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Thousands of workers across Wausau must turn to Social Security Disability Insurance (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?
This is where Nicolet Law comes in.
Nicolet Law Accident &Injury Lawyers is known as a premier resource for Wausau residents facing financial distress following a disabling injury or illness. With 15 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 local attorneys.
We know how to penetrate the complicated SSDI system to obtain our clients 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 Wausau Social Security Disability associates at Nicolet Law 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 Firm draw on our deep well of experience to pursue the best possible outcome in every Wausau client’s claim. For more examples of our past success, consider some of our other past case results.
Around 254,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 64 in Wisconsin live with a disability that limits their ability to work. Some of these individuals acquired their disability partway through their career, and cannot perform the job tasks they did before the onset of the disability, but can’t perform any other type of work either. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a form of federal insurance that helps these workers provide for themselves and their families.
Most workers in the U.S. pay Social Security taxes through automatically withheld paycheck deductions. The program provides monthly payments for disabled adults. To understand whether you’re eligible for SSDI benefits, you must first understand how the Social Security Administration defines disability.
According to the administration, a disabling condition:
For purposes of evaluating your claim, the administration will be looking to see if you can perform basic work tasks such as lifting, sitting, standing, walking, or remembering. Unlike other types of disability assistance, SSDI does not provide payments for partial disability.
The Social Security Administration has compiled a list of disabling conditions that can make a person eligible to receive benefits. Obviously, not every disabling condition is listed. If your condition is not listed, the administration will compare the seriousness of it to other conditions on the list. If your unlisted condition is at least as disabling as any of the listed ones, it will be considered eligible.
Having a disabling condition is not the only requirement to receive SSDI benefits. Unless your SSDI eligibility comes from someone else’s work credits, as described above, you must have worked long enough and recently enough to qualify. For each year that a U.S. worker paying into the Social Security system works enough to earn an established minimum level of income, he or she is awarded a work credit. You can receive up to 4 credits a year, one for each quarter.
Generally, individuals who are applying for SSDI benefits must have 40 work credits (approximately 10 years of work), with 20 of those credits being received in the last ten years. However, an estimated 1 in 4 young workers will become disabled during his or her working years. Younger workers don’t need as many work credits to receive SSDI benefits.
If you are planning to apply for SSDI benefits in Wausau, here are the steps in the process:
If your application is approved, you will receive a letter that provides you with the approved amount of your disability payments, informs you as to whether back pay will be included, and will provide a date on which payments begin. Payments cannot begin until six months after the start of your disability. So, for example, if you suffered a disabling condition expected to last more than a year in January and immediately applied for SSDI benefits, the earliest you will begin receiving payments is July.
The Social Security Administration will conduct reviews every three years to ensure that you remain eligible for the benefits. While most people do not lose their benefits if they begin to show medical improvement, they will lose benefits if their income or assets have increased to the point where they are no longer eligible for the assistance. Other ways that you can lose your benefits after receiving them include if you die, retire, or you were receiving benefits as the child of an eligible person and you have reached the age of 18, or you were receiving benefits as a disabled adult child and you got married.
If your application is denied, you will also be notified by letter. You can appeal the decision by requesting an appeal within 60 days of receiving your decision letter.
The four levels of appeals for SSDI decisions include:
Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are extremely important for those whose disabilities prevent them from earning an income. Unfortunately, despite the importance of this program, the process of applying is often daunting and full of questions. Here are some of the questions our Wausau clients most frequently ask about applying for SSDI benefits in Wisconsin.
Yes, in a few circumstances a disabled individual may qualify for SSDI benefits due to their own disabling condition as well as the work credits that a spouse or parent earned.
These circumstances include:
The Social Security Administration will deny applications for SSDI benefits if they have reason to believe that the benefits were being accessed for fraudulent purposes.
Some issues that could raise fraud suspicions during the evaluation of your application include:
If this occurs, meet with a Wausau Social Security Disability lawyer as soon as possible.
Once you reach the age of 65, your benefits will not go away, but will convert from disability benefits to retirement benefits.
A federal court review of your application, the evidence used to support your case, and the administration’s decision is the final layer of the four-level appeals process. This review occurs after your case has been reviewed—or the opportunity to review was declined—by the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council. The review is the result of a civil action filed in the regional judicial district that is filed within 60 days after you have received notification of the Appeals Council’s decision.
In certain circumstances in which your income is over a certain level, your SSDI benefits can be subject to tax. However, because the regulations for receiving SSDI benefits restrict the income you can earn while remaining eligible for benefits, most individuals will not earn enough to have to worry about paying income tax on their benefits.
The process of applying for federal disability benefits is complicated, and the chance of having your claim denied is high. In fact, studies indicate that fewer than half of all applicants receive any benefits and as many as three-quarters of applicants are denied during the initial review levels.
Our experienced Wausau Social Security Disability lawyers can increase your chance of obtaining the benefits that you worked years to earn.
Some of our services include:
Let the experienced Wausau personal injury lawyers at Nicolet Law Firm help you to make sense of the process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or by calling 1-855-NICOLET.
408 3rd Street
Wausau, WI 54403