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Wausau Social Security Disability Attorney

After an accident or an injury at work that leaves a worker permanently disabled and unable to work, it is natural for a worker to start thinking about how they are going to support themselves and their family for the rest of their lives now that their future ability to earn a living through work has been cut off.  For workers who cannot sustain gainful employment due to a work related injury, or even from a non-work related injury or illness, an option to consider is Social Security Disability.  If you have been working for many years, you have been contributing to the Social Security Trust Fund out of every paycheck. By doing this you have earned the right to apply for these benefits if you become unable to work due to injury or illness, regardless of the cause.   However, navigating the red tape involved in applying for Social Security Disability can be overwhelming for someone who already has his or her hands full dealing with a serious injury or illness.  This is where an experienced Wausau Social Security Disability attorney can help.

Social Security Disability Claims

Social Security Disability claims are administered by the Social Security Administration, which is a part of the Federal government. To qualify for social security disability benefits, you must have worked for enough years to be qualified to participate in the Social Security system.  Most workers who have worked for many years meet these qualifications.   The criteria for determining your eligibility for Social Security Disability are precise and strict.  In order to qualify for Social Security Disability, you must present evidence and testimony that shows that:

  • You are unable to do any of the type of work you did before you became disabled (within the last 15 years);
  • You are also unable to perform any other substantial and gainful employment that exists in the economy;
  • Your inability to work is caused by a condition or illness which has lasted or is expected to last at least one year, or is expected to result in death

NOTE: It is very important to understand that the terms used above have very precise definitions under Social Security Administration regulations, that may not be the same as how you understand these terms in everyday life.  Therefore, it is critical to discuss the facts of your case with a lawyer who understands the Social Security Disability process.

In the case of a permanently disabling condition, if the Social Security Administration determines that your injury meets the federal definition of “disability,” you will receive monthly benefits ongoing until you reach Social Security retirement age and your benefits would convert to Social Security retirement benefits.   In the event you recover from your condition or illness, the Social Security Administration will review your case and if you are able to return to work on a regular basis due to your recovery, your benefits would stop.  You may also appeal a decision to stop your benefits.

If you are found eligible for Social Security Disability, then you would be eligible to apply for Medicare Coverage which could commence two years after the date you became disabled. If you’ve already been denied Social Security Benefits John Jokela can still help with your appeal.

Receiving Social Security Disability and Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Benefits at the Same Time

Wisconsin is what is known as a “reverse offset” state, meaning that if you receive both Workers Compensation payments and Social Security Disability payments at the same time, your workers compensation payments may be offset, or reduced due to receiving both types of benefits at the same time.  However, if the net total of receiving both benefits is almost always greater than just receiving one or the other, and if you are eligible for both, it is still a net benefit to receive both so long as you keep both the workers compensation carrier and the Social Security Administration informed of all benefits you are receiving.  However, if you have an ongoing workers compensation claim, it would be a good idea to discuss your case with an experience workers compensation and Social Security Disability lawyer before making more decisions.

Social Security Claims Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some common questions that we receive relative to Social Security Disability Benefits along with some brief answers. None of these answers should be construed as legal advice on any particular situation. Each situation is different and requires specific analysis by an experienced Social Security Attorney. This FAQ is intended only to provide general information. Please consult an attorney regarding your specific circumstances.

How To Obtain Your Free Consultation and Case Assessment?

Just call our offices or send us an Email to set up your free consultation. You can always contact us directly at the contact information appearing on this website.

Who is eligible for Social Security Disability?

Generally, a worker insured under the Social Security Act is disabled if they are unable to engage in “substantial gainful activity” due to an impairment or combination of impairments either physical or mental. Your medical condition that causes the impairment must have lasted at least 12 months, or be expected to last 12 months.

How Severe Must My Impairment(s) Be?

Your impairment(s) must be severe enough to significantly affect your ability to work. Social Security will first check to see if any of your impairments are on a list of impairments that they maintain. If it is, you may be found disabled at this point. If not, you may still be disabled if you can show that the severity of your impairment prevents you from performing any past work you have done, and from performing any other work that exists in substantial numbers in the economy.

Who is eligible for Social Security Disability?

Generally, a worker insured under the Social Security Act is disabled if they are unable to engage in “substantial gainful activity” due to an impairment or combination of impairments either physical or mental. Your medical condition that causes the impairment must have lasted at least 12 months, or be expected to last 12 months.

Can I Apply for Social Security Disability While Still Employed?

A person who works and earns an amount not considered to constitute “substantial gainful activity” could still be disabled. If you earn less than $1,170 in gross income per month in 2017 (or $1920.00 for a blind individual) you may still be eligible for to claim disability under Social Security regulations. These threshold amounts normally change each year so please check the current guidelines or call an attorney.

Can I Appeal My Denial of Social Security Disability Benefits?

Yes. Many qualified claimants are not approved for benefits until the second or third appeal to Social Security. The Social Security Administration is overwhelmed with applications and you may not get a thorough review of your case until you are able to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. If you believe you are legitimately disabled, you should keep appealing until you can have a hearing before a judge. Generally, you have 60 days to file an appeal to a decision or denial by the Social Security Administration.

What Happens at My Social Security Hearing?

Many things will happen at your hearing before the administrative law judge. You should file all evidence, including medical records, with the Social Security Administration prior to your hearing. You will be required to testify at your hearing, and you should provide honest and accurate answers and information to the judge. Medical and Vocational experts may also be present and may testify about issue critical to your case. An experience attorney can properly question these witnesses, present all necessary evidence, and address the other issues critical to your claim.

John Jokela Law Firm | Social Security Disability Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in a workplace accident and have questions regarding the interplay between workers compensation and Social Security Disability benefits, do not hesitate to contact the John Jokela Law Firm. John Jokela has years of experience in handling Social Security Disability benefits and Wisconsin worker’s compensation claims, and will work closely with you to resolve any issues with your claims.  Contact our Wausau office today and we will begin examining the facts of your claim, and your initial consultation is free.  Attorney Jokela also makes home visits and handles cases for people who live outside Wausau such as Stevens Point, Nekoosa, Wisconsin Rapids, Waupaca, Appleton, and other surrounding communities.   John is happy to visit you in your home or near by at a location of your choosing.


“The John Jokela Law Firm has been there for me even after my case was settled and that has meant a lot to me. Though at times cases can be long and frustrating in some medical situations like mine, it meant a lot to actually work directly with John when needed. Having the owner and actual attorney work directly with clients in resolving an injury case is rare at times but made all the difference in comforting me through legal issues I knew nothing about handling on my own. Thank you John and your staff for everything.” – Kelly