For the 65,000 residents that call Eau Claire, Wisconsin home, there are many reasons to love this eclectic city. Located approximately 85 miles east of Minneapolis, Eau Claire has a vibrant art, music, outdoor, and sports scene.
In addition to providing great opportunities for recreation, Eau Claire is an excellent place to grow a career. With a lower than average unemployment rate and a growing job market, Eau Claire is a great place to have a job. Unfortunately, not all Eau Claire residents can work. Some people living in Eau Claire face serious health conditions that leave them unable to continue working.
It’s important to know, however, that Eau Claire offers many resources for individuals living with disabilities. Home to two major hospitals, as well as the Mayo Clinic Health System, there are many oustanding places to receive care within the region. Additionally, Eau Claire residents who are unable to work may be eligible for financial assistance from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Health Resources for Individuals Living in Eau Claire
For individuals facing a health crisis, proximity to medical providers is paramount. Thankfully, disabled individuals living in Eau Claire have many excellent choices when it comes to health care facilities and practitioners.
Establishing care with a primary care doctor or medical specialist is imperative to good health. By seeing the same doctor repeatedly, a patient has the opportunity to build a strong rapport with their health care provider. More, the physician can track the progress of the patient’s health, watching for changes in their medical status, as well as monitoring how well they are responding to prescribed treatments.
The benefits of working primarily with one physician extends beyond health care. For individuals seeking Social Security disability benefits, establishing a strong working relationship with a doctor can mean the difference between winning or losing a disability award.
Individuals seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are required to provide a significant amount of medical evidence substantiating their claim. In addition to medical test results, emergency room visit records, and surgical reports, the SSA will seek all records from your primary care provider (PCP) or your medical specialist. They will carefully examine the visit notes from your doctor to determine how your symptoms impact your ability to work and function on a day-to-day basis.
SSDI applicants have often found success by discussing their claim with their doctor. Surprisingly, many doctors have limited knowledge when it comes to the Social Security disability process. It’s helpful for patients to disclose their intention to seek disability benefits, as well as to outline with their doctor what limitations they have as a result of their illness. Together, some patients and doctors have reviewed the SSA’s medical guide, called the Blue Book. This online resource outlines the medical conditions that the SSA deems disabling, as well as what medical evidence is needed to prove an illness.
Patients who have not yet established regular care with a physician should do so immediately. Listed below are three highly regarded medical practices in the Eau Claire area:
Mayo Clinic Health System
1221 Whipple Street
Eau Claire, WI 54703
Marshfield Clinic Health System - Eau Claire Center
2116 Craig Road
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Oak Leaf Clinics – Eau Claire Medical Clinic
3802 West Oakwood Mall Drive
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Applying for Social Security Disability in Eau Claire
For the majority of individuals facing a health care crisis, their change in health status was unexpected. Very few people are prepared to deal with the physical, emotional, and financial ramifications that come with a serious health diagnosis. Finding the right resources for help can be a full-time job in and of itself.
The Social Security Administration recognizes that unanticipated health crises occur. As such, they developed two distinct programs to offer financial assistance to those who find themselves in that position. The SSDI program is available to previously-employed individuals who have paid federal taxes into the system. Individuals who have worked enough hours over the past ten years are considered “insured” by the SSDI program.
Not all individuals who are insured will qualify for disability benefits, however. Due to the high demand for help, SSDI benefits are reserved for the most critically ill. To be considered for benefits, individuals must submit sufficient medical evidence to back up their claim.
Further, disability benefits are only granted to individuals who are facing a long-term health crisis. The SSA assumes that people have other resources for short-term illnesses. Therefore, only those who are deemed permanently disabled will be considered for disability benefits. By definition, the SSA will assign someone as permanently disabled if their doctor asserts that their medical symptoms are expected to keep them out of work for at least 12 months.
The SSDI application process can be completed online, by telephone, or by mail. Many applicants prefer to visit a Social Security office in person, however. The following three offices are within reasonable driving distance to Eau Claire.
Eau Claire Social Security Office 54701
4120 Oakwood Hills Parkway
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Wausau Social Security Office 54403
352 Grand Avenue
Wausau, WI 54403
Wisconsin Rapids Social Security Office 54494
2213 8th Street South
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494
Can a Social Security Lawyer Help Me Win My Claim in Eau Claire?
The Social Security Administration is inundated with disability applications each year. With millions of people receiving disability assistance, and many more seeking it, the SSA follows very stringent guidelines when determining who wins an award. Only about 50% of SSDI applicants are ultimately approved for disability benefits.
In addition to visiting your doctor regularly, there are other ways to improve your chances of winning your claim. You may want to consider hiring a Social Security lawyer to assist you in navigating the complex SSDI application process. Applicants who utilize legal services are more than twice as likely to be approved for disability benefits than those who decide to go-it-alone.