Wisconsin residents who are no longer able to work may be interested in learning more about long-term disability benefits. The law provides for two types of disability benefits, both of which are administered through the Social Security Administration. Social Security Disability Insurance is a benefit available to workers that contributed to Social Security and who become unable to work for an extended period of time. The other benefit is Supplemental Security Income, which is a need-based program. Injured workers must meet eligibility requirements to receive SSI.
In addition to disabled workers, surviving disabled spouses may be eligible for benefits if the deceased spouse worked and paid into the system long enough to be eligible. Individuals who became disabled and unable to work before their 22nd birthdays may also be entitled to long-term disability benefits if they have a deceased or disabled parent or a retired parent who worked long enough to be eligible. Any person who receives SSI is also eligible for health care through Medicaid.
Some people believe they are prohibited from working while receiving disability benefits, but that is not the case. Social Security offers that allow disabled workers to re-enter the workforce on a trial basis without jeopardizing their earnings. It may also be possible to continue receiving Medicaid or Medicare while working.
When a person is unable to work, a Wisconsin employment law attorney may be able to help seek disability benefits on the person’s behalf. It may be possible for the attorney to help gather information and file documentation to support the initial claim. When a request for benefits is denied, it may also be possible for the attorney to help file a timely appeal.
Source: Wisconsin Department of Health Services, “Wisconsin Disability Determination Bureau Frequently Asked Questions“, September 13, 2014