Tom Bush

The Milwaukee Disability Attorney

161 West Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 5185,
Milwaukee, WI 53203
Phone 800-924-0465 |

Social Security suggests you get assistance from a disability lawyer. A government study found claimants who have disability lawyers get better results:

  1. The odds of getting benefits for claimants with attorney representation were 3 times higher than the odds of getting benefits for claimants with no representation.
  2. Disability attorneys know what information Social Security needs. The Social Security Administration concedes: “Social Security staff lack the time to sufficiently explain program rules and procedures so that applicants can understand what information they need to document their case.”
  3. Disability attorneys provide assistance with the development of evidence over and above the Social Security Administration’s efforts to develop the evidence.
  4. Disability attorneys prepare their clients to improve their effectiveness and credibility as witnesses.

What kind of attorney do you need for your Social Security disability claim?

Would you hire a general practice doctor if you needed heart surgery?

Social Security disability law is written in thousands of pages of fine print and changes constantly. You need a lawyer who has years of experience handling Social Security claims.  You should hire:

  • Someone who spends a material portion of his or her time practicing Social Security disability law.
  • Someone who meets with you personally before you hire him or her.
  • Someone who listens to you.
  • Someone who knows the local Social Security judges.

How I can help

Every case is different. An attorney’s role depends on the particular facts of your case. Below is a list of things that I may do for you:

  • Spend enough time with you initially to learn the key facts about your medical and work problems.
  • Gather medical, school, work, and other records the Social Security Administration has ignored.
  • Analyze your case and develop a plan to win it.
  • Contact your doctors and encourage them to answer written questions prepared by me about you specifically for your case.
  • Suggest further medical analysis.
  • Send you to a vocational expert for a report on your ability to work.
  • Get your Social Security file.
  • Ask that a prior application by you for benefits be reconsidered so you get more money.
  • Seek a waiver of time limits.
  • Help you prepare a diary of your medical symptoms.
  • Advocate on your behalf at a hearing with a Social Security Judge.
  • Prepare you to answer the judge’s questions.
  • Protect your right to a fair hearing by objecting to improper evidence.
  • Cross-examine witnesses, including expert witnesses.
  • Submit a written argument about the law and the facts that apply to your case.
  • Make sure your benefits are calculated properly.

To contact me about your case, send in the form to your right.


My attorney fee is 25% of back benefits, up to the maximum set by the Commissioner of Social Security, which is currently $6,000.  The Social Security Administration typically holds that 25% out of back benefits and pays the attorney directly.


If I do not win benefits for you, then the attorney fee is $0.


You will be responsible for payment of expenses, which may include medical records and reports, photocopying, travel, transcript preparation and the like.  


Telephone us between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. central time.

Telephone: 414-765-9333 (Toll-Free 800-924-0465)

Fax: 414-765-0459

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 email our office.

Postal address: 161 West Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 5185, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203

The firm is located in the John Plankinton Building at 161 West Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 5185, in the heart of downtown Milwaukee above the Grand Avenue Mall. It is located two blocks from the Reuss Federal Plaza, which houses the Milwaukee Office of Disability Adjudication & Review of the Social Security Administration as well as a Social Security District Office and a Social Security Teleservice Center.

Directions from the North: Take I-43 south. Exit from I-43 at I-794 east toward the lakefront. Exit from I-794 at N. Plankinton Avenue — the first exit on your right. Turn left (north) on Plankinton. Go two blocks to the Grand Avenue parking structure, which is on your left as soon as you cross Michigan Street.

Directions from the South: Take I-43/I-94 north. Exit from I-43/I-94 at the I-794/ Plankinton Avenue exit. Follow the ramp to N. Plankinton. Turn left (north) on Plankinton to the Grand Avenue ramp entrance, which is on your left two blocks north of the expressway.

Directions from the West: Take I-94 heading east. Continue east (straight ahead) on I-794 and exit at the first exit, which is James Lovell Street/ St. Paul Avenue. Proceed to St. Paul, which is the right fork of the exit ramp. Turn left (east) on St. Paul. Proceed 6 blocks to N. Plankinton Avenue. Turn left on N. Plankinton and go two blocks to the Grand Avenue ramp, which is on your left.

