How to claim for Social Security Disability in Illinois?

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Don't give up! You still have options for being awarded the financial benefits you need.

In fact, two-thirds of initial claims are denied -- 65 percent in the most recent fiscal year, according to recent data from the Social Security Administration -- many due to a failure to provide necessary information or to prove eligibility to the SSA's satisfaction.

Perhaps the medical records are incomplete, or perhaps the SSA examiner misinterpreted the records. Illinois Social Security Disability attorneys work with clients and their medical providers, providing data on what kind of medical information the SSA needs and looks for in disability cases. Illinois disability attorneys help give providers an understanding of the documentation SSD cases required, such as how a patient's condition limits his ability to work.

Time is critical with denied claims. A claimant will receive written notification, via the mail, of the denial and the reasons for it. A claimant has just 60 days to file an appeal. If you don't, the case will be dismissed and to get benefits you'll have to start all over again.

Most states have four levels of appeal:

  • Reconsideration: This is essentially a second look at the application, by someone not involved the first time around. Most of these appeals are denied (87 percent of them during fiscal year 2010).
  • A hearing by an Administrative Law Judge: If your claim is denied at the reconsideration level, you may request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). Witnesses and medical experts can be called. At this level, in the most recent fiscal year, 62 percent of cases were allowed; 13 percent were dismissed and 25 percent were denied.
  • The Appeals Council: The application will be reviewed and a determination will be made. In FY 2010, 74 percent of cases were denied, while 22 percent were remanded to lower courts, 2 percent were dismissed and 2 percent were allowed.
  • Federal Court: A claimant whose case has been denied by the Appeals Council may file suit in a federal district court. A federal judge will hear the case and make a ruling. For the most recent fiscal year, 40 percent of the cases were denied, 47 percent were remanded, 9 percent were dismissed and 4 percent were allowed. (The federal court data also includes appealed Continuing Disability Review (CDR) decisions.

Because the rate of initial denials is so high, it's a good idea to obtain a lawyer for the appeals process. Illinois disability attorneys can help; statistics indicate that chances for approval of benefits increase substantially when an attorney versed in the Social Security Disability process gets involved in the case, as opposed to those claimants who have no representation.


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Neil H. Good has 18 articles online

Illinois disability attorneys of help their clients to obtain Social Security Disability Benefits

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How to claim for Social Security Disability in Illinois?

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This article was published on 2011/05/28