Nicolet Law Accident and Injury Lawyers
 Free Consultations 866-663-8774
Calls Answered 24/7

Built on Family.
Focused on Helping.
Dedicated to Winning.

We win or you don’t pay
500 ★★★★★ reviews

Nicolet Law office
CONTACT
SERVING WI & MN | Calls Answered 24/7 | Free Consultations 866-663-8774

Lost Wages Assistance and Disability Benefits

Injured? Get Nicolet.
Free case evaluation

Lost Wages Assistance and Disability Benefits

Lost Wages Assistance and Disability Benefits

The coronavirus and resulting economic crisis have left millions of Americans in financial distress, and individuals with disabilities are no exception. While recent federal aid programs and financial supplements are intended to help support those in need, they have added further complications to the Social Security Disability benefits process. 

The latest confusion comes in the form of Lost Wages Assistance (LWA), a federal coronavirus aid program created by the Trump administration. On September 2, FEMA approved Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ application to receive funds for those who have lost wages. 

Though a clear boon to jobless workers, the program has raised concerns over how SSD recipients will be affected—if at all. Here’s what we know. 

Lost Wages Assistance Program 

On August 8, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that extended $44 billion of federal emergency funds to unemployed Americans. Because the money comes from the Disaster Relief Fund—the same fund that pays for recovery efforts in the wake of natural disasters—the program’s budget will be limited. 

Under the Lost Wages Assistance program, FEMA provides approved states with federal funding to offer jobless workers an extra $300 each week. And though the initial application only covers three weeks of aid, additional funding will be considered on a weekly basis. The decision to extend the aid comes weeks after the previous $600 federal unemployment supplement expired at the end of July. 

According to Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD), Wisconsin has applied for funding to cover an additional four weeks of unemployment assistance. If approved, tens of thousands of unemployed Wisconsin workers will be able to receive a maximum of $1,200 in extra funds. 

At first blush, the additional unemployment money may seem unrelated to Social Security Disability payments. Yet given the murky nature of public benefits, there is some overlap between the two—and that overlap can be difficult to navigate. 

The Relationship Between Disability and Unemployment Benefits 

Social Security Disability and unemployment benefits tend to be mutually exclusive because their purposes are fundamentally different. While unemployment benefits are paid to people who are willing and able to work but cannot find a job, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is generally provided to people who are unable to work due to a disability. 

Though most states will consider granting exceptions to some SSDI recipients, Wisconsin is not most states. In 2013, the state legislature barred SSDI recipients from receiving disability and unemployment benefits at the same time. So, when the economy sputtered in the wake of the pandemic, many suddenly jobless SSDI recipients were unable to apply for unemployment benefits. 

Thankfully, Congress’s CARES Act offered a glimmer of hope to financially struggling SSDI recipients—even those in Wisconsin. Through a CARES Act provision known as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), workers who are generally considered ineligible for unemployment benefits will be able to apply. 

Although Wisconsin’s DWD initially continued to deny claims from SSDI recipients based on the 2013 state law, the department announced on July 27 that it received federal permission to declare these individuals as eligible to receive PUA. 

Furthermore, the Social Security Administration’s other disability program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), presents another area of overlap. SSI is a need-based program designed to support people with limited income and resources, and many SSI recipients work at least part-time. These individuals are generally considered eligible to receive unemployment if they lose their jobs. 

How Could the Supplement Affect Social Security Disability Recipients?

Most people receiving Social Security Disability benefits will see no change in their benefit payments. However, the federal unemployment supplement does have the potential to affect unemployed disability recipients in different ways. 

For those simultaneously receiving SSDI and unemployment benefits: If you are receiving SSDI benefits and plan to apply for unemployment, you will need to report the amount of income you receive from disability. Although unemployment benefits will not affect the amount you receive from SSDI, how much you receive from SSDI has the potential to reduce the amount you receive in state unemployment benefits. 

For those simultaneously receiving SSI and unemployment: Because SSI is determined based on an individual’s earned and unearned income, any changes to an SSI recipient’s income must be reported. Therefore, if you receive SSI and have recently lost your job due to the coronavirus, you will need to report your job loss and unemployment payments to the Social Security Administration. When you report your change of circumstance, benefits received through SSI may be reduced or paused. You will be able to reinstate your SSI when unemployment runs out. 

What Can Wisconsin Disability Recipients Expect?  

According to former DWD secretary Caleb Frostman, unemployed Wisconsin workers may have to wait to see the supplement included in their payments. Even though FEMA approved Wisconsin’s initial application in early September, Frostman estimates that eligible unemployment recipients will start receiving the financial aid in early to mid-October. 

