Disability in Wisconsin

Filing for a disability in Wisconsin might seem like a major undertaking, but it’s actually much simpler than one thinks.  First of all, there are actually several different programs that you’re applying for when you turn in your application.  The first is Social Security benefits, which includes two different subdivisions.  Then there are the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and finally, there are Wisconsin based programs.

Social Security

Social Security is divided into two different programs: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income.  These programs are federally funded and mandated, although the decision for who meets these federal guidelines is done by the state of Wisconsin.  To be eligible for Disability Insurance, one must be under 65, have worked long enough to have accumulated a specific amount of Social Security, and then became disabled and unable to continue working any job.  An individual under 22 who has had a disability since he or she was young or a widow/widower with a disability whose late spouse was eligible for coverage under Social Security may also be eligible for benefits.

To be eligible for Supplemental Security Income, an individual simply must have a medically determined disability (either mental or physical) that will last at least a year or be fatal.  They must also be unable to work any substantial job.

Medicare and Medicaid

These two programs are aimed at assisting individuals with a disability in Wisconsin pay for their medical bills and prescription drugs.  You can apply for Medicare once you’ve been on Social Security Disability Insurance for two years.  For Medicaid, you must qualify for disability and meet specific income requirements.  Those who qualify for Supplemental Security Income are also able to receive Medicaid in addition to their other disability income.

Other Programs

The State of Wisconsin operates a number of programs aimed at helping its citizens live full, independent lives despite their disability.  If you are unable to perform household chores or personal tasks, an assistant can come to your home as scheduled (once a day or a few times a week, whichever is needed) to help you dress, cook, do laundry, go to the grocery store, or perform light household maintenance and repairs.

Transportation programs are available for those who are unable to drive themselves to medical appointments or other important places.

Finally, job placement programs are available for disabled individuals who want to learn a new skill and find a new place in the workforce.

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