You do have to make an application for Social Security Disability.

It used to be that you would go to the local Social Security office and sit down with a worker and go through an application that they would file for you.

The local offices really discourage this approach.

It takes up a lot of their time and the local office hours have been reduced.

They want you to apply online through the Social Security website.

The website is confusing and time consuming.

The application asks for the following type of information:

Your social security number.

Any names you have used.

Your marriage status and information, including dates and place of marriage, dates and place of divorce.

Minor children’s names.

Date last worked.

Medications you take and who prescribes it and why it is prescribed.

Names, telephone numbers, and addresses of your doctors and hospitals. First time and last time you saw your doctor and went to the hospital.

What conditions that keep you from working.

A history of your work for the last 15 years.

Descriptions of your work, including time spent walking, standing and sitting and amounts lifted on the job.

Whether you want to apply for SSI.

The application is time consuming and you want to get it right because it can have a major impact on your disability determination.

That is why I try to meet with each of my clients and help them fill out the application online.

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


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Social Security recognizes autism as a condition that may lead to disability. It depends on the level of functioning.

This has been a trying year for people seeking Social Security Disability.

The nation’s financial problems have trickled down to the Social Security offices and hearing offices.

With limited replacements for retired and departing workers, Social Security’s ability to process disability cases has slowed.

The budget problems also create an atmosphere that influences some of the Social Security Judges.

Some of these judges act as if they deny more people, then it will improve the economy and save Social Security.

This results in uneven application of the Social Security disability laws.

Depending on what part of the country you live in and what Judge you get your chances for approval go up or down.

Another change is that this year Social Security will not let you know who your Judge is ahead of time.

They do not want you to Judge shop. Although in most parts of the country this is impossible.

You must also choose between appealing your hearing denial or reapplying.

The theory was that Appeals Council reviews would speed up.

I have not seen any progress on this front. It still takes a year or more to get a decision from the Appeals Council.

Overall it has been a dismal year in Illinois for Social Security Disability.

The approval rates from the Social Security Judges in Central Illinois are near the bottom.

Let us hope for change in the new year.

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

Social Security Disability cases depend heavily on your medical records.

The Administrative Law Judge spends a lot of time reviewing your records to find out your problems and limitations.

It makes sense that what you tell the doctor will show up in your medical notes.

Social Security Judges base their decision on what are your limitations.

For instance, how long are you able to stand and walk during an 8 hour day is a crucial part of many disability cases.

This means that it is very important for you tell the doctor your symptoms and how it affects you.

You should do this every time you go to the doctor.

Some examples:

My hands go numb and tingle almost every day. Especially when I use them a lot.

I cannot pick up small items to handle, hold or finger things.

My legs are painful and I get pins and needle like feelings when I stand more than 20 minutes.

I have to sit and rest for an hour after this.

My pain medications make me tired. I need to take a nap for 1 hour each afternoon.

My legs swell throughout the day. I have to spend much of the day elevating my legs waist height.

Remember, telling your doctor your major problems and how they limit you can make the difference between winning and losing your case.

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

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What does this mean for people on disability?

Many people will ask me if I think they will win their Disability case.

Truthfully, I cannot predict the outcome of your case.

Why not?

I have seen too many cases turn out differently than I thought they would.

It is just too unpredictable.

Each judge is different.

Each claimant is different.

The Social Security Judge may be having a bad day.

She may overlook unfavorable information in the medical records.

The Judge may feel sympathy for the disabled person.

The best I can do as a lawyer is to tell you what to expect from the Social Security Judge and the Vocational Expert.

And explain to the Judge why I think your limitations keep you from working full time.

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

Some people do not know that you can work while on Social Security Disability.

You may also work while applying for Social Security Disability.

The trick is that the most you can earn is $1000 a month gross, currently.

The other problem is that some Social Security Disability Judges will treat the part time work as equivalent to being able to work full time.

Their question at the hearing will be if you are able to do this amount of work 20 hours a week, why can’t you do it for 30 to 40 hours per week.

The other issue is what type of work is it.

Does it involve heavy lifting?

Lots of standing?

Intense hand work?

You must be able to explain what limits you from working full time, and how the part time work bothers you.

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