Yes, I represent people in Children’s SSI cases.

Not many lawyers do these type of cases.

They are difficult cases to win.

Maybe because Judges do not like the cases, or they are used to seeing adult cases that focus on ability to work.

In a child’s case you must prove marked limitations in 2 areas out of 6, or extreme limitations in 1 area out of 6.

The areas cover physical limitations and mental or emotional limitations.

Just being in special education classes is not enough.

You must show that the child is at the extreme end of the spectrum within the special education grouping.

Examples might be extreme classroom problems, serial suspensions, extreme drug abuse, several hospitalizations for mental problems, or severe asthma.

Questions about children’s SSI cases? Feel free to call Illinois Social Security Disability Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.


The main reason I think people represent themselves in a Social Security Disability case is they do not understand the fees a lawyer can charge.

In Social Security Disability cases attorney fees are controlled by federal law. A lawyer can only receive 25% of back benefits or $6,000 whichever is the lower amount. There are no fees on the monthly check you receive. If there are no back benefits there are no fees.

Receiving a monthly check the rest of your life and having access to medical benefits for the rest of your life is certainly worth a small fee.

The problem with representing yourself is that you do not know what the judge is looking for, you do not know what to ask the vocational expert, and you do not know what medical records are important.

Questions about representing yourself, or whether you need a lawyer? Call Attorney Dirk May at 309-4371.

What the vocational expert says during your Social Security Hearing is very important. It can make the difference between winning and losing your case.

For that reason alone I think you should seriously consider hiring a lawyer to represent you in your Social Security Disability case.

I have mentioned before that there is no cost unless you win your Social Security case, and then fees are limited to 25% of back benefits or $6,000 whichever is the lower amount. Compared to your lifetime benefits and Medicare coverage the fee is a very small amount.

The concern is that vocational expert can make it look like you had transferable skills that may not be correct, or testify that your limitations will allow you to perform a line of work that will make you not disabled.

For more information regarding Vocational experts and Social Security Disability please call me, Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

It takes over 2 years to get a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge for your Social Security Disability case in Central Illinois.

This is terrible, but it is reality. You have no control over scheduling of the hearing. Only Social Security can schedule the trial. It is not like other judicial proceedings where you can request a trial date. Social Security tells you when they are ready for you.

Not even Congress people or United States Senators can request a hearing date for you. They can request the review of your case be speeded up. However, there are no guarantees.

The backlog is extreme because there are so many cases and too few judges and Social Security employees.

Questions about the status of your case and what to do when you have a hearing scheduled? Call me Illinois Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

You are the main witness, and usually the only witness, at your Social Security Disability Hearing. So what you have to say to the Judge is very important.Your testimony before the Administrative Law Judge:

  •  should be believable; not every day is a bad day and you are able to perform some daily activities. You should not exaggerate your pain, but you also should not down play your problems either. Tell the Judge what happens to you on a typical day. It helps to reflect on what you have experienced over the past several years. It may also help to keep a journal of your limitations.
  • should be descriptive; it is not helpful to use terms such as “it varies” or “it depends”. You need to be able to tell the Judge types of items you have problem lifting, or how far you can walk, and how long you can sit. You should be able to give examples of problems you have around the house, and describe your pain.
  • should be clear; you are at the hearing because you absolutely cannot work a full time job. If you tell the judge you may be able to work full time or you will try to work full time then you will lose your case and not be found disabled.

If you have any questions about Social Security Disability or what happens at hearings please call Illinois Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

I am rethinking the whole idea of using a Congressperson’s assistance in speeding up a Social Security Disability case. 

This is the reason: the judges, office manager and case reviewers often get defensive if they think someone is looking over their shoulder pushing a case.

This usually ends in a way that is less than satisfactory for the claimant (you).

I suppose a one time inquiry will not do any harm, however,  multiple calls from the congressperson’s office probably do not help your case.I have seen Judge’s take a hard line on certain cases, and I am left wondering if this is because a congressional office pushed too hard.

Certainly, you can appeal but that destroys the whole idea of speeding up the case. It will take at least another six months and may result in you having to reapply.

I understand that the whole Social Security Disability process is a mess and takes much too long, but sometimes the so called Congressional shortcuts do not really help out that much and must be used very carefully.

When a lawyer represents you in Social Security disability cases the Social Security Administration controls the fees that can be charged. You can only be charged if you win your disability case. The fee is limited to 25% of back benefits or $5,300 whichever represents the lower amount. This means if you have back benefits that approach $30,000 or above then you pay no fees on this amount. Fees are also limited to back benefits. That is, only on benefits that accrue through the date of hearing. When you win, in most cases, you will also be entitled to a monthly check for the rest of your life. There are no attorneys fees on the monthly social security disability benefit check you receive for the rest of your life.

The system Social Security has set up is advantageous for you. You can have an attorney represent you in a disability case and you pay no up front fees, and you pay no fees on your lifetime benefits that may result in hundreds of thousands of dollars for you.

A lawyer is allowed to charge you separately for the costs of medical records and reports in addition to the fees.

Please feel free to call me, Dirk May, at 309-827-4371 to discuss how an experienced Social Security disability attorney can help you be prepared for one of the most important days of your life: your Social Security hearing.