October 2010


In a recent blog post I discussed how much time it usually takes to get through the Social Security Disability system in Central Illinois. In this post I will explain this in more detail.

When you file your application for Disability, it will be sent to Springfield, Illinois for review. This will take about 5 to 7 weeks.

If you are denied benefits, then the appeal will go back to Springfield for someone else to review. This will also take about 5 to 7 weeks.

If you are denied again, then you will have to file a Request for Hearing. It is taking approximately 10 to 12 months for your Social Security Disability Hearing to be scheduled.

There is no sure way to speed up the process. However, it is a good idea to make certain you keep going to your doctors so you can provide updated progress reports to Social Security. You should also keep Social Security informed about any changes in your household income, loss of your home, or any hardships that may occur. With dramatic changes you can request for Social Security to speed up your case.

Questions about Social Security Disability and getting approved? Feel free to call Illinois Social Security Disability Lawyer Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

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Administrative Law Judges for Social Security Disability cases are randomly assigned.

You cannot tell Social Security you want a different Judge unless there is some personal conflict. Such as you know the judge or they were your lawyer at one time.

I suppose you could move out of the region, and then your case would be reassigned to a new hearing office with a new judge. Most people will not go to this extreme.

The best way to prepare is to know who the Judge is for your Social Security Disability case and how she handles the hearings.

This will give you an advantage because you will need to know what type of questions to prepare for, and what she looks for in proving your disability case.

You will also need to know how she questions vocational experts.

Questions about your Social Security Disability case, and the type of Judge you may have? Feel free to call Illinois Social Security Disability Attorney Dirk May at 1-309-827-4371.

Sometimes people who are older wonder if they should file for Social Security Disability or just wait for retirement age?

There are advantages to applying for Social Security Disability.

If you win your case you can get Medicare coverage sooner than 65 years of age. This is a big advantage. Especially if you have no medical insurance, or limited coverage.

If you win your Social Security Disability case you also will receive a higher monthly payment than you would get for early Social Security retirement benefits.

You can also work part-time and earn less than $1,000 per month gross when you are disabled.

All pretty good reasons for applying for Social Security Disability.

Questions about what you need to do to apply for Social Security Disability? Feel free to call Illinois Social Security Disability Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

Yes, it is possible to be found disabled if you suffer from Bipolar Disorder.

Social Security Disability recognizes mental health problems as keeping you from working.

Some tips if you have Bipolar Disorder.

Keep a simple log. Use a calendar to record the bad days you have and the symptoms.

Tell your therapist and psychiatrist what affect your symptoms have on your daily activities. This will show up in your medical records and give you more credibility with the judge.

Use your spouse or close friend to testify at your Social Security Disability hearing. They should describe what they observe about your symptoms and how you are limited around the house. They should also testify about what they do to help you.

Questions about Mental illness and Social Security Disability? Feel free to call Illinois Social Security Disability Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

The good news is that in Central Illinois the wait time for a Social Security Disability Hearing is decreasing.

After you are denied the second time you can request a hearing. This brings your Social Security case before an Administrative Law Judge.

It used to take 2 to 3 years to get a hearing in Central Illinois. This was a killer. Imagine suffering with pain, not able to work, and the government was denying your claim. No money for 2 to 3 years while you wait.

Now it is taking about 12 to 15 months to get a hearing. Not the greatest thing in the world. But much better than 2 to 3 years.

This means you need to have everything in order because your hearing will be scheduled much sooner. You need your doctors’ records, letters, and witnesses ready to go.

Concerned about your Social Security Disability hearing and what will happen? Feel free to contact Illinois Social Security Lawyer Dirk May at 309-827-4371.