Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in Illinois

There's very little question that representation can make a difference on an SSDI or SSI claim. Claimants who are represented on disability claims in Illinois tend to have a higher rate of approval, a need for fewer appeals, and more favorable "dates of onset" (the date the disability is proven to have begun) that lead to higher back pay benefits.

Representation may be through a disability lawyer or a specialized non-attorney disability representative. Many non-attorney reps are former Social Security Administration Claims Specialists and Disability Examiners with an extended history of working from within the federal system.

1. Questions about using a disability lawyer

2. More questions and answers about disability lawyers

A qualified disability representative will have a knowledge of Social Security administrative law, particularly with regard to how SSDI and SSI claims are approved through the Social Security listings and the medical vocational grid rules. A qualified and competent disability representative or lawyer will also be skilled in the ability to obtain the most relevant case evidence, analyze it correctly, and incorporate it as part of a winning strategy for a claim.

To learn about fees for representation, see: "How do disability lawyers get paid?"

Additional information

If you are filing for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits in Illinois, it is highly likely that your case will ultimately be decided by an administrative judge. This is because the majority of disability cases filed in Illinois are turned down by disability determination services, both at the initial applications level and the first level of appeal (also called a request for reconsideration). Statistics released for Illinois by the federal office of disability programs are somewhat disconcerting: 62.2 percent of initial disability applications filed in Illinois were denied over the past two years, and the news was even worse for those who appealed their decisions, who were denied a whopping 87.1% of the time.

These numbers should not deter disabled individuals in Illinois from filing for SSD or SSI benefits, but should prepare them for the reality that it is neither easy nor certain for an individual, regardless of their medical condition, to be awarded disability benefits by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The simple fact is that most claims for disability, in Illinois and in every state across the nation, are denied by disability determination services. That means that most claimants will have to appeal their case to the next level of consideration, which involves an administrative hearing before a disability law judge. Should those filing for disability in Illinois be represented by an attorney at this hearing?

In this instance, the answer is almost certainly yes. A number of studies have indicated that cases that are presented to an administrative law judge by a disability lawyer have about a 50% greater chance of winning than those in which the claimants represent themselves.

It is true that some cases are approved by disability determination services upon their initial application, and that some claimants do receive benefits without ever having received legal counsel of any kind.

These cases, however, are in the minority. If you are filing for disability in Illinois and your initial application is turned down, the odds are great that your case is not persuasive enough to convince a state disability examiner, and you should strongly consider hiring an experienced disability attorney to help you build your case and present the strongest possible argument at your second appeal before an administrative judge.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability in North Carolina

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI

Advice to Win SSD and SSI Benefit Claims

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

Filing for disability in Illinois

Applying for disability in Illinois

How do you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois

Filing for disability in Illinois, when to file

After you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois

Are you automatically denied for SSDI or SSI in Illinois when you first apply?

Filing Illinois request for reconsideration after denied

Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in Illinois?

Options after Social Security Disability is Denied in Illinois

Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in Illinois

Do you need a lawyer for a Disability Claim in Illinois?

Disability attorneys, lawyers in Illinois

Choosing a Disability Attorney in Illinois

What will an Illinois disability attorney do?

Will hiring a disability attorney in Illinois get me a disability award?

Social Security Disability Representatives and help in Illinois

Social Security Claims and Disability Lawyers in Illinois

Illinois disability appeals

Filing a disability appeal in Illