have to pay anything upfront. If you are considering applying for disability benefits in Virginia, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share the details of your disability claim with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website.
Remember, documentation is the key to a successful disability claim, and you need to make sure you meet all deadlines, so your claim does not have to start over from scratch. Perseverance is essential to the success of your disability claim.