Illinois Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance
Social Security Hearings
Findgreatlawyers.com is the leading resource for finding Illinois social security lawyers and legal guidance. Our service is free and we allow you to ask our staff of attorneys questions or seek a referral to an attorney we trust in your area. We help find social security attorneys from Rockford to Belleville and everywhere in between. If you would like our help please complete our confidential contact form or call us at (800) 517-1614. For a general overview on the social security hearing process please read on.
You may be eligible for Social Security disability if you are unable to engage in any substantial work for a physical or mental condition that is expected to last at least 12 months. This determination must be made by a medical doctor. In other words, you can’t on your own decide that a condition you have means you can’t work and expect to recover social security benefits.
It is important to understand that you are not eligible for these benefits if your disability is going to last for less than 12 months. For example, if you have been injured and will be unable to work for 5 months but will then return to work, you are ineligible for social security disability. However, if you find that you fit the above definition for "disabled" you may apply for benefits.
The Claims process:
Requesting social security benefits can be a time consuming process from initial stages to a hearing. It can take up to 9 to 12 months to receive a hearing, and then up to three to six more months to receive a decision. The most important thing you can do is to get a claim filed so the clock starts rolling toward getting a decision.
First, you must file an initial claim with a local social security office. It is quiet common for individuals to be denied at the initial stages of a claim (only 40% of claims are approved at this level). So if you are denied and believe that you are entitled to benefits, don’t panic; we have seen many people who were obviously disabled under the law get denied right away.
If you fall into the 60% of claimants that are rejected, you may ask for a reconsideration hearing. Approximately 20% of claims are approved at this level. There is a time limit for getting this hearing so if you are rejected you should ask for a reconsideration hearing right away or you will have to start the process all over again.
If your reconsideration is denied, you may ask for a hearing. This is an informal hearing, where you will sit before an Administrative Law Judge. You may have an attorney present, and the judge will have his secretary. The judge may also have a vocational expert whose purpose is to testify as to what kind of jobs you are capable of performing. You can expect to answer many detailed questions including the following:
- General background information
- Previous employment experience, including whether and how your disability affected your ability to properly perform the job. If it is discovered your disability did not prevent you from performing your job duties, you will be found not disabled and your claim will be denied.
- Detailed questions concerning your medical condition and symptoms
- Medical examinations and treatments you have received and the effect of such
- Discussion of daily activities you are capable of performing.
During all three stages, it is possible that the Social Security office will ask for more information from you, including a request for additional medical examinations.
This stage is when Illinois social security disability lawyers get involved. Every social security attorney we recommend works on a contingency basis which means that they only get paid if they are successful in obtaining benefits for you. Their fee is usually 25% of the past benefits that they recover. In other words, it’s pretty much a no lose proposition for you as if you have already been denied twice, chances are that you need a lawyer to help you navigate the process.
Since 2001, findgreatlawyers.com has been the #1 resource for Illinois social security lawyer referrals and legal guidance. Find out for yourself why our users feel like access to our service is like having an attorney in the family.