More than 12,000 Wisconsinites waiting for status of Social Security Disability applications

Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 7:01 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2021 at 10:32 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - NBC15 Investigates looked into Wisconsin’s system for Social Security Disability.

According to the regional Social Security Office out of Chicago, there are approximately 12,200 Wisconsinites waiting on the status of their disability benefits application.

Attorney Dave Hudec, with Social Security Advocates helps clients with the application process. He has been at it for about 15 years. He said it only takes a few hours to fill out the paperwork, but about four to six months to find out whether you’re approved. For some, it can take up to a year.

The pandemic has only complicated things.

“Twenty-five percent of these claims are mental and mood disorders it’s really a devastating thing. Now with isolation going on it’s hard to create a support system for yourself when you’re so isolated,” Hudec said.

NBC15 News asked the regional social security office about the wait times, too. There full response is listed below:

Response: A person applying for disability benefits can help with the application process by providing complete information about their physical or mental conditions, including treatment history, complete contact information for their treating sources (doctors, hospitals, clinics), and copies of medical records they have in their possession.

The law (Social Security Act) has a very stringent definition of disability—i.e., the inability to engage in substantial gainful activity (work) due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that has lasted or is expected to last at least one year or to result in death.

The time it takes to get a decision on a disability application can vary depending on:

•The nature of the applicant’s disability;

•How quickly we can get the applicant’s medical evidence from their doctor or other medical source;

•Whether it is necessary to send the applicant for a medical examination; and

•Whether we review an application for quality purposes.

People can apply for disability benefits on SSA’s website at They can also create a my Social Security account to check the status of their pending application.

Our national Investigative Team looked into the long wait and the struggle some Americans face when they need disability payments after a catastrophic injury or illness.

The Long Wait
The Long Wait

Americans stuck waiting months for disability benefit decisions

Thousands of Americans are waiting for decisions in their cases to access Social Security...

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