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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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Social Security Administration offers some financial support in situations where an SSDI applicant or recipient dies.
Those options include:
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:
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.
To assist you with obtaining SSDI benefits, our experienced La Crosse disability lawyers can:
La Crosse Office
119 N 19th St S
La Crosse, WI 54601