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The Huntington Ashland Ironton Social Security disability lawyers offer help to those seeking disability benefits in Kentucky and throughout the Tri-State region

Huntington Ashland Ironton disability clients – and other clients throughout the Tri-State region – often ask whether they should even apply for Kentucky Social Security disability benefits. They want to know if they will qualify for Ohio, Kentucky, or West Virginia disability benefits.

Will I qualify for Kentucky Social Security disability benefits?

Our response to this common question is that to qualify for Social Security disability benefits in Huntington Ashland Ironton – or in West Virginia or Ohio – you must be found to be “disabled.” Social Security law states that you are “disabled” only if your physical or mental impairment is so severe that you are unable to do your previous work and you cannot, considering your age, education, and work experience, do any other substantial gainful work that exists in the national economy.

The Social Security Administration’s rules for determining whether you are disabled are complicated, and the Administration’s disability determinations sometimes defy common sense. For example, you will not be found disabled just because your doctor says you are disabled, or because you cannot find an employer willing to hire you.

The Social Security Administration in Huntington Ashland Ironton and nationwide is likely to award you Social Security disability benefits if you meet the following requirements:

  • You must not be working or, if you are working, you must be earning less than an amount specified by the Social Security Administration and your job must involve no more than minimal duties.
  • You must have a severe impairment. An impairment or combination of impairments is severe if it significantly limits your physical or mental ability to do basic work activities. Your impairment must also be established through medically acceptable diagnostic techniques.
  • Your impairment must be expected to last or have lasted at least 12 months or result in death.
  • You must not be able to do “past relevant work.” This means you must be unable to do the easiest job you have done in the past 15 years, even if you would never be hired for it today, or the job no longer exists.
  • You must not be able to do other jobs that exist in the national economy considering your age, education, and work experience. Even if you can no longer do your former job because it is too strenuous, if you are capable of doing easier jobs, you may not be disabled.

You also must be “insured” to receive Ohio, Kentucky, or West Virginia disability benefits. To be “insured,” you must have paid Social Security taxes over a long enough period of time and paid such taxes recently enough. After you stop working (and you stop paying Social Security taxes), there will come a time when your insured status will lapse, just like with a private insurance plan.

If you meet the requirements above and you have paid Social Security taxes, you have a good chance of being approved for Kentucky Social Security disability benefits.

For more information about qualifying for Social Security disability benefits, see our video Will you qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

How to file your initial Kentucky Social Security disability claim

Some disability attorneys accept Kentucky Social Security claimants at all stages – whether at application, first appeal, second appeal, or hearing pending. Many Huntington Ashland Ironton disability clients choose to complete their initial Social Security disability claim on their own.

You can apply for Social Security disability benefits by:

  • Filing your initial application online on the Social Security Administration’s website at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability; or
  • Telephoning the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 for a telephone appointment. Most claimants initiate their Social Security disability claims by telephoning the Social Security Administration, and having the staff make a telephone appointment for a local Huntington Ashland Ironton Social Security Administration claims representative to call the claimant back at an appointed hour. Or if you prefer, an appointment can be made to go to your local Tri-State Social Security office to complete an application in person.

During your appointment, you will be asked basic information, which will be entered into a computer application form that will be printed and, if it is a telephone interview, will be mailed to you for signature, along with other forms to be completed and signed.

If you haven’t yet applied for Kentucky Social Security disability benefits, see Tips for applying and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Should I appeal if my initial application for Kentucky Social Security disability is denied?

We also frequently hear the question “Should I appeal the denial of my disability claim?” If your initial application is denied, do not give up hope. Most disability applications are denied. Two-thirds of initial applications for Social Security disability benefits in Kentucky and nationally are denied.

Receiving a denial of your initial application is the first step towards an appeal hearing, which is where you will have the best odds of being awarded Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security disability process favors appellants over applicants. The main reason for this is that there are significant differences between your initial application and the appeals process.

One of the most important differences is that the denial of your initial application is based only on a Ohio, Kentucky, or West Virginia disability examiner’s review of your file. At the application stage, the examiner doesn’t have the opportunity to hear from you and your witnesses in person. This results in disability examiners frequently focusing on the medical records rather than on fully understanding how your impairment limits your ability to function in the workplace.

When you appeal, you will have a disability hearing before an administrative law judge. At your hearing, with the assistance of your Ohio, Kentucky, or West Virginia disability attorney, you will have the opportunity to appear in person before the judge and explain your impairment(s) in your own words. In addition, your witnesses can tell the judge about your impairments and how they limit the activities you are able to do.

These differences help Huntington Ashland Ironton disability appellants win Social Security disability benefits. If you believe you cannot work, you should appeal the denial of your initial application. We can help you appeal the denial of your application. For assistance, submit the form to your right.