Some times at a Social Security Disability hearing the Administrative Law Judge will ask you if you are willing to amend your onset date.

This means that Administrative Law Judge is willing to find you disabled in exchange for coming up with different date your disability began.

Remember, two things have to happen in a hearing.

The first is you must you win.

The second is that the Judge must decide when you became disabled.

When you apply you tell Social Security the date you became unable to work.

What the Judge is telling you if she asks you to change your disability date is that she does not believe you were disabled as soon as you claimed.

Should you agree to change the onset date?

If the onset date is after your date of last insurance, then you face a tough question.

The date of last insurance means that you must be disabled before this date or you are not eligible for Social Security Disability benefits at all.

The only program you would possibly be eligible for is SSI.

SSI limits the household income and assets you can have so it is not a very attractive alternative.

The other drawback to changing your onset date is that it will reduce your back benefits because you will not have as many months that Social Security has failed to pay you.

What I tell a client is that the most important thing is to get your benefits started.

Do not focus on back benefits.

If you are approved for Social Security Disability you will get a monthly check and eventually Medicare.

There is an old saying: Pigs get fed; hogs get slaughtered.

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

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Some Social Security Disability Tips to celebrate Labor Day.

1. Do not wait to file your Application. You can lose benefits if you wait too long to file. It also takes a long time to process your application so you might as well get started.

2. Go to the doctor. You cannot win your Social Security Disability case if you do not have medical treatment. You should go to the doctor as much as you need to. Social Security Judges look seriously at what your medical records contain.

3. Tell the doctor all your problems and limitations. It makes more of an impact when Social Security sees your limitations reported in the medical records. The doctor cannot read your mind so explain how your conditions affect your activities of daily living. Such as, I need to spend most of the day with my legs propped up because they swell all the time.

4. Do not give up. It does not do any good to file your application for disability, and then not appeal it when you are denied. This also causes you to lose benefits. You also must start over if you do not appeal. This is a waste time. You only have 60 days to file your appeal.

5. Know what to expect. Do not go into your disability hearing without understanding what questions the Judge will ask and why the Vocational Expert is very important to your case.

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


Drugs and Alcohol are the kiss of death in Social Security Disability cases.

If the Judge determines drug and alcohol abuse are contributing to keeping you from working, then you will be denied.

I have had people tell me that they know many people who were approved for Disability because of drug and alcohol abuse.

That is not true.

Many years ago the Social Security law allowed for approval if a person was an addict.

Not any longer.

So what are you to do if you are an alcoholic or have used illegal drugs in the past.

Do not lie.

It will show up somewhere in the medical records that you have abused alcohol or drugs in the past.

If the Judge catches you in a lie, then you are doomed.

You should seek alcohol or drug treatment.

This will document your sobriety.

You may also attend narcotics anonymous or alcoholic anonymous meetings.

This will show your commitment to staying clean.

Even with a history of drug and alcohol use you can show a change in direction and salvage your Social Security Disability case.

Questions about applying for Social Security Disability? Feel free to contact Illinois Social Security Disability Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.


Injuries to your hands may be very important in your Social Security Disability case.

Why?

Remember that Social Security Disability is based on your inability to work a job.

If you are under 50 years of age, then you must prove you cannot work any type of full time job.

Many jobs require frequent use of the hands for handling and fingering.

If you can only use your hands for occasional handling and fingering, then many jobs will be eliminated.

The limitations may be because of diabetic neuropathy, nerve damage or other problems.

You will need to document the problems with your hands with medical treatment records and medical tests.

Problems with your hands in combination with other problems just may help you win your disability case.

For instance, a back problem or knee problems that limit your standing may limit you to sit down job.

A sit down job with limits on the use of your hands will eliminate many available jobs.

Social Security Disability judges always focus on your limitations and how it affects your ability to perform a job.

Do not confuse the ability to perform a job with the ability to get a job.

Everyone knows it is tough to get a job. The test in Social Security Disability is not getting the job, but whether you can perform the job.

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