August 2008

Let’s be honest. Not every client and lawyer get along.  When choosing your lawyer it is important to make sure your personalities and expectations match.  Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  •  Does the lawyer return your calls within 24 hours? There really is no excuse for not returning your calls. If the lawyer is in court, then the attorney will have to get you a message and call you when available.
  • Does your lawyer take your input? A Social Security disability case is really a partnership between attorney and client. This does not mean the lawyer will always agree with you, but you should at least be able to discuss your views and understand why the attorney takes certain approaches and positions in your case.
  • Is this more than a business relationship? In other words, it is not just about money. There must be trust and an ability to work together to put your best case before the Administrative Law Judge. A lawyer can never guarantee you will win, but the attorney can promise to give his best effort to present your case.
  • Is the lawyer familiar with the Administrative Law Judges who may decide your case? It is very important to know the judge and what he or she looks for in a disability case. A lawyer from a city or state far from your home will be at a great disadvantage.

Any questions, please call Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.


The Vocational Expert is usually not your friend at the Social Security hearing. 

The Vocational Expert’s job is to find jobs that fit the restrictions the Administrative Law Judge provides  to her.

Usually if jobs are found, you will be found not disabled. 

You need to show the jobs cannot be done according to your medical records, or that only a very few jobs exist. 

The main way to do this is to show the Dictionary of Occupational Titles ( a government publication) provides certain requirements for jobs such as frequency of use of hands, standing, walking, lifting. It also shows certain skills levels are needed, as well as reasoning requirements.  

You must show that your medical condition results in limitations that knock out these jobs. 

Social Security does not deal in the real world, so the fact that there may not be many job openings for the jobs cited does not concern them at all. 

The Vocational testimony is so important, and at times complicated, that it is necessary to discuss it with an attorney. 

Please contact me, Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371, if you have any questions. 

According a recent newspaper article in the Bloomington Pantagraph, there is still a lot of unclaimed money from the economic stimulus payouts.

Over 1500 people in McLean County who are eligible have not claimed their checks. Tazwell County has over 2000 people who did not apply.

The total amount of unclaimed money for McLean County is close to $500,000.  The payments include $300 per person and $300 per dependent child.

People who receive social security disability payments, social security retirement or private disability payments are eligible.

If you think you may qualify it is worth contacting the United Way of McLean County. They will provide assistance in applying for the stimulus payments.  

Taking a short summer break and I ran across a book called Thank You Power by Deborah Norville.

It is newer so you can pick it up on Amazon, or I found it at the Public Library. It is better than a self-help book.

Some scientific research supports that focusing on daily events that you can be thankful for helps us deal with set backs, problems and troubles. The author takes you through a series of people who overcome and reminds us that there are many things we can give thanks for each day.

Not earth shattering, but a good reminder for those of us facing daily trials and life changing situations.