More videos: What to Expect at Your Disability Hearing, How the Judge Determines Disability, What Not to Do at a Hearing, How to Be Persuasive at Your Hearing, How to Best Describe Your Daily Activities, When You Have Physical Impairments and Mental Limitations, and Can You Work Part-Time?

New Articles: Completing the Function Report in Your Milwaukee Social Security Disability Case, How Do I Know If I Should Apply for Social Security disability benefits?, Third Step in the Sequential Evaluation Process: The Listing of Impairments, and Substantial Gainful Activity


Have you been denied disability benefits?  If you live in Southeast Wisconsin, Social Security disability attorney Tom Bush can help

Most denials of claims for disability benefits can be reversed if knowledgeable Social Security lawyers are retained to handle the appeals. But patience and perseverance are required. As you will see from the award rates below, most disability claimants give up too soon.

1. Application level. Initial applicants for Social Security disability will wait on average 120 days to receive an answer, and for 35% it will be yes. Out of those rejected at this initial level, 52% will abandon their claims and 48% will appeal.

2. Reconsideration level. Claimants who timely filed their appeals within 60 days of receipt will
wait 90 days for a decision. Only 15% will receive good news. Out of those who don’t, 30% will
give up and 70% will appeal.

3. Hearing level. This is where patience and good representation pay off. National claimants will
wait 15.5 months for a hearing and decision (Wisconsin claimants will wait 18 months), but 55%
will be awarded benefits. Of the remainder, 55% will quit and 45% will appeal.

4. Appeals Council. Another 220 days are required. Only 2% of claimants will be rewarded with benefits; about 23% of claimants will have their claims sent back for another hearing. Most of the rest will give up.  Only a few appeal to federal court.

5. Federal court. Claimants wait another 540 days for a federal court decision. About half of them will have their claims sent back for another hearing before an administrative law judge.  Only a small percentage are awarded benefits by the federal court.

The lesson from these national averages is to pursue your Social Security disability claim through the first three levels — application, reconsideration, and hearing.  Most of those who don’t give up before the Social Security disability hearing will be awarded benefits.

Social Security disability expertise

If you decide to appeal your Wisconsin disability claim and retain me to help, I will bring 3 important
qualities to the fight:

1. Experience. I have practiced Social Security disability law in Wisconsin since 1977, and helping Wisconsin disability clients is my sole focus. My peers elected me president of the largest association of Social Security disability attorneys and advocates.

2. Knowledge. I am the author of the disability book that many advocates consider the best on their shelves. Even outside of Milwaukee and Wisconsin, Social Security disability lawyers look to me for
cutting-edge strategies, forms, and arguments.

3. Compassion. I have learned that winning provides my Social Security disability clients more than money. It can also bring independence, validation, and peace of mind. I understand what is at stake, so you will have a devoted Milwaukee disability attorney on your side if I accept your case.

You may read more about my qualifications here.

Social Security disability library

My website contains a lengthy book’s worth of information on Social Security disability … all free. I especially recommend these items:

  • For a broad, start-to-finish collection of suggestions you should sign up for Free Lessons on Winning Benefits by leaving your e-mail address in the upper right corner.
  • If you are appealing a denial or thinking about it, you will want to read the free booklet called Helpful Suggestions for Appealing a Denial (found in the upper right corner).
  • For a quick visual summary of appeals, play the educational video above entitled Should You Appeal a Denial?
  • To receive a no-obligation evaluation of your Social Security disability case, complete the Claim Evaluation Form to the right.
  • If you are looking for an in-depth education on disability, or want to understand how SSA evaluates particular impairments, I recommend the extensive Disability Library below. Especially valuable are the impairment-specific medical source statements found below in Applying for Disability Benefits When….

I hope you find the guidance on my website helpful. If you want us to evaluate your claim, please fill out the Free Claim Evaluation Form on the right side of this page. If you have other questions, please call 800-924-0465 or e-mail my office.