In the meantime, the department will be preparing to disburse the new benefits. 

“DWD has already begun setting up the program to ensure claimants receive these supplemental benefit payments as quickly as our technology can accommodate,” Frostman told the Milwaukee Business Journal

Yet many Wisconsin residents hesitate to put too much faith in the DWD, which has struggled to process the recent influx of unemployment insurance claims. In a report released on September 21, the DWD estimated that 704,989 of the claims it has received since March 15 are still being processed. 

Additionally, many officials remain hopeful that Congress and the Trump administration will be able to agree on another stimulus package. 

“While I am grateful to be able to provide an additional $300 to eligible claimants, Wisconsin needs Congress and the Trump administration to come to an agreement on a continued, robust response to the pandemic,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement

All in all, finances are likely to remain at the forefront of many Wisconsinites’ minds. If you or a loved one receive disability benefits and have recently become unemployed, we recommend connecting with a trusted Social Security Disability lawyer to discuss your situation.

SEE HOW NICOLET LAW MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN OUR CLIENTS’ CASES

CAR ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$1,200,000.00*

CAR ACCIDENT

Offer before Nicolet Law
$50,000.00*

VEHICLE ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$1,117,000.00*

VEHICLE ACCIDENT

Offer before Nicolet Law
115,000.00*

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$1,100,000.00*

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT

Offer before Nicolet Law
$650,000.00*
More Than
$39998900
Million recovered for our clients
over
0
5 star reviews
More Than
0
years in business

PEDESTRIAN HIT BY CAR

Result with Nicolet Law 
$1,050,000.00*

PEDESTRIAN HIT BY CAR

Offer before Nicolet Law
$0.00 - denial*

DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$815,000.00*

DRUNK DRIVING VICTIM

Offer before Nicolet Law
$0.00*

UTV ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$550,000.00*

UTV ACCIDENT

Offer before Nicolet Law
$75,000.00*

What our clients say about us

powered by BirdEye
more testimonials

Awards & Recognitions

Nicolet Law Office is honored to have been nominated for numerous awards for excellence in service and client satisfaction. Our attorneys have appeared in such prestigious lists as Top 40 Under 40 and Rising Stars. While we’re thankful to have the support of industry peers and independent third-party organizations, nothing beats the feeling of gratitude we share with clients when we can make a positive impact on their lives.

From our blog

DEDICATED ATTORNEYS SERVING A COMMUNITY NEAR YOU

Contact us today to request a free case evaluation with a dedicated local attorney. With twelve convenient office locations throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin, accessing award-winning legal services has never been easier. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from traveling, we would be happy to meet you at your home or schedule a private virtual consultation.

FOLLOW US

Tell us about your case

We’ll review your case details and contact you with an action plan.
Fields marked with an * are required

12 locations in Wisconsin and Minnesota to serve you

Wisconsin State Icon

Wisconsin Locations:

EAU CLAIRE:

402 Graham Ave.
Suite 305
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Phone: (715) 835-5959
Map & Directions

HUDSON:

517 2nd Street
Unit #205
Hudson, WI 54016

Phone: 715-226-6158
Map & Directions

LA CROSSE:

119 N 19th St S
La Crosse, WI 54601

Phone: 608-527-0876
Map & Directions

NEW RICHMOND:

1500 Madison Ave.
Suite 220
New Richmond, WI 54017

Phone: 715-226-6164
Map & Directions

RICE LAKE:
337 North Main Street
Rice Lake, WI 54868

Phone: (715) 790-1114
Map & Directions

RIVER FALLS:
215 S 2nd St #20
River Falls, WI 54022

Phone: (715) 716-5869
Map & Directions

SUPERIOR:
1200 Tower Ave.
Superior, WI 54880

Phone: (715) 718-2969
Map & Directions

WAUSAU:
408 3rd Street
Suite 303
Wausau, WI 54403

Phone: (715) 716-5092
Map & Directions

Minnesota State Icon

Minnesota Locations:

DULUTH:
306 West Superior Street,
Suite 606 West
Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: (218) 729-0628
Map & Directions

HIBBING:
Howard Court Bldg.
302 Howard Street, Suite 123
Hibbing, MN 55746

Phone: 218-217-0659
Map & Directions

MINNEAPOLIS:
225 South 6th Street
Suite 3800
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: (612) 446-3999
Map & Directions

WOODBURY:
724 Bielenberg Drive
Suite 126
Woodbury, MN 55125

Phone: (651) 815-0017
Map & Directions

Wisconsin and Minnesota’s Local Award-Winning Injury and Disability Attorneys.
© 2021 Nicolet Law Office, S.C.. All Rights Reserved.
crosschevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram