The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the office that administers Social Security and SSI disability benefits throughout the country. In addition, West Virginia plays a part in the disability process for its residents, through its Disability Determination Section, which falls under West Virginia's Division of Rehabilitation Services. Here is some state-specific information about applying for disability benefits in West Virginia.
In West Virginia, DDS approves only 25% of individuals for disability benefits at the initial application stage. This is lower than the national average approval rate of 32%. At the reconsideration stage, another 8% of previously denied individuals are approved for benefits, compared to 11% nationally. At the hearing stage, West Virginia has the same approval rating as the national average (58%).
The wait time for a disability appeal hearing in West Virginia is also very close to the national average; in West Virginia, you will have to wait an average of 385 days for a hearing.
Unlike most other states, West Virginia does not offer a state supplementary payment to SSI (additional money over and above the monthly payment from the federal government).
To receive a copy of your medical records to provide to Social Security with your disability application, health care providers may charge you up to $0.75 per page and a search fee of no more than $10. There is no limit on how much your total charge may be.
However, if you meet certain low income requirements, you may be eligible to receive a free copy of your medical records for your Social Security claim. You must provide reasonable proof of your financial inability to pay for the records due to unemployment, disability, income below the federal poverty level, or receipt of state or federal income assistance. Provide this proof to the doctor's office or hospital with your Release of Information form for your medical records. If you meet the above requirements, you are entitled to one free copy of your medical records.
West Virginia's Disability Determination Section (DDS) is the office that makes the decision regarding whether or not you are disabled, based on an applicant's medical record. West Virginia DDS now uses a “single decision maker” process in making these disability determinations. Generally, when you applied for Social Security benefits, a medical consultant at DDS would have to review the decision made by the DDS disability examiner and sign off on it if he or she agreed. Now, with the single decision maker process, your application and medical records will no longer be reviewed by a medical consultant before a decision is made, unless the application is for a child or someone with a mental disability claim.
West Virginia has one DDS office that makes all disability decisions for West Virginians. The contact information for that office is below.
1206 Quarrier Street
Charleston, WV 25301
Telephone: 800-642-8207 or 304-766-4600
Social Security's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) is the office that processes all Social Security appeals, including SSI disability appeals. If you request a hearing, it will be held at an ODAR office. If you have questions regarding your appeal, contact your local hearing office (ODAR). The contact information for the local hearing offices is below.
Charleston Hearing Office
500 Quarrier Street
Charleston, West Virginia 25301
Telephone: (888) 527-9325
Cover the following local offices: Beckley, Charleston, Logan, Parkersburg, St. Albans, and Williamson
Charlottesville, Virginia Hearing Office
1470 Pantops Mountain Place
Charlottesville, Virginia 22911
Telephone: (866) 613-2969
Covers the Petersburg Social Security field office
Huntington Hearing Office
301 9th Street, 2nd Floor Annex
Huntington, West Virginia 25701
Telephone: (866) 592-1607
Covers the Huntington Social Security field office
Morgantown Hearing Office
6 Suburban Court
Chestnut Ridge Road
Morgantown, West Virginia 26505
Telephone: (877) 405-9197
Cover the following local offices: Clarksburg, Elkins, Fairmont, Morgantown, and Wheeling
Richmond, Virginia Hearing Office
801 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219-2406
Telephone: (877) 405-3665
Covers the Martinsburg Social Security field office
Roanoke, Virginia Hearing Office
Second Floor, Suite 200
612 South Jefferson Street
Roanoke, Virginia 24011
Telephone: (866) 592-3548
Cover the Bluefield and Welch Social Security field offices
The West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) provides services for those who are disabled to help them prepare to get a job, find a job, and help them to keep that job. To apply vocational rehabilitation, you should contact DRS. To contact DRS, you may call the statewide contact number, call your district office, send a message via the DRS website, or send a request through the mail. The contact information is below.
Statewide Contact Number: 800-642-8207
West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services
107 Capitol Street
Charleston, WV 25301-2609
District 1: Charleston
Serving the counties of Boone, Calhoun, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Mason, Putnam and Roane
Charleston District & Branch Offices: 304-356-2371
District 2: Clarksburg
Serving the counties of Barbour, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker and Upshur
Clarksburg District & Branch Offices: 304-842-2951
District 3: Wheeling
Serving the counties of Brooke, Doddridge, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio, Pleasants, Ritchie, Tyler, Wetzel, Wirt and Wood
Wheeling District and Branch Offices: 304-238-1092
District 4: Beckley
Serving the counties of Braxton, Fayette, Greenbrier Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Summers and Webster
Beckley District & Branch Offices: 304-256-6900
District 5: Huntington
Serving the counties of Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Wayne and Wyoming
Huntington District and Branch Offices: 304-528-5585
District 6: Martinsburg
Serving the counties of Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan and Pendleton
Martinsburg District and Branch Offices: 304-267-0005 or 304-267-0009
If you've been denied benefits and want to get a lawyer to hep you win your disability hearing, visit our West Virginia disability lawyer page to find a local lawyer with Social Security disability experience.
by: Lorraine Netter, Contributing Author