When you need social security benefits, time is of the essence. Having a disability that no longer allows you to work a steady job means that your usual flow of money is not coming in. Getting approved and receiving social security disability (SSDI) benefits is vital. 

Due to the sensitive time aspect of SSDI benefits, it’s important to do everything you can to make sure your application can go through the first time. This is where an attorney can help. Having an attorney on your side and helping you through the initial process greatly improves your chances of being approved for benefits

If you’ve already been denied SSDI benefits, you still have a chance to ultimately be approved. But again, having an attorney on your side will greatly improve your chances of having a successful appeal. 

We help individuals throughout Wisconsin and the nation, as a well-known social security disability attorney in Milwaukee that services the entire country. For our home-office residents specifically, let’s take a look at how the SSDI numbers break down. 

Applying for Social Security Disability in Wisconsin

When applying for social security disability benefits, there are typically three stages within the application process. Depending on your individual case, you may not go through all of them. The typical stages are:

  • Initial Application
  • Reconsideration
  • Hearing

That SSDI approval rate for each stage in Wisconsin is as follows: 

  • Initial Application: 39.8% approval rate
  • Reconsideration: 20% approval rate
  • Hearing: 54.2% approval rate

For comparison, the national SSDI approval rate for each stage is as follows: 

  • Initial Application: 38.4% approval rate
  • Reconsideration: 13.7% approval rate
  • Hearing: 51.1% approval rate
social security disability-lose

Given this data, Wisconsin has a slightly higher approval rate than the national average, which is good news for applicants in the state. Again, these are averages, which can be positively affected by having an attorney help with the process. 

The five-year average shows that Wisconsin has consistently had a higher rate of approval during the initial application and reconsideration stages. During the hearing stage, Wisconsin has had a lower approval rate than the national average at times. 

Wisconsin Five-Year SSDI Approval Percentages


Initial Application: 39.8%

Reconsideration: 20%

Hearing: 54.2%


Initial Application: 40.9%

Reconsideration: 22.4%

Hearing: 52.2%


Initial Application: 37.8%

Reconsideration: 19.9%

Hearing: 53.2%


Initial Application: 36.1%

Reconsideration: 19.9%

Hearing: 56.5%


Initial Application: 35.9%

Reconsideration: 19.4%

Hearing: 52.9%

National Five-Year SSDI Approval Percentages


Initial Application: 38.4%

Reconsideration: 13.7%

Hearing: 51.1%


Initial Application: 37.9%

Reconsideration: 13.6%

Hearing: 52.9%


Initial Application: 35.6%

Reconsideration: 12.6%

Hearing: 53.9%


Initial Application: 34.7%

Reconsideration: 13.1%

Hearing: 56.8%


Initial Application: 33.7%

Reconsideration: 12.8%

Hearing: 54.7%

Wisconsin SSDI Hearing Wait Times by Office

If your social security disability case gets to the hearing stage, there is an expected wait time between when you request the hearing and when it will be scheduled. SSDI applicants from Wisconsin will be part of the Social Security Administration’s headquarters in Chicago. There are local hearing offices in Milwaukee and Madison. 

The Wisconsin average for hearing wait time in 2020, in months, was 9.4, with the approval rate, as stated above, being 54.2% on average. But, these numbers differ somewhat significantly between offices. In Madison, the hearing wait time average was 9.6 months in 2020, but the average approval rate was 73.3%. In Milwaukee, the average hearing wait time was shorter, at 9.1 months, but the average approval rate was 48.2%. 

If you have questions on how to apply for SSDI benefits in Wisconsin or Milwaukee, don’t hesitate to call Tabak Law at 800-245-1430 or contact us online

To contact the SSDI hearing offices directly, see the contact information below:

Hearing Office Region 5 Milwaukee SSA, OHO

Room 300W 310 West Wisconsin Avenue Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203

(866) 495-0039 • (414) 297-1993 • (877) 486-2940

Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Hearing Office Region 5 Madison SSA, OHO

3rd Floor 2501 W. Beltline Highway Madison, Wisconsin 53713

(877) 600-2854 • (608) 271-7688 • (877) 486-2936

Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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