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SSDI Benefits in Wisconsin

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) gives money to Wisconsin residents who can't work due to a long-term disability. If you can't work for a year or more because of a medical condition, you might qualify for SSDI.

The SSDI program is run by the Social Security Administration (SSA). They take care of applications, decide who gets help, and send out monthly payments. The agency also manages Social Security retirement and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

SSDI Eligibility in Wisconsin

To be eligible for SSDI, you must meet two main criteria:

  • You must have a health problem that keeps you from working for at least a year or could cause death.
  • You must have a sufficient number of work credits, which are earned through your employment history and the amount you have paid into the Social Security fund.

Legal Definition of Disability

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has specific guidelines to define what constitutes a disability. This definition plays a key role in determining whether an individual is eligible for disability benefits like SSDI.

According to the SSA, a disability is a condition that prevents a person from engaging in work and is expected to last at least a year or result in death.

The SSA employs a guide known as the Blue Book to classify disabilities. The Blue Book contains detailed descriptions of various medical conditions and the requirements needed to meet the definition of disability for each one.

SSA examiners reference the Blue Book to assess an applicant's medical information and determine if the disability is approved. The evaluation process considers factors like the severity of the condition, its impact on daily life, and the likelihood of recovery.

Work Credits

Work credits play a significant role in determining eligibility for SSDI benefits. When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn these credits &mdash up to 4 per year.

Applicants typically need 40 credits to qualify for SSDI, with 20 of those earned in the last 10 years before becoming disabled.

How to Apply for SSDI in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, you can apply for SSDI online, by phone, or at a local Social Security office. The best way to apply is online via your mySocialSecurity account.

Apply for SSDI Benefits Online: https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/dib

Apply By Phone: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8:00 am - 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

When applying for disability benefits, you will need to provide detailed information about your medical condition. This includes medical records, doctors' reports, and any evidence that supports your claim of disability.

SSA examiners will review this information to determine whether your health condition meets the criteria for disability. Medical evidence is key to determining whether you will be awarded benefits.

Preparing for Your Consulting Examination (CE)

If the SSA needs more information, you may have to attend a medical exam paid for by the SSA. This is known as a Consulting Examination (CE).

During this exam, an SSA-approved doctor will examine your disability and observe how your condition prevents you from working. After the exam, the doctor sends a report to the SSA.

Do I Need a Disability Attorney?

It can be advantageous to hire a disability lawyer to help with your claim. Disability lawyers are experts in the rules and procedures related to disability claims. They can guide you through the application process, help gather the necessary medical evidence, and present your case in a favorable light.

If your initial claim is denied, a disability lawyer can also represent you during the appeal process. Their payment structure is typically contingent on winning the case, meaning they only receive payment if you are awarded benefits. The most a disability attorney can charge is 25% of your back pay or $7,200, whichever is less.

Supplemental Security Income in Wisconsin

Another benefits program administered by the SSA is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. SSI helps low-income Wisconsin residents who are 65 or older, blind, or have a disability. It's different from SSDI because eligibility is based on financial need, not work credits.

SSI Eligibility

To qualify for SSI, Wisconsin applicants must meet specific income and asset limitations. In addition to meeting the low-income requirements, eligible applicants must belong to one of the following groups:

  • Adults aged 65 and above
  • People who are blind
  • People who are unable to work because of a disability

SSI Application

Wisconsin residents can apply for SSI online, by phone, or at a local office.

Apply for SSI Benefits Online: https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/start.html

Apply By Phone: Call 1-800-772-1213

You will be asked about your finances, medical condition, and current living arrangements. Supporting documents such as medical records and bank statements are typically required.

What's the Difference Between SSI and SSDI?

SSDI is for disabled Wisconsin residents who paid Social Security taxes but can't work due to a disability. It operates like an insurance plan, and eligibility is based on having enough work credits.

SSI focuses on financial need instead of work credits. In Wisconsin, SSI can also help applicants access additional benefits like Medicaid, LIHEAP, and food stamps.

Wisconsin - Social Security Disability Office Locations

Find your local SSA office to get help with SSDI or SSI.

Office Code Name Address Weekday Hours Phone Number
535 MILW NORTH WI 6300 W Fond Du Lac Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53218 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-823-4323
536 MADISON WI 6011 Odana Rd, Madison, WI 53719 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-770-2262
537 GREEN BAY WI 1561 Dousman St, Green Bay, WI 54303 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-862-4811
538 FOND DU LAC WI Ste 100, 180 Knights Way, Fond Du Lac, WI 54935 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-717-1526
539 EAU CLAIRE WI 4120 Oakwood Hills Pky, Eau Claire, WI 54701 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-815-2924
540 RACINE WI 4020 Durand Ave, Racine, WI 53405 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-270-8629
541 LA CROSSE WI Ste 100, 210 7th St S, La Crosse, WI 54601 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-770-2345
542 WAUSAU WI 352 Grand Ave, Wausau, WI 54403 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 855-269-9186
546 JANESVILLE WI 222 N Academy St, Janesville, WI 53548 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-850-7826
548 MILW DT WI Ste 260, 310 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53203 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-467-9626
549 APPLETON WI 607 W Northland Ave, Appleton, WI 54911 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-694-5495
550 WAUKESHA WI 267 South St, Waukesha, WI 53186 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-220-7885
D08 MILW-WEST WI 5020 W North Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53208 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-716-8594
E26 GREENFIELD WI 8455 W Layton Ave, Greenfield, WI 53228 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-600-2856
478 PORTAGE Ste 100, 2875 Village Rd, Portage, WI 53901 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-875-1681
543 SHEBOYGAN WI 1137 N 26th St, Sheboygan, WI 53081 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-635-3549
544 SUPERIOR WI 4221 Tower Ave, Superior, WI 54880 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-628-6578
545 OSHKOSH WI 400 City Center Ste B, Oshkosh, WI 54901 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-445-0834
547 KENOSHA WI 3915 30th Ave Suite A, Kenosha, WI 53144 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-334-4997
551 WISCONSIN RAPIDS 2213 8th St South, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 855-686-1465
552 LANCASTER WI 175 W Alona Ln, Lancaster, WI 53813 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-405-7841
553 MARINETTE WI 2023 Lake Park Dr, Marinette, WI 54143 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-329-5722
554 MANITOWOC WI 1603 Mirro Dr, Manitowoc, WI 54220 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-409-8430
878 RHINELANDER WI 2023 Navajo St, Rhinelander, WI 54501 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-868-8185
910 RICE LAKE WI 1703 W Knapp St, Rice Lake, WI 54868 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-823-3923
A61 WEST BEND WI 1145 Vern St, West Bend, WI 53090 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-655-0843