March 2009

There is a recent statistic showing that in some local Social Security Offices anywhere from 10% to 15% of the people who walk in for help are turned away without getting service.

The percentage of people who call into local offices without someone answering the telephone are probably even higher.

We are very fortunate in Bloomington, Illinois to have good staff at the local social security office. The waits for walk-in service are not too bad, and I can get almost all my phone calls answered.

It is a different story at other area offices. For instance, I find it difficult to get through on the telephone to Springfield, Champaign, Peru and Peoria, Illinois local offices.

What is your experience with social security help? Any good stories? Horror stories?


What happens behind closed doors during a Social Security Disability Hearing?

First of all, there is not a lawyer working for Social Security who is trying to stop you from getting Social Security Disability. This does not mean it will be easy to be approved for Social Security Disability.

Second, the Administrative Law Judge who works for Social Security will be asking you a lot of questions. She will be the one making the decision in your case, and she wants to know how your condition limits your activities.

Third, the Vocational Expert will provide examples of jobs he thinks you can do based on your limitations. You will need to know how to ask questions of the vocational expert that will show you cannot work those jobs.

Fourth, the Judge will most likely not make a decision the day of your hearing. She will write up a decision and send it to you in about 60 days.

More questions about what will happen at your Social Security Disability hearing? Call me, Attorney Dirk May, at 309-827-4371.

Tax time is here.

In Peoria, Springfield, Bloomington and Champaign, Illinois there are groups who provide free income tax preparation assistance for individuals who make $30,000 and under per year and couples who make $50,000 and under.

You should check with your local library and they will get you information for times and locations of the groups providing free tax preparation.

Filing your taxes is important because you may be entitled to a refund or the Earned Income Tax Credit may result in you getting more money.

What the vocational expert says during your Social Security Hearing is very important. It can make the difference between winning and losing your case.

For that reason alone I think you should seriously consider hiring a lawyer to represent you in your Social Security Disability case.

I have mentioned before that there is no cost unless you win your Social Security case, and then fees are limited to 25% of back benefits or $6,000 whichever is the lower amount. Compared to your lifetime benefits and Medicare coverage the fee is a very small amount.

The concern is that vocational expert can make it look like you had transferable skills that may not be correct, or testify that your limitations will allow you to perform a line of work that will make you not disabled.

For more information regarding Vocational experts and Social Security Disability please call me, Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.