The Grand Avenue Parking Structure is on Plankinton between Wisconsin and Michigan Ave. Pull into the parking structure, take a ticket and bring it up with you so that we may validate for parking. The Plankinton Building is on the North side of the Grand Avenue Parking Structure. Building elevators are located on the Wisconsin Avenue side of the Plankinton Building directly across the mall from the parking structure. If you are entering on the 1st floor you will enter near the fruit stand and TJ Max on the right. Walk across the Plankinton Building rotunda to find the elevators which are through the glass doors. If you are entering on the 2nd floor, the elevators are directly across the rotunda. Take the elevator to the 5th floor. Our office is to the left. We are at Suite #5185.


Examples of Who Is and Is Not Disabled

Social Security disability law defines “disability” as an inability “to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”

An individual is not “disabled” if drug addiction or alcoholism would “be a contributing factor material to the Commissioner’s determination that the individual is disabled.”

However, you cannot always rely on common sense to tell you who is and who is not disabled under Social Security law. Here are some examples:

Example: Lawyer

  • He is 35 years old with 10 years of trial experience.
  • He is not working, but he is looking for a job.
  • He lost his left foot in a car accident a year ago.

Because of stump complications, he is unable to use a prosthetic device to walk one block at a reasonable pace, though he uses it to walk shorter distances, e.g., around an office or around his apartment. When he goes longer distances, he rides a motorized scooter.

He is disabled based on Step 3 of the Sequential Evaluation Process.

Example: Bookkeeper

  • He has a college education.
  • He is a quadriplegic with only limited use of his right hand and arm and no use whatsoever of his legs and left arm.
  • He uses an arm brace to write.
  • He works a few hours per day as a bookkeeper and earns, after deductions for expenses related to his impairment, about $1,050 per month on average.

Because of his earnings he is not disabled.

Example: Construction worker

  • He is 48 years old.
  • He has done heavy unskilled construction work since age 16.
  • He has a fourth grade education and is capable of reading only rudimentary things like inventory lists and simple instructions.
  • He has a “low normal” I.Q.
  • He is limited to sedentary work because of a heart condition.

He is not disabled unless he has some additional limitations.

Example: Machine operator

  • He is 38 years old.
  • He has done medium exertion level unskilled factory work, operating a machine since he graduated from high school.
  • A cardiovascular impairment limits him to sedentary work, and a permanent injury of the right hand limits him to such work not requiring bimanual dexterity.


He is probably disabled.

Example: Truck driver

  • He is 61 years old.
  • He worked as a truck driver all his life except that 10 years ago during a downturn in the trucking industry, he worked for 1-1/2 years at a sedentary office job which he got with the help of his brother-in-law.
  • He is limited to sedentary work because of a pulmonary impairment.

He is not disabled because he is still capable of doing the office job.

Example: Packer

  • He is 50 years old.
  • He has a high school education.
  • He has done unskilled light exertion factory work as a packer for the past 30 years.
  • He had a heart attack on January 1 and, after being off work for eight months, he recovered after an angioplasty. His cardiologist gave him a clean bill of health and was ready to send him back to work when he broke his leg in a fall unrelated to his heart condition. In a cast and unable to stand and walk as required by his job, he could not return to work until February. He was off work a total of 13 months.

He is not disabled for the time he was off work based on Step 3 of the Sequential Evaluation Process. A regulation provides that unrelated impairments may not be combined to meet the requirement that a claimant be unable to work for 12 months.

Example: Housewife

  • She is 55 years old.
  • She has an eleventh grade education.
  • She has not worked in the past 15 years. Before that she was a secretary.
  • She has a back problem diagnosed as status post laminectomy.
  • She is limited to maximum lifting of 50 lbs. with frequent lifting of 25 lbs., is capable of frequent bending, stooping, etc., and has no limitation for standing or walking.

She is disabled for the SSI program as long as she meets the income and asset limitations for that program. She is not eligible for Social Security disability benefits because she has not worked for so long.