social security help

There is no question that Social Security Disability cases are taking longer.

In Central Illinois it used to take 3 months from application to first decision.

Now it is taking up to 6 months for a decision.

If you are denied, then you must appeal and it takes another 6 months.

It used to take 3 months for the second level decision.

This results in an additional 6 month delay.

If you are denied at the second level, then you must Request a Hearing.

The wait for the hearing used to be 8 months.

Now it is taking about 10 months.

The total additional delay is approximately 8 months.

Social Security claims the delay is because more people are filing for disability and there are not enough employees to handle the cases.

Something is wrong with the system if it takes 22 months to get a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.

People end up homeless or living with friends or relatives when it takes this long.

The rules do allow you to work part time, however some Judges will use the part time work against you and ask why you cannot work full time if you are performing part time work.

Sometimes you can get an expedited hearing, but there is no guarantee.

The most important question is whether you can last the 22 months until you get before a Judge.

If you can work, then you should work as long as you can because Social Security Disability is not something want to be on unless you have to.

Questions about ways to improve your case? Feel free to contact Illinois Social Security Disability Attorney Dirk May with Williams and Swee at 309-827-4371.


There were 2 pigs who lived together on a farm.

One of the pigs was quiet and never missed a meal, but he did not over eat. He also listened to the older pigs who gave him advice about how to behave on the farm and explained what the farmer was like.

Another pig liked to live large and loud. He ate his own meal and some of his fellow pigs meals. He liked to throw around his weight. He scoffed at the other pigs advice. He also thought that he ran the farm, and not the farmer.

Market day came and the farmer looked over the pigs and the large, loud pig caught his attention and off he went in the farmer’s truck.
The other pig eyes got a little larger and he moved to the back of the herd of pigs.

Sometimes it takes a little wisdom to win your Social Security Disability case.

It certainly helps to listen to people who know their way around the process.

Many people do not understand that you can get important advice and guidance from a Social Security Disability lawyer without any upfront fees.
A lawyer only gets paid if you win your case and there is a limit on the amount that can be paid the lawyer.

It makes no sense to go in a courtroom before a Judge without help.

I saw a recent decision involving a person without a lawyer and the Social Security Judge took great advantage of the claimant.
It was as if the person wandered into a slaughter house. An experienced disability lawyer would have been able to guide the client and point him in the right direction.

Questions about your Social Security case? Feel free to contact Illinois Social Security Disability lawyer Dirk May with Williams and Swee at 309-827-4371.

Social Security closes offices as baby boomers age – News – The State Journal-Register – Springfield, IL.

Click above to read.

You have to wait a long time when the office is open and the hours are reduced. It is often difficult to get someone to answer the telephone at some offices. The website is not the easiest for people to navigate. Social Security is moving toward doing more things online such as filing for disability.

Seems like a lot of bad news on the Social Security Disability front.


Cases are taking longer and longer to decide in Central Illinois.

Of course, it is difficult enough to battle disability and pain and fight the government but it seems like it takes forever.

It was taking about 3 months for the initial review and another 3 months for the next level.

However, it is now taking about 6 months at the initial level, and another 6 months at the next level.

It was taking about 8 months to get a hearing.

Now it takes about 10 months for the hearing.

As a result some people are homeless, or have to move in with friends or relatives.

Social Security says the backlogs are because more people are filing for disability and there are not enough workers to process and review the cases.


At a recent congressional hearing several administrative law judges were being grilled for approving over 95 percent of the cases before them.

This is ridiculous of course.

That percentage of people cannot be disabled.

This involves only a small number of judges, but the problem is perception and politics.

The pressure is on the rank and file judge to reduce the percentage of approval ratings to show that they are not reckless and outside the mainstream.

The approval percentage nationwide has dropped from approximately 60 percent to the low 50s.

In Central Illinois the approval rate is the low 30s.

This is a dangerous trend for everyone applying for disability.

People who are applying for disability need to be aware of the trends and be ready to strengthen their cases.

Questions about your disability case? Feel free to contact Illinois Social Security Disability Attorney Dirk May with Williams and Swee at 309-827-4371.

Social Security Disability has some pitfalls for the unwary.

They can make the difference between winning and losing your case.

One area problem area is skilled work in the last 15 years of your employment.

If the Social Security Judge believes you are able to perform any of your jobs in the past 15 years or that you have transferable skills learned in these past 15 years, then you are not disabled.

This can present a major problem for people who have had a college degree or who have developed on the job skills over a number of years.

Back or leg problems may limit you to a sit down job, but the Judge may believe you can continue with a skilled job because many of these positions can be performed in the seated position.

The key to proving that you cannot perform past relevant work at the semi-skilled or skilled level or being able to transfer your skills to another job is showing impaired concentration.

This can be done through treatment for depression, anxiety, memory problems, or chronic pain.

Symptoms from these conditions can reasonably be expected to interfere with concentration, persistence, pace and remaining on task.

You should treat consistently with a doctor, psychiatrist or counselor and describe your complaints and limitations as a result.

This will show that you are having limitations in these areas.

Any former employers who are able complete forms or write letters to describe problems you had on the job will also help.

Questions about how to best present your disability case? Feel free to contact Illinois Social Security Disability Lawyer Dirk May with Williams and Swee at 309-827-4371.

It is possible to be found disabled based on mental illness alone.

However, these type of cases are difficult to win.

The reason is that many judges believe there is some type of job that a person can do.

Such as a simple, unskilled job.

Social Security disability rules provide that if a person can perform some type of job with no limitations on lifting or standing then you are not disabled.

Vocational experts will testify that even if a person needs to avoid the general public or have limited contact with co-workers and supervisors there are jobs available.

The fact that you can no longer perform your old work does not matter.

To show that you can no longer work as a result of depression, anxiety, PTSD or personality disorders you must convince the Judge that you will miss 2 or more days per month or that you will be off task more than 20 percent of the work day.

This can be done if you have a history of being hospitalized multiple times, or you treat with shock therapy, or have to be medicated with drugs that will keep you sedated most of the time.

You will also need your psychiatrist to provide you with an assessment of how your symptoms will restrict you in a work situation.

Questions about your Social Security Disability case? Feel free to contact Illinois Social Security Disability Attorney Dirk May with Williams and Swee at 309-827-4371.

Social Security Questions & Answers for May 18, 2014.

Click above to read.

Check out this Q&A from the Social Security Administration regarding the disability program.

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