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What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Greenfield Social Security disability application process attorney

Milwaukee, WI Lawyer Assisting With SSDI and SSI Benefits Applications

If you are in need of Social Security disability benefits to support yourself or your family while you are unable to work, the application process can feel like a frustrating obstacle standing in your way. While it is true that the application process is often long and can be complicated, it is a necessary step toward obtaining the support that you need. The sooner you begin the process, and the better prepared you are for it, the sooner you may be able to get approval and start receiving monthly payments.

Attorney Jonathan Pearson understands how stressful the disability benefits application process can be, and he is prepared to help you manage it as smoothly as possible. He has dedicated his career to personally advising and representing each of his clients throughout their application for benefits. With him, you can trust that your case is in good hands and that you will not be charged any fees unless he is successful in acquiring benefits for you.

Beginning Your Application for SSDI or SSI Benefits

The first step toward obtaining benefits is completing and submitting your application to the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), and in order to do so, you will need to understand which type of benefits you are applying for. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) both help people with disabilities, but they have very different eligibility criteria, and therefore, some of the forms you will need to fill out and the information you will need to provide will differ between the two of them.

You should also prepare for your application by gathering important information and documentation, especially regarding your medical condition, your treatment history, and your work and earning history. You will then need to determine the best option for submitting your application. In some cases, your application can be completed online, but you may also need to complete parts of the application over the phone or at an in-person appointment or submit some important documents by mail.

After You Apply

The materials and information you submit will be reviewed by the federal SSA office in collaboration with Wisconsin's Disability Determination Bureau (DDB) to determine whether you are eligible for benefits. For an SSDI application, the SSA will need to determine whether you have contributed sufficiently to Social Security throughout your past work history. For an SSI application, the SSA will need to determine whether your limited income and resources constitute a sufficient financial need. For both, the Wisconsin DDB will need to determine whether your condition prohibits your performance of substantial gainful activity (SGA), and in order to do so, they will consider questions including:

  • Are you currently working and earning any income?
  • Is your condition noted by the SSA as a qualifying disability, or will it severely impede your abilities for an extended period of time?
  • Are you able to perform your past work or any other work that qualifies as SGA?

The review process can take a few months or more. While you are waiting for a response, the SSA and DDB may reach out with requests for additional information, or they may ask you to undergo a medical examination. We will work with you to respond to these requests in a timely manner to prevent delays in your review.

What if Your Application Is Denied?

Unfortunately, many applications for Social Security disability benefits are initially denied. This does not necessarily mean that you will not ultimately receive benefits, but it will likely extend the process for some time. However, you can rely on Attorney Jonathan Pearson to stay by your side as you petition for an appeal, allowing for a reconsideration of your case and an opportunity to present your argument in a hearing.

Contact a Waukesha County Social Security Disability Benefits Attorney

Whether you are just starting the application process or you have been waiting for several months, contact us today for a free consultation at 414-240-4801. We serve clients in Milwaukee, Greenfield, Oak Creek, Wauwatosa, South Milwaukee, West Allis, Milwaukee County, Waukesha County, and the surrounding areas.



  • Thank you so much Jonathan. I was so tired of waiting almost 2 years for my disability hearing and you told me always stay positive and to not give up. You met with me before my hearing and told me what to expect and when you told me the judge approved my case I was so relieved! The Social Security disability payments I get allow me to keep seeing my doctors and really help us out. Thank you!

    - Shirley

  • Jonathan thank you for helping me win my Social Security disability case. You are so easy to talk to and don’t make me feel stupid each time I call with my questions.

    - Rene

  • Jonathan is very knowledgeable and pleasant,He is very considerate for his client and return my all phone calls promptly.I was very happy for his services. I highly recommend him to any body who needs attorney help.

    - S.P., Wheeling, IL

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