Social Security and long-term disability in Wisconsin

The month of February has been designated as American Heart Month. It is a time when American’s are encouraged to think about heart disease and what can be done to prevent it. Indeed, over 700,000 people suffer from a heart attack in the United States every year. Approximately 600,000 people die of heart disease. Furthermore, in Wisconsin countless hard-working Americans are forced into long-term disability situations as a result of heart issues.

Other awareness campaigns also happen in February, including National Donor Day and World Cancer Day. Aside from reminding people to take good preventative measures and practice good health to avoid these ailments, health campaigns such as these also bring to light the important role that Social Security disability plays in the lives of Americans. One out of every four Americans will find him or herself disabled prior to reaching the age of retirement and Social Security disability plays a critical role in making sure these individuals are well taken care financially.

Still, a lot of Americans do not know how Social Security disability functions. When a person works and pays Social Security taxes, that person earns credits. The credits go toward future disability benefits (if they are ever needed), future retirement benefits and benefits for surviving spouses. In order to qualify, one is typically required to have worked at least 10 years; however, for younger people, they may qualify after only working one and a half years.

Typically, the litmus test for qualifying for long-term disability benefits is for a Wisconsin resident to have a disabling condition that prevents him or her from working for a year or more. Alternatively, having a fatal condition or disease may also qualify one for benefits. However, it takes time (typically three to four months after filing an application) in order to qualify for benefits. Therefore, anyone who suspects that he or she has a qualifying disability should begin the application process sooner rather than later.

Source:, Disability benefits for what ails you, Brenda Brown, Feb. 3, 2014


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