April 2010

Some people are surprised at how short their Social Security Disability hearing lasts.

Maybe from watching TV you expect an all day trial with a jury and a parade of witnesses. Not so! There is only the judge, and no jury. The only other people in the room is a vocational expert, and someone recording the hearing.

The typical hearing lasts from 45 minutes to 1 hour. I know, you have waited for over one year to get to the hearing and it is over in less than one hour.

The reality is that Social Security has so many disability applications that if it took any longer for the hearing you would be waiting 3 years.

There are also limited witnesses. There is barely time for you to tell what is going on with your condition. Let alone to have more than a witness or two to testify.

I usually use letters from witnesses to support the claimant. This gives you plenty of time to testify, and the judge does not feel rushed.

Do you have questions about what will happen in your Social Security Disability case? Feel free to call me and talk about your case. Ask for Dirk.


It takes close to 2 years to get from Application stage to a hearing before a Social Security Administrative Law Judge.

This is an incredibly long time to wait for someone who is disabled and cannot work.

The statistics show a large number of Social Security Disability filings across the nation. That combined with a limited number of Social Security Judges and employees who prepare the cases for trial results in long waits.

There is some good news. In Central Illinois, the waiting time has been reduced some 6 to 12 months over the last year.

The best thing you can do is know exactly what the Social Security Disability Judges are looking for when your case is ready for hearing.

Got questions about Social Security Disability? Feel free to call Illinois Social Security Disability Lawyer Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

One possible symptom for MS is tremors of the extremities.

This can be very important in your Social Security Disability case.

The reason is that the Judge looks at your limitations and the effect on jobs you can perform.

For example, weakness in the legs or limited energy would most likely place you in a sit down job. If you have tremors in the arms and hands to the extent that they bother your reaching, handling and fingering consistently, then you will be severely limited.

There are very few sit down jobs that do not involve frequent to constant use of the hands and arms. This should greatly reduce the jobs available to you, and result in a finding of disability.

Questions about your condition and how it affects your work ability? Feel free to call Dirk at 309-827-4371.

News Flash: Not all Social Security Judges are the same. Everyone is an individual with a different personality, likes and dislikes, and preferences.
Some Judges are more conservative, and tend to be strict, and some are more compassionate and more likely to rule in a claimant’s favor.

Social Security assigns the cases to a Judge randomly. You are not allowed to change Judges unless there is a conflict.

The key is to know what your Judge is like, and what she looks for in your type of case.

The problem with many of the out of town companies, or far away law firms is that they have no idea who the Judge is, or what they look for in a case.

Questions about the Judge who you may have in a hearing? Feel free to call me, Illinois Attorney Dirk May, at 309-827-4371.