Social Security Disability Attorneys in Wausau
Marathon County Disability Statistics
Did you know that over 4,000 people in Marathon County are currently receiving monthly disability benefits from the Social Security Administration? If you live in Wausau and are struggling to work following a debilitating medical diagnosis, know that you are not alone. Many of your friends, neighbors, and community members share a common struggle, and many have successfully found financial relief through Social Security Disability programs.
Use the guide below to learn more about Social Security Disability programs and discover the difference an experienced attorney can make in appealing a previously denied disability claim.
Social Security Disability Made Simple
Individuals experiencing debilitating, prolonged, or otherwise fatal medical conditions are entitled to request monthly financial assistance from the Social Security Administration. Because these benefits were designed to help people with permanent or long-term disabilities, the SSA does not typically extend program funds to people experiencing short-term or minor conditions or illnesses. However, qualifying family members of eligible applicants may, in some cases, also receive benefits.
In general, eligible applicants must have a qualifying medical condition—confirmed by an SSA-approved physician—and be unable to work for twelve or more consecutive months. People who suffer from an illness or condition not covered by the SSA, or those who expect to be able to return to work within a year, may consider looking to other institutions or nonprofits that support people in similar situations.
Conditions Covered Under Social Security Disability
While the below examples do not represent a comprehensive list of conditions covered under Social Security Disability programs, they should provide prospective applicants with a general idea of what types of ailments may be eligible for benefits. For more detailed information regarding covered medical conditions, you may refer to SSA’s official “blue book” of eligible impairments.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Congenital disorders
- Digestive system disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Genitourinary disorders
- Hematological disorders
- Immune system disorders
- Mental disorders
- Musculoskeletal system
- Neurological disorders
- Respiratory disorders
- Skin disorders
- Special senses and speech
Note: It may be possible to have a condition not explicitly mentioned by the Social Security Administration and still qualify for benefits, provided that your particular disorder has sufficiently impacted your ability to work into the future. Any exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis and made at the discretion of the agency.
Applying For Coverage
While the process of actually applying for Social Security Disability benefits has been made easier than ever with the advent of online applications, much of the legwork still needs to be done the old-fashioned way. Unfortunately, tracking down all of the documentation required to submit an online application can be a confusing and oftentimes arduous endeavor. However, having his or her documents prepared ahead of time will make the filing process much smoother.
Applicants must prepare documents pertaining to:
- Alternate contacts
- Date and place of birth
- Direct deposit information
- Education and training
- Employment records
- Marriage and divorce
- Medical history
- Medical providers
- S. Military service history
- Work history
Most important among these items are an applicant’s medical and work history documents, as they are the largest factors at play when it comes to determining a person’s program eligibility. Those considering filing for disability benefits would be wise to first have copies of medical and employment records at hand—going back at least two years.
Prospective applicants who have not been in the practice of regularly seeing a doctor should schedule a medical appointment as soon as possible. In the event a person’s finances become an obstacle to seeing a doctor, SSA is able to schedule a no-cost appointment. Be advised, however, that this option can drastically slow down the application process, as there is often a waiting list to see an SSA-sponsored physician.
For a complete list of required documents, refer to the Social Security Administration’s Checklist for Online Adult Disability Application.
Monthly Benefit Amounts
SSD applicants are often curious how much they will receive each month, or if there is an “average amount” awarded to a majority of beneficiaries. Unfortunately, there is not a convenient answer to this question. As a rule, eligible filers are awarded a portion of what they would have made, had their disabilities not hampered their ability to work. Currently, maximum individual benefits are capped at $2,788 per month, whereas families of disabled workers can earn a maximum of 180 percent of the worker’s monthly benefit.
Working While Receiving Benefits
This scenario also comes with a complex answer. People already receiving disability benefits may be interested in working but may also wonder how their monthly benefits will be affected by returning to work—even if only part-time. The good news is that SSA if fairly enthusiastic about making it easy for beneficiaries to go back to work.
Through work incentives and its Ticket to Work program, the Social Security Administration has made it possible for beneficiaries to work and still retain their monthly benefits. Whether or not a return to the job force makes the best financial sense for a particular beneficiary ultimately comes down to earning potential and his or her distance to retirement age.
Generally, the agency will only reduce a working beneficiary’s monthly benefit amount if his or her wages exceed a certain annual threshold. By way of example, the Social Security Administration may take away one dollar in disability coverage for every two dollars a person earns over $18,240.
Appealing A Denied Claim
The moment a filer receives notice of a denied disability claim marks the point at which he or she should consult with a trusted bankruptcy attorney. An experienced attorney with a track record of successfully litigating disability appeals can produce better outcomes for individuals struggling to get the coverage they need.
At Nicolet Law Office, our attorneys have been proudly serving clients in Minnesota and Wisconsin since 2007. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our team is determined to find a positive solution for your unique legal situation.
If your Social Security Disability claim was previously denied, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Wausau lawyer at Nicolet Law Office. Call us at 715-377-2141, or use our secure contact form to request a free consultation with a licensed disability attorney today.