March 2011



Yes, it still takes a long time to get your Social Security Disability hearing.

Close to 16 to 18 months from time of filing to hearing.

You probably have heard of someone who claims to have had an earlier hearing. Your neighbor or the guy in the doctor’s office. Of course, you cannot believe everyone.

But, some people are found disabled earlier in the process. This is done at the Department of Human Services level. This would happen anywhere from 2 months to 6 months after the original disability application.

Other people have applied for a faster hearing due to hardship. This means that they are being evicted, are homeless or are losing their home.

You can also ask your Federal legislator to get involved. They will ask the Social Security Office to see if they can speed up your hearing.

The bottom line is that the Social Security Hearing Office is the only one who has the authority to schedule your Social Security Disability Hearing. Your lawyer, your Legislator, or the claimant has no ability to force the office to schedule your hearing.

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

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Whatever you do please do not follow this couple’s example. Click here for the latest fraud article


Your Social Security Disability Hearing is a very important event.

Here are some tips to think about before you testify before the Administrative Law Judge.

Believe it or not most Social Security Judges want help you relax and get the best information they can from you.

  • Do not argue. The Administrative Law Judge is not to blame for delays, past denials, or for your illness.
  • Answer the question. Being vague does not help your case. It depends, not very often, not very long. These answers do not give the Social Security Judge a clear picture of your limitations. It is okay to estimate. For example, I can walk down to the school before the pain becomes too much. It is about 2 blocks away.
  • Do not exaggerate your problems, but do not down play your pain and limitations. The Administrative Law Judge can tell if you are not giving an accurate picture of your problems. I have seen people testify and give the impression that everything is pretty much okay. If this was the case, then why did you file a Social Security Disability case and allege you could not work.

Remember the hearing is your chance to put a human face on your medical records. Make sure the Social Security Judge understands clearly what is happening to you each day.

Questions about your Social Security case? Feel free to call Illinois Social Security Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

Recent St. Louis article regarding Social Security myths and plans. Click here

Payments stop if you are in jail. Click to read this article. Tip of the hat to Charles Hall and his Social Security News blog.

Be on the alert for Social Security Scam. Click this article.


Can you win a Social Security Disability case without having back surgery for your injury or illness?

Of course, you may have a combination of problems such as chronic back pain, depression, and arthritis of the knees and hands that severely limit you from working.

You would not necessarily need surgery in this example to be found disabled.

But what about cases in which the back is your main problem, and no surgery has been recommended?

You will need objective findings of severe problems. For example, xrays or MRIs of severe scolosis, degenerative arthritis, or arachnoiditis.

It will be helpful to have information from the doctor explaining that surgery or other treatment will not be able to cure your condition.

It is also helpful to have the doctor give his opinion about your resulting limitations.

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

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