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Representing the Disabled throughout Wisconsin and Nationwide.

Our mission is to represent the disabled locally and nationwide. We make sure you get the help you need.

What is It?

Forward Disability Attorneys has represented people all over Wisconsin in their claims for Social Security disability benefits. At our office, Social Security cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, which means our office receives 25% of a claimant's past-due benefits AFTER we prevail on their claim. Our clients pay us nothing during the pendency of their case, and if we are not successful our clients pay no attorney fees.

If you are interested in consulting with an attorney in person, please call our office to schedule an appointment. If you are unable to visit our office, please call and we will arrange a home or hospital visit, or send you further information by mail.

Social Security Disability is a federal program designed to provide limited income to people who can no longer work due to a physical or mental impairment. The Disability Benefits come from Social Security taxes that the disabled worker previously paid to the government, while the individual was working.

Am I Eligible?

The Social Security process is confusing and burdensome. The first step in the process is the filing of an initial claim. The initial claim should be filed as soon as someone becomes disabled. An individual can file an initial claim by calling the Social Security Administration toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, and they will schedule an appointment for your application to be taken over the telephone or at your local district Social Security office.You may also apply online at In order to apply for disability benefits you should have the following information:

  1. your Social Security number;
  2. your birth certificate or other evidence of your date of birth;
  3. your military discharge papers, if you were in the military service;
  4. your spouse's birth certificate and Social Security number if he or she is applying for benefits;
  5. your children's birth certificates and Social Security numbers if they are applying for benefits; and
  6. your checking or savings account information, so your benefits can be directly deposited;
  7. names, addresses, and phone numbers of doctors, hospitals, clinics, and institutions that treated you and dates of treatment;
  8. names of all medications you are taking;
  9. medical records from your doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics, and caseworkers;
  10. laboratory and test results;
  11. a summary of where you worked in the past 15 years and the kind of work you did;
  12. a copy of your W-2 Form (Wage and Tax Statement), or if you are self-employed, your federal tax return for the past year;
  13. dates of prior marriages if your spouse is applying

Do not wait to file for benefits just because you do not have all of the above-listed information. File your claim and then obtain the required documentation.

If you are applying for Supplemental Security Income benefits, in addition to the information listed above, you will also need the following:

  1. information about the home where you live, such as your mortgage or your lease and landlord's name;
  2. payroll slips, bank books, insurance policies, car registration,burial fund records, and other information about your income and the things you own.

What if I am Denied?

Several million individuals are denied Social Security Benefits every year. Many of these people really are disabled. If you have been denied benefits, but you feel you are disabled, then make sure you appeal your denial within 60 days of the decision. There can be four administrative steps and three judicial steps in a Social Security disability case. They are as follows:

Administrative Levels:

  1. Step 1: Initial Determination
  2. Step 2: Reconsideration
  3. Step 3: Hearing before an Administratiev Law Judge
  4. Step 4: Appeals Council Review

Judicial Levels:

  1. Step 1: Federal Court Review
  2. Step 2: Court of Appeals
  3. Step 3: U.S. Supreme Court

The majority of cases are won at the first and third administrative levels. If someone is awarded benefits at the initial determination level then their experience with the appeals process is over. However, many people are denied benefits and must file a Request for Reconsideration in order to appeal the initial denial. Only 10-20% of claims that reach the Reconsideration level are actually won there. If a claim is denied at reconsideration, then the individual must request a Hearing in order to pursue the claim any further. Present at the administrative hearing will be an Administrative Law Judge, usually a vocational expert, sometimes a medical expert, and the claimant. Hearings generally last from 30-90 minutes. It is essential for a claimant to find quality legal representation prior to the hearing. Approximately 60% of the cases that go to hearing are won there. If a claim is denied by the administrative law judge at the hearing, then the final administrative remedy is to ask the Appeals Council to review the judge's decision. Very few cases are won at the Appeals Council, and the Appeals Council is not required to look at every case that comes before it.

Following a denial from the Appeals Council, a claimant can file a petition in Federal District Court. At this stage, a claimant is essentially suing the U.S. Government for making an improper denial of their claim. If the Federal District Court decision is unfavorable, it can be appealed to the Court of Appeals and even the U.S. Supreme Court upon demand by either party.