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La Crosse Social Security Disability Lawyers

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La Crosse Social Security Disability Lawyers

Thousands of workers across La Crosse are forced to turn to SSDI in the wake of a disabling accident or illness. Unfortunately, as many of these claimants can attest, the SSDI process can be incredibly complex, slow-moving, and difficult to navigate. Who do you turn to in the event you may need to seek SSDI?

Nicolet Law Office is known as the ideal resource for La Crosse residents facing financial distress following a disabling injury or illness. With 20 team members in nine locations throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, we combine the resources and convenience of a large regional firm with the personalized service that you expect from a local La Crosse Social Security Disability Lawyer.

We know how to navigate the complicated SSDI system to obtain our La Crosse neighbors the relief they need; moreover, we know that each client is different, and deserves a custom-tailored case plan. We know that if you’re injured or facing financial difficulty, you should only have to think about getting better and being there for your family—we take on the legal burden for you so that you can do exactly that.

Our Case Results

The dedicated La Crosse Social Security Disability associates at Nicolet Law Firm boast decades of combined experience representing clients who have suffered disabling injury or illness. We’ve recovered over $34 million in compensation for our clients, and look forward to the chance to see how we can help you and your loved ones.

Some of our past clients include:

  • A woman denied benefits after her attorney didn’t show up, and the judge bullied her into continuing with the hearing unrepresented. We successfully appealed the decision. The woman received a fair hearing, this time with a Nicolet SSDI lawyer who was present, prepared, and ready to advocate for her best interests.
  • A search and rescue worker in the Northwoods that contracted a form of vertigo, and became wheelchair-bound, was denied benefits multiple times. After intensive consultation and investigation with his physician, we secured the benefits that he needed to address his health issues and lead a fulfilling life.
  • A woman with both cancer and a gene mutation that didn’t allow her to receive traditional cancer treatments/medications. Despite being denied benefits, after working with her oncology team and geneticist, we used an innovative approach to get a judge to review our submissions and approve her benefits without a hearing.

While no attorney can guarantee the results in any particular case, rest assured that the passionate Social Security Disability lawyers at Nicolet Law draw on our deep well of experience to pursue the best possible outcome for our neighbors in the La Crosse community. For more examples of our past success, consider some of our past case results.

An experienced La Crosse personal injury lawyer from Nicolet Law Office can provide you more information about how this program works, as well as the process of applying for benefits.

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About SSDI

According to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 22.7 percent of adults in Wisconsin have some type of disability. While individuals who have disabilities can often work and earn just like anyone else, some disabling conditions make it impossible to earn a stable income.

Because of this, the federal government provides a program where people who have worked in the past but no longer can obtain monthly payments to account for the income that was lost due to the disability. The program is called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

SSDI is an insurance-type program in which individuals who are employed earn the right to receive benefits if they pay into the system through taxes that are automatically taken from their paycheck for a certain amount of time. Eligibility to receive monthly SSDI payments involves both how long you have worked as well as the disabling condition that you have experienced.

To meet the work eligibility requirements, the applicant must have earned a certain number of work credits. Work credits are provided for the months in which the individual earned over a specific level of income. An individual can earn up to four work credits a year, one for each quarter.

The amount of time spent working is not the only criteria for work credit eligibility, however. A portion of those work credits must also have been earned in recent years. Generally, an individual must have 40 work credits with half of those credits being earned in the last ten years. Younger disabled workers will be eligible with fewer work credits required.

The Social Security Administration has compiled a list of eligible disabling conditions. If your condition is not found on the list, it doesn’t necessarily mean your application will be denied. The administration will compare your condition to those that are included on the list. If your condition is found to be at least as disabling as another condition on the list, it will be considered.

The Process of Applying for Disability Benefits in La Crosse

If you are applying for SSDI benefits in La Crosse, you can do so either online or by appearing in person at a local Social Security office.

