December 2007


I found an interesting statistical analysis listing the hearing offices across the country and the average number of days required to bring a case to hearing.

Peoria, Illinois is one the offices that takes the longest. It is something like 130th out of 140 offices nationwide. There does not seem to be any correlation between the size of the city and the length of the delay. For example, St. Louis is not that bad for delays. The staffing of the Peoria office is probably much less than other offices.

In any event, Central Illinois Social Security disability claimants face a long wait for there hearing.

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While we pause to celebrate Christmas, let us remember whatever our lot, our pain, our hardship, God has bent down and sent the greatess gift in Jesus. May the light of His most wonderful gift sustain us.

The Social Security office for this region- Peoria, Bloomington, Champaign, Springfield- has sent out a notice explaining that electronic filing of appeals and documents will be highly encouraged.

Supposedly this will result in more efficient use of personnel and move disability cases faster. We shall see. The current internet system is cumbersome and frustrating to use. Hopefully, the push to use the internet for filing will lead to improvement.

This region has 6,325 Social Security disability cases pending at hearing level, with 8 judges. You can see the problem. The average time from hearing request to decision is 700 days.

The regional office is attempting to decide every case with a hearing request date of April 15, 2006 or older by the end of Fiscal Year 2008.

Let me know your experiences with your disability case.

If you have a Workers’ Compensation case pending while your Social Security case is ongoing, you must tell your Workers’ Compensation lawyer about your Social Security disability case.

The reason is that your Workers’ Compensation settlement will count against your Social Security disability benefits and reduce your payment amounts unless special language is added to your settlement contract.

Your lawyer cannot add the language to your settlement contract unless she knows that you have filed for Social Security disability.

If your lawyer wants to know the specific language needed have them contact me.

There is no sense in winning your Social Security disability case and then not being able to collect the money because of your Workers’ Compensation settlement.