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What are the steps for applying for SSDI benefits in Wisconsin?

Some technicalities have to be carried out before a Wisconsin resident can begin receiving Social Security disability benefits. Let's take a look at some of the requirements.

The primary thing to keep in mind is the importance of getting medical treatment for your disability prior to applying for benefits. This can be a difficult step for many people without insurance, but using every available resource to visit a doctor will help you in the application process. To receive SSDI benefits, you will need to prove that you are disabled, and the way to do that is to show documentation from at least one physician.

There are also requirements about the amount of time you have paid into the Social Security system. Most people, unless you're young, must have built up 40 business quarters worth of coverage. Twenty of those coverage units have to have been built up within the last 10 years.

Another factor to consider is the Date Last Insured, otherwise known as the DLI. For most people, the DLI is roughly within 5 years of the last date when Social Security taxes were taken out of an applicant's paycheck. And here, again, it's important to have medical documentation, since the disability should be established prior to the DLI.

Finally, once an application has been filed with the Social Security Administration, an administrative judge will look at the case and decide whether the applicant is really disabled. That decision is supposed to take into account whether the applicant is able to work any part of his or her previous job or perhaps a less strenuous job. Many people are denied benefits at this stage of the process.

That doesn't mean, however, that benefits are out of the question. You can still appeal and end up receiving the benefits you need. A lot of people find that consulting with an SSDI and SSI attorney is a solid step in that direction.

Source: Chron.com, "The Social Security Disability Program," Dwight Baker, Feb. 25, 2013

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