To apply, you should:

  • Ensure that you understand the information that you will need to make your application. You will be required to provide your birth date and Social Security numbers for yourself and any family members you are also seeking benefits for, information about your work history, direct deposit information, and a complete list of all of your medical conditions and all of the health care providers who are treating your condition.
  • File your application along with supporting evidence. The Social Security Administration will contact you if they need any further information from you.
  • Your application will undergo an initial review to see that it meets basic eligibility guidelines. If it does, then the application will be forwarded to the Wisconsin Disability Determination Services Office.
  • The state office will contact your health care providers to obtain copies of your medical records, results of diagnostic tests that were performed, and other medical evidence to support your claim.
  • A decision will be made on your application and you will be informed of that decision.

If SSDI Approves Your Claim in La Crosse

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If you are approved to receive benefits, the Social Security Administration will mail you a letter informing you of this decision. The letter will also include the amount of the monthly payment you are approved to receive, when those payments will begin, and whether you have also been approved for back pay.

The effective date on which your payments begin must be at least six months after the start of your disabling condition. For example, if you acquired your condition in January and promptly applied for SSDI due to the expectation that the condition was going to last at least a year or result in death, if SSDI approves you for benefits, the earliest you could begin receiving your monthly payments is July.

SSDI will review your eligibility every three years to ensure that you still cannot work and that you have not obtained income or assets that would put you over the income eligibility threshold. With your approval, you may receive food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Additionally, after two years of receiving benefits, you will be eligible for medical coverage through Medicare.

If SSDI Denies Your Claim in La Crosse

If SSDI denies your application, you will also be notified by mail. When you receive your denial letter, you will have 60 days to request an appeal of the decision. The Social Security Administration has four levels of appeals for individuals who have been denied benefits.

Those levels include:

  • Reconsideration. Reconsideration involves a thorough review of your application and supporting evidence by someone who was not involved in the initial decision on your application. In addition to the evidence initially used, your reconsideration can also involve the evaluation of new evidence you have submitted to support your claim.
  • A hearing by an administrative law judge. This administrative law judge will not have been involved in the initial decision, and the hearing will be held within 75 miles from your home. If you do not opt out of the option, the judge can conduct the hearing by video.
  • A review by the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council considers all of the requests for review that it receives, but often will decline the opportunity to review the case if the evidence supports the decision to deny benefits and aligns with the administration’s laws and regulations.
  • A review in federal court.
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Frequently Asked Questions About La Crosse SSDI

The process of applying to receive disability benefits from the federal government is time-consuming and frustrating for many and it can be difficult to know how to obtain the answers to your questions. To that end, here are the answers to some of the questions our La Crosse SSDI clients ask us most often about applying for and receiving benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions About SSDI

I am partially disabled. Can I obtain SSDI benefits?

No. SSDI benefits are only available to totally disabled people who cannot perform basic work tasks such as lifting, standing, sitting, or remembering. If you can perform work tasks that would enable you to earn an income, SSDI will deny your application.

Can I work and still receive La Crosse SSDI benefits?

In limited circumstances, yes. The eligibility requirements for receiving benefits note that the individual can’t perform any type of work. However, the administration does allow individuals to have up to nine months of trial work periods within five years. For a trial work period, the individual must earn at least a minimum amount for the month.

While this is helpful for those with disabilities who would like to try and see if they can perform work duties, caution must be taken. If you have more than nine months during five years in which you earned more than the maximum income threshold for eligibility in the program, it can be considered substantial gainful activity and result in a loss of benefits.

I receive disability benefits from the VA. Can I still apply for SSDI in La Crosse? 

Fortunately, you can receive VA disability benefits and SSDI payments simultaneously without impacts to your eligibility for either program. However, this isn’t always the case with other types of benefits programs. For example, obtaining worker’s compensation benefits can result in a reduction to your SSDI benefits or even cause you to be ineligible to receive SSDI benefits.

I will be in jail for a certain period. What should I do about my La Crosse SSDI benefits?

You will need to make the administration aware of your pending incarceration. While you are in jail, your benefits will be stopped. When you are released, you must request reinstatement of your benefits from the administration.

My condition will likely result in my death. When this happens, can my family continue to receive my SSDI benefits?

The Social Security Administration offers some financial support in situations where an SSDI applicant or recipient dies.

