December 2008

No gift matches the gift of Life and Light.

Let us celebrate God giving his only Son so that we may all live in peace with Him.

Merry Christmas.


It usually is a long hard road till you have your trial and get your decision from the Social Security Judge.

But the day will eventually come. And after you win several things will happen. 

You will receive a notice, typically within 30 to 60 days. It will tell you when you will receive your first monthly check and the amount. In some cases you may be entitled to SSI payments also. Your local Social Security office will contact you to set up a meeting to review your financial information to determine whether you are entitled to SSI.

If you had any minor children during the onset of your disability the Social Security Administration will want to make sure they receive benefit payments and back benefits.

You may also want to set up direct deposit arrangements for your monthly Social Security Disability payments.

Finally, once you are eligible for Social Security Disability medicaid will be available to most people, and eventually you will be eligible for Medicare.

Give me a call if you have any questions about the Social Security Disability process: Central Illinois Social Security Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371

Does President Obama’s election mean that Social Security Disability cases are going to be decided faster?

It is certainly more complicated than who is president. Of course, it is probably more likely with President Obama’s election that more resources may be available for the Social Security Administration.

However, there are all kinds of budget pressures from defense spending to bailout funding. The bottom line is that more staff is needed and better use of technology and increased technology spending are all needed to move disability cases faster.

The two year plus wait is terrible and inexcusable but I do not see it changing dramatically till late in President elect Obama’s first term.

The ray of hope is that the Obama Administration will be more sensitive to the needs of people with disabilities.

A trial for your Social Security Disability case is nothing like what you see on Television. 

In Central Illinois- Peoria, Bloomington, Pontiac, Champaign and Springfield- the hearing is either held in the Hearing Office hearing room, a video conference room, or a Federal Court Conference room depending on where you live. The room itself is not that large. It does not look like a TV courtroom. There is no jury. So there is not a jury box.

The only people present are the Social Security Judge, known as an Administrative Law Judge, a monitor who runs the recording equipment, the vocational expert, yourself and your lawyer.

The monitor makes an audio recording of the hearing. Later a transcript may be necessary.

The vocational expert answers questions from the judge regarding jobs that you may be able to perform based on your limitations.

The Administrative Law Judge usually will ask you many questions about your educational and work background, your medical condition, and your limitations. Social Security does not have a lawyer so the judge will ask many more questions than other types of cases.

You will then have the chance to explain to the judge how your problems keep you from working and to question the vocational expert.

If you have any questions regarding your upcoming Social Security Disability hearing please call Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.