This is always an important question when you apply for Social Security Disability.

For those people under 50 years of age it is very difficult to win your case.

The reason is that if you can do any job at all then under Social Security rules you are not disabled.

Social Security rules do not take into account the real world.

For instance, Social Security does not care how high the unemployment rate is, or whether you can only do a minimum wage job now instead of your high paying job.

They do not care that there may be 50 able bodied people applying for each job and that someone who has any health problems will be passed over.

There are hundreds of sit down jobs that exist in the economy according to Social Security.

Sit down jobs are the lowest level of exertion for Social Security Disability.

This means you must convince Social Security that you cannot do a simple sit down job.

To do this you must prove that your pain will distract you enough to reduce your productivity below 80 percent for your work day.

Or that your condition will result in you missing more than one day a month of work.

The medical records must support the reduction in productivity and the need to miss work.

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


I was meeting with a lady and she said another lawyer told her he would not help her until she applied and was denied.

I take the opposite approach.

I like to be involved from the start.

I will file the application for you because you want to make sure all the proper information is included.

All of the information at the early stages of the case is important and may affect the outcome of your case.

The application process and Adult Disability Report is also complicated.

It is easier for you if you have the lawyer help you through the online application.

I also do all of the appeal work online.

Your lawyer will also provide updated medical information to Social Security.

I like to discuss what to expect at the hearing, and the type of questions that will be asked, and what you have to prove to win your case.

This is done well before your hearing date.

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

A Social Security Disability Case has a lot of paper work.

It is easy to do something that ruins your case while filling out the paper work.

You must be very careful.

One of the Social Security forms they have you fill out is called a Activity Report.

If you are not careful it can blow up your case.

The form asks you to explain your limitations and what activities you can perform.

For instance, if you tell Social Security that you can lift 40 pounds this can result in you losing your case.

If you tell them that you spend most of your day drinking beer this can mess up your case.

If you tell Social Security that you spend your days cleaning your house it can be used against you.

If you do not mark the boxes telling them that you have problems lifting, sitting, standing and walking it may be used against you.

The point is that you have to mindful of what you do at all stages of your Social Security case.

Many Administrative Law Judges will go through these forms to check your answers and may use them to deny your benefits.

Questions about what to look out for your Social Security Disability case? Feel free to call Illinois Social Security Lawyer 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.

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. 

Depression and other mental health conditions are often very disabling.

Social Security recognizes mental conditions alone, and in combination with physical problems, as grounds for finding someone disabled.

The most important approach for depression and other mental conditions is to see a psychiatrist. A primary care doctor can prescribe anti-depressants and diagnose you with depression. However, Social Security gives more weight to a psychiatrist opinions and records.

Many counties in Illinois have mental health providers that will provide services on a sliding scale. This type of treatment is vital to your Social Security Disability case.

Bloomington, Illinois has very good psychiatrists who can help people who are out of work. Champaign, Peoria, Decatur and Springfield, Illinois also have similar programs.

Should you have any questions about seeing a psychiatrist in your area, or what is needed for your Social Security Disability case please feel free to call Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.