There are more than 3.5 million residents living in the State of Wisconsin. Approximately four percent of these residents receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). This year alone, there will be thousands more Wisconsin residents applying for Social Security Disability benefits. While the initial application process only takes Wisconsin Social Security Disability applicants approximately three months to complete, the majority of these claimants are denied during the initial application stage. In order for these applicants to obtain the disability benefits that they may be entitled to, they must undergo a lengthy and complicated disability appeal process.
The first stage of appeal for Wisconsin Social Security Disability applicants is a Request for Reconsideration. Unfortunately, fewer than twenty percent of these requests are actually granted by the SSA. The second stage of appeal, the disability hearing, is when most applicants will obtain the disability benefits they need. The problem is, in the State of Wisconsin, it can take an applicant anywhere from 447 to 512 days to be scheduled for a disability hearing and then it takes another 45 to 90 days to receive notice of whether or not the administrative law judge decided to rule in your favor.
The extensive wait times are the result of a significant backlog of disability cases being managed by the office that is in charge of scheduling the SSA's disability hearings. As more Wisconsin Social Security Disability applicants apply for disability benefits and are denied, the number of appeals increases and more people must wait in line for a hearing before an administrative law judge.
The Social Security agency that is in charge of scheduling hearings is the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The area of Wisconsin that you live in determines which ODAR office will schedule your disability hearing before an administrative law judge. This will also determine how long you will have to wait before you actually get your day in court. The ODAR offices that handle the scheduling of disability hearings for Wisconsin Social Security Disability applicants are as follows:
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
The ODAR office located in Madison, Wisconsin is responsible for scheduling the disability hearings for the Social Security field offices in Janesville, La Crosse, Lancaster, Madison, Portage, Rhinelander, Wausau and Wisconsin Rapids. It takes this office an average of 447 days to schedule a hearing for a Wisconsin Social Security Disability applicant.
The Milwaukee ODAR office is responsible for scheduling the hearings for the Social Security field offices in Appleton, Fond du Lac (538), Green Bay, Greenfield, Marinette, Kenosha, Manitowoc, Milwaukee (Mitchell, North, South, Downtown, West), Oshkosh, Racine, Sheboygan, Waukesha and West Bend. It takes this office an average of 512 days to schedule a disability hearing.
The ODAR office located in Minneapolis, Minnesota is responsible for scheduling the disability hearings for the Social Security field office in Superior, Wisconsin. It takes this office an average of fourteen months to schedule a disability hearing.
Hiring a Wisconsin Social Security Disability Attorney
Wisconsin Social Security Disability applicants who are denied during the initial stage of the application process wait more than a year to be scheduled for a disability hearing before an administrative law judge. Many applicants want to know if there is any way to avoid the extensive and complicated appeal process. The fact of the matter is, the only way to avoid the disability appeal process is to be awarded benefits during the initial stage of the Social Security Disability claim process. Working with a qualified Wisconsin Social Security Disability attorney can help you do exactly that.
When you hire a Wisconsin Social Security Disability attorney to represent you in your disability claim, your attorney will work with you to gather the evidence that the SSA will need to see in order to approve your disability benefits. Your lawyer will also ensure that your claim is completed properly and that it is presented in the best light possible to the SSA. If, for some reason, your application for disability benefits is not approved, your lawyer will be able to represent you during the disability appeal process.
While you can technically represent yourself in your Social Security Disability appeal, statistics show that you are more likely to be awarded benefits if you obtain proper legal representation. Wisconsin Social Security Disability applicants must wait more than a year to obtain a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. To ensure that time is not wasted, you want to give yourself the best possible chance of a successful hearing outcome. That means retaining the services of a Wisconsin Social Security Disability lawyer.
Click here if you would like to learn more about hiring a Wisconsin Social Security Disability lawyer and to receive a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.