This has been a trying year for people seeking Social Security Disability.

The nation’s financial problems have trickled down to the Social Security offices and hearing offices.

With limited replacements for retired and departing workers, Social Security’s ability to process disability cases has slowed.

The budget problems also create an atmosphere that influences some of the Social Security Judges.

Some of these judges act as if they deny more people, then it will improve the economy and save Social Security.

This results in uneven application of the Social Security disability laws.

Depending on what part of the country you live in and what Judge you get your chances for approval go up or down.

Another change is that this year Social Security will not let you know who your Judge is ahead of time.

They do not want you to Judge shop. Although in most parts of the country this is impossible.

You must also choose between appealing your hearing denial or reapplying.

The theory was that Appeals Council reviews would speed up.

I have not seen any progress on this front. It still takes a year or more to get a decision from the Appeals Council.

Overall it has been a dismal year in Illinois for Social Security Disability.

The approval rates from the Social Security Judges in Central Illinois are near the bottom.

Let us hope for change in the new year.

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