May 2010

Social Security loves to send you forms to fill out when you apply for disability.

They have Adult function reports and Work History reports.

Does anyone really pay attention to the answers?

They can come back to haunt you if you are not careful.

Make sure that you include all the problems and limitations you have as a result of your disability.

For example, do not forget that pain limits your ability to do things around the house. Pay attention to how much you are able to lift, how long you can sit and stand, and how far you can walk.

Make sure that you include that you need to rest and take breaks after you do chores.

When asked about your past work, pay close attention to how much you were required to lift, and  how long you were required to sit and stand.

Questions about those Social Security Disability forms? Feel free to call me, Illinois Social Security Lawyer, Dirk May at 309-827-4371.


It is normal to be nervous about your Social Security Disability Hearing. You have waited over one year, sometimes two years and a lot is riding on the outcome of your case.

However, the hearing itself should not be overwhelming.

The only people in the room are the Judge, someone recording the hearing, the vocational expert and yourself.

There is no jury. There is no other attorney who is arguing against your case.

The most important thing to know is the questions the Judge will ask you, and what the Judge will ask the vocational expert. With this information you can prepare for the hearing, and relax.

What are those questions? Feel free to call Illinois Social Security Attorney Dirk May to talk about them, at 309-827-4371.

Many people ask me, “I cannot find a job so why does Social Security say I can work?”

Social Security Disability does not deal with the real world. Most healthy people are having a hard time finding a job. So if you are sick and have a number of limitations, then it will be almost impossible to find a job.

However, Social Security Disability does not take into account the unemployment rate, or how hard it will be for you to find a job with your limitations.

The only thing they look at is whether any jobs exist for someone with your limitations, and the numbers of jobs available. The types of jobs available and the numbers of jobs are based on outdated government manuals.

The only way to deal with this approach is to attack the jobs the vocational expert cites based on the requirements of each job.

Need help with your Social Security Disability case? Feel free to call me and talk about your case.

Some basics that may help You when appear before the Social Security Judge for your Disability Hearing:

  1. Show up 30 minutes early. It makes the Judge angry, and you tense if you are late. Why tilt the table against yourself before the hearing starts?
  2. Be pleasant and look the Judge in the eye when you speak. I know you are in pain, but the hearing is less than 1 hour. A good impression goes a long way.
  3. Do not argue with the Judge. Your job is not to argue, it is to explain how your condition limits your ability to perform daily activities such as lifting, walking, sitting and standing.
  4. Listen carefully, then speak. The Judge’s questions are important. You want to know exactly what she is looking for. You also do not want to interrupt the Judge, and talk over him.
  5. Make sure your records are up to date. The Judge wants to know what the your doctor’s most recent treatment involved.

Sounds simple, but these points are important. Social Security Disability is not always simple. The law, the rules and what goes on in a hearing is complicated at times. Questions about your case? Feel free to call me, Illinois Social Security Attorney Dirk May, at 309-827-4371.