It is important to know how the Administrative Law Judge thinks because she is going to decide whether or not you are disabled.

The way the Judge looks at your case depends on your age.

If you are under 50 years of age, and the Judge thinks you can work at job at all then you are not disabled.

If you are 50 years of age or older, and the Judge thinks you can only work a sedentary job then you are disabled ( there are certain exceptions to this rule but to make things simple I will not get into them at this time).

A sedentary job means a job where you spend 6 hours out of an 8 hour day sitting. And you only have to lift 10 pounds.

Questions about proving you cannot work? Call Social Security Disability Lawyer Dirk May at 309-827-4371.


You must appeal if your Social Security Disability is denied at the initial or reconsideration stage.

Many people are denied and do not appeal.

If this happens your case will be over if you do not appeal it. You only have a limited time to appeal.

The only way to get to the hearing stage is to appeal after you are denied.

Once you reach the hearing stage you really need to have an attorney to represent you. An administrative law judge will review your case at the trial and ask you questions.

A lawyer can explain to the judge why your medical conditions limit your activities.

A lawyer can explain to the judge why your conditions meet the Social Security Disability rules and guidelines.

A lawyer can show why the witnesses who will testify that you can perform certain jobs are wrong.

Has your Social Security Disability claim been denied? Need to talk with someone? Call Central Illinois Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

Sometimes people will ask me if they need an attorney for their Social Security Disability case.

You are not required to have a lawyer for your disability case. However, in some cases Social Security takes your application more seriously if you have an attorney represent you.
A lawyer can also make sure all your medical records are updated and sent to the Hearing office in time for your trial.

A lawyer can ask the proper questions of your doctor for a supportive report. 

A lawyer will also know what questions to ask the vocational expert. You must put your limitations in the best light for you to win your case.

Finally,  there is only a fee if you win the case and the fee ranges from several hundred dollars to $5,300. There is never a fee on your monthly check. Considering your lifetime benefits could total several hundred thousand dollars, the attorney fees only are 1% to 2% of potential benefits.  Not a bad return.

Questions about your Social Security Disability case? Call Illinois Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371. 

Let’s be honest. Not every client and lawyer get along.  When choosing your lawyer it is important to make sure your personalities and expectations match.  Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  •  Does the lawyer return your calls within 24 hours? There really is no excuse for not returning your calls. If the lawyer is in court, then the attorney will have to get you a message and call you when available.
  • Does your lawyer take your input? A Social Security disability case is really a partnership between attorney and client. This does not mean the lawyer will always agree with you, but you should at least be able to discuss your views and understand why the attorney takes certain approaches and positions in your case.
  • Is this more than a business relationship? In other words, it is not just about money. There must be trust and an ability to work together to put your best case before the Administrative Law Judge. A lawyer can never guarantee you will win, but the attorney can promise to give his best effort to present your case.
  • Is the lawyer familiar with the Administrative Law Judges who may decide your case? It is very important to know the judge and what he or she looks for in a disability case. A lawyer from a city or state far from your home will be at a great disadvantage.

Any questions, please call Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.