Social Security disability and workers’ compensation are two very different programs, but they have one important thing in common: both exist to help people who have been injured or become ill to the point where they can no longer work. These vital programs are in place to make sure that your medical bills are covered, and that you receive the income you need to make ends meet.
Of course, that doesn’t mean either is easy to receive. Both programs go out of their way to avoid fraudulent claims, which means that, unfortunately, a lot of genuine claims face denial the first time out. When this happens to you, it’s important to have a disability lawyer in your corner who can challenge the denials and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. If you’re in Green Bay, WI, that means you should call Fitzgerald & Bomier Attorneys at Law.
The Purpose Of SSDI And Workers’ Comp
While Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and workers’ comp are different programs, they serve a similar purpose for those who become disabled. They provide insurance to cover your medical bills (and in some cases, recovery if possible), vocational training if needed, and a stipend to cover portions of your wage loss. Each has its own application and appeals process.
Green Bay, WI, Social Security Attorney
When you suffer a disability from illness, injury or accident, or SSDI, is in place to help you pay your medical bills and recoup some of your lost income, so you can still retain some semblance of control over your life. The process of applying for disability, however, can be complex and involves five main stages.
The first stage is the application phase. At this stage, you gather all of the medical evidence and supporting documents to show that you are, in fact, disabled and that this disability will last for at least a year, or will result in your death. You then submit all of this information to the SSA with an application, a process that can take up to 120 days. If you face a denial, don’t panic—about 70% of claims are denied at the outset.
The Appeals Process
Next comes the appeals process. Stage two is the reconsideration phase, where you ask the SSA to review your claim again. This can take up to five months, and about 15% of appeals are approved. If you’re refused again, you can request a hearing within 60 days. At this stage an administrative law judge will look at the case, which can take over a year to complete. On the up side, 63% of cases are approved at the hearing stage.
If you’re still refused, you can file a challenge with the Appeals Council, which can take up to a year, but only about 2% of cases are approved. The final stage is to file for review in the Federal District Court, which can go a multitude of directions. When you’re facing this process, you need a Green Bay, WI, Social Security attorney in your corner like Fitzgerald & Bomier, who will fight for your right to compensation every step of the way.
Workers’ Compensation Process
A workers’ comp attorney can be necessary to help you with your workers’ compensation claim as well. Workers’ compensation is at its core a no-fault insurance system that’s in place to cover your medical bills and partial lost compensation, as well as help you undergo vocational rehabilitation if you can’t recover enough to get back into your current job.
The first step in this process is to report your injury. In Wisconsin, you have up to 30 days to report your injury to your employer. It’s important, however, to make this notification as soon as possible—the longer you wait, the more likely your claim will be denied. You should also get medical care as soon as possible and keep detailed records of the care you receive.
When you report your injury, your employer will give you all the necessary paperwork as well as a list of recommended healthcare professionals you can see for your injury. Your employer will handle the filing of the claim. After this, the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Division will administer the claim, but the insurance company providing the coverage will approve or deny the claim after reviewing your records, analyzing your current employment situation, and possibly requiring a functional capacity evaluation.
When To Call A Workers Comp Attorney
The insurance company has up to 30 days to approve or deny your claim, but most render a decision within 2 weeks. If your claim is denied, you can file an appeal, which requires submitting an Application for Hearing with the Division. When this happens, you need a qualified Green Bay Workers’ Compensation Attorney to help.
Negotiating with insurance companies can be difficult, and requires gathering the right evidence and making the proper presentation to the workers’ compensation judge. This means finding an attorney who has experience and knowledge in this area like Fitzgerald & Bomier.
Receiving SSDI And Workers’ Comp Together
It’s possible in some cases to receive both social security and workers’ compensation. However, it’s also important to note that under the law you can only receive a maximum of 80% of your prior income from both sources. If your combined income from both would amount to more than this, your social security benefits may be reduced to compensate.
In either case, it’s not the end of the world if your claim is denied. It can, however, take a lot of time and effort to push a claim through. It’s a factor of gathering all the right evidence, and presenting your case the right way.
That’s where the disability lawyers at Fitzgerald & Bomier Attorneys at Law enter the picture. We have fought for the rights of many people in the Green Bay, WI, area for years, and we’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Give us a call or complete our contact form for a free consultation on your case today!