Those options include:

  • If the individual died before being approved for benefits, there can be an option for the family to continue with the open application for benefits or to begin a new application. An experienced disability lawyer can help you determine if that is an option in your case.
  • If the death occurred after approval, you can request a one-time lump sum death benefit. Unfortunately, this benefit is small—under $300—but can also be made in addition to any survivors’ benefits that the family is receiving.
  • Survivors’ benefits, if the family meets certain income guidelines. The benefits are disbursed first to the surviving spouse, and then to surviving children or other family members who were dependent on your support.

Is it possible to lose SSDI benefits once you begin receiving them?

Yes. The administration conducts a review every three years to evaluate the eligibility of recipients. While individuals who make medical improvement rarely lose their benefits strictly because of that improvement, many individuals lose their benefits due to an increase in income or assets.

Other reasons why benefits will stop include:

  • Incarceration. You cannot receive benefits for months in which you are incarcerated and, upon your release, you must request reinstatement of those benefits.
  • Retirement. Once you reach age 65, your disability benefits will be converted to retirement benefits.
  • Fraud. If the Social Security Administration believes you filed a fraudulent disability claim, it will stop paying your benefits until it investigates. Issues that would make the administration suspect fraud include providing the wrong name or Social Security number on your application, or giving false information about your disabling condition or the amount of income you earn.
  • The receipt of benefits from other programs, including workers’ compensation.
  • Death. It is possible in some circumstances, however, for your family members to continue receiving survivors’ benefits after you have died from your disabling condition.

What are compassionate allowances, and how can they affect the application process?

SSDI applications normally take three to four months to review, but compassionate allowances provide the administration with the ability to expedite decisions on SSDI applications when the applicant’s disabling condition is so severe that they obviously qualify for benefits. We can help you expedite your application if your case merits it under the law.

Russell Nicolet
Russell Nicolet, La Crosse car accident lawyer

How can an attorney help with my La Crosse SSDI application?

To assist you with obtaining SSDI benefits, our experienced La Crosse disability lawyers can:

  • Review the details of your circumstances to determine if you are eligible to receive SSDI benefits.
  • Assist you in understanding the type of evidence you will need to submit with your application.
  • Provide guidance about the other assistance programs you may qualify for and how SSDI affects your participation in them, as well as how receiving benefits with those programs can affect your ability to receive SSDI payments.
  • Assist you with any of the appeals levels, including attending hearings on your behalf.
  • Assist you in obtaining benefits for your family members, including disabled children or a spouse with a disabling condition who wants to use your work credits to obtain benefits.
  • Provide budget-friendly free case evaluations and contingent-fee payment plans so that anyone who needs help obtaining SSDI benefits can receive it, regardless of their financial ability to pay.

Let the experienced La Crosse Social Security Disability lawyers at Nicolet Law Office help you with your SSDI case. For your free case evaluation, contact us online or call 608-527-0876.

La Crosse Office
205 5th Avenue S, Suite 209, 
La Crosse, WI 54601
Phone: 608-527-0876



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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.

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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.


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13 locations in Wisconsin and Minnesota to serve you

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Wisconsin Locations:

402 Graham Ave.
Suite 305
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Phone: (715) 835-5959
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2300 Riverside Dr,
Suite 105
Green Bay, WI 54301
Phone: (920)-504-3655
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517 2nd Street
Unit #205
Hudson, WI 54016

Phone: 715-226-6158
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205 5th Avenue S,
Suite 209,
La Crosse, WI 54601

Phone: 608-527-0876
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1500 Madison Ave.
Suite 220
New Richmond, WI 54017

Phone: 715-226-6164
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337 North Main Street
Rice Lake, WI 54868

Phone: (715) 790-1114
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215 S 2nd St #20
River Falls, WI 54022

Phone: (715) 716-5869
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1200 Tower Ave.
Superior, WI 54880

Phone: (715) 718-2969
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408 3rd Street
Suite 303
Wausau, WI 54403

Phone: (715) 716-5092
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Minnesota Locations:

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

Phone: (218) 729-0628
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Howard Court Bldg.
302 Howard Street, Suite 123
Hibbing, MN 55746

Phone: 218-217-0659
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Suite #213
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone: (612) 446-3999
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Suite 126
Woodbury, MN 55125

Phone: (651) 815-0017
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If we do not get you a recovery in your case, you will not be responsible for any attorney fees, but you still may be responsible for costs expended on your behalf, such as filing fees, medical records, etc.
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