October 2008


Your Social Security Disability hearing is coming up soon. Are you nervous? Most likely. You do not know what to expect and the result is very important to you.

It is not like what you see on television. There is no big courtroom. There is no jury. The only people in the room are the judge, yourself, the vocational expert and the hearing room monitor(tapes the hearing).

In order to be more relaxed you need to know that the judge is going to ask you about your symptoms, your limitations, your daily activities, your work history, your education, your ability to do chores. The hearing is going to last from 40 to 50 minutes and you are going to have to ask the vocational expert questions. The judge will usually not decide your case on the spot. The judge will take from 30 to 60 days to issue a written decision in your case.

If you have any questions about what is going to happen at your Social Security Disability hearing please feel free to call me, Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371. 

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Last night was the Disabilities Expo put on by Access Allies of Bloomington Normal. It was another great event. Thanks, Chris!

The weather did not cooperate but it was good to see the people who came out and to have so many exhibitors who provide important services to the community.

If you were unable to attend be sure to call me, Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371, if you have questions about Children’s SSI or Social Security Disability.

Let me know if there are any other fairs in the Central Illinois area. I will be glad to attend and talk with you about Social Security Disability.

Social Security News blog has updated statistics regarding the time it takes a Social Security Disability case to go from application to final decision. The National Average is 532 days.
In November 2007 it was 500 days.

The Peoria, Illinois Hearing office ranks 137th out of 147 Hearing Offices. The average case time is 761 days. That is very sad. The really bad part is that is that the Social Security Budget does not allow for much personnel increase at all. Which means the average is not going to go down dramatically in the near future.

The Peoria, Illinois office covers Peoria, Champaign, Springfield, Decatur, Pontiac and Bloomington, Illinois.

It is hard to tell your clients when they file that they will have to wait over 2 years for a hearing.

Questions about the long wait? Call Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371

Depression and other mental health conditions are often very disabling.

Social Security recognizes mental conditions alone, and in combination with physical problems, as grounds for finding someone disabled.

The most important approach for depression and other mental conditions is to see a psychiatrist. A primary care doctor can prescribe anti-depressants and diagnose you with depression. However, Social Security gives more weight to a psychiatrist opinions and records.

Many counties in Illinois have mental health providers that will provide services on a sliding scale. This type of treatment is vital to your Social Security Disability case.

Bloomington, Illinois has very good psychiatrists who can help people who are out of work. Champaign, Peoria, Decatur and Springfield, Illinois also have similar programs.

Should you have any questions about seeing a psychiatrist in your area, or what is needed for your Social Security Disability case please feel free to call Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

I am rethinking the whole idea of using a Congressperson’s assistance in speeding up a Social Security Disability case.¬†

This is the reason: the judges, office manager and case reviewers often get defensive if they think someone is looking over their shoulder pushing a case.

This usually ends in a way that is less than satisfactory for the claimant (you).

I suppose a one time inquiry will not do any harm, however, ¬†multiple calls from the congressperson’s office probably do not help your case.I have seen Judge’s take a hard line on certain cases, and I am left wondering if this is because a congressional office pushed too hard.

Certainly, you can appeal but that destroys the whole idea of speeding up the case. It will take at least another six months and may result in you having to reapply.

I understand that the whole Social Security Disability process is a mess and takes much too long, but sometimes the so called Congressional shortcuts do not really help out that much and must be used very carefully.