Suit says Hooters waitress forced out after surgery : News.

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Officials: Illinois human services short of staff.

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Why should lawmakers be shocked. The number of people in need is very large. When you add in medical coverage, food and shelter needs it grows extremely fast. The caseworkers will never keep pace with the population in need.

Number of Americans on Disability up 53 Percent.

My experience is that most people will work if able. Not many want to struggle on Social Security Disability if they can avoid it.

Some people ask me about using the national law firms for their Social Security Disability cases.

I tell them not to bother.

The national firms do not pay for the costs up front. They make you pay for your own records. Every time you order records for your case to supply to Social Security you will have to pay for them. Most local attorneys will pay for your records and charge you when the case is over.

The national law firms do not know the local Administrative Law Judges. This is very important. Your lawyer should know the judge and what she expects. There is no way these firms out of large cities know the judges.

The national law firms screen cases to look for the easiest ones. If you
work on the simple cases you do not always know how to win the difficult cases. You should look for a lawyer experienced in all kinds Social Security Disability cases.

Questions about Social Security Disability? Contact me, Attorney Dirk May, at 309-827-4371.

The Central Illinois Hearing Office in Peoria, Illinois has been moving Social Security Disability cases much faster this year. The Peoria office covers Bloomington, Pontiac, Springfield, Decatur and Champaign.

Before this year it would take anywhere from 2 to 3 years from the date you requested your hearing to actually have your hearing before the Administrative Law Judge.

The Hearing Office is now scheduling hearings for cases from the summer and fall of 2007. It looks the wait time has been reduced to 18 months from the date you request a hearing.

The question is whether this will last? Staffing has to continue to keep pace, and the number of new cases filed will have an effect on whether the backlog will be reduced.

I have seen some people report that in the 1970’s it would only take 4 to 8 months to have a hearing. I do not think we will return to that level any time soon.

Questions about how soon you can expect a hearing? Call 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.

Is there an advantage to using a social security lawyer that is located near you versus one of these national companies? The ones that advertise on the internet are based in New York or Florida or California. They may have a regional office in Chicago. But basically you do business with them through the mail or over the phone, if they will return your call.

You can always reach me on the telephone, or drive to my office, or I will drive to meet you if we cannot meet any other way. I meet with my clients throughout the disability process to discuss forms that need to be completed, doctors’ treatments, prepare for the hearing, and to answer any questions you may have. If needed, I even give my clients rides to the hearing. Some company from out of state is not going to do this.

Another thing the out of state companies do is make you pay for your own medical records at the time they order them. Why would they make you do this when you are sick and cannot work. The costs can add up. I pay for all medical records up front, and only ask for repayment after you win and you get your money from Social Security.

You can still do business face-to-face, in today’s world, and in a way that is cost effective to you without sacrificing experience and a personal relationship.

Finally, I know the judges you will have to testify before and their preferences. There is no way someone from Chicago or out of state can do this. Only your local social security disability lawyer can do this.

Remember, I cover Peoria, Bloomington, Pontiac, Springfield, and Champaign, Illinois and I would be glad to talk with you about the ways I can help you in your social security disability claim. Call Dirk 309-827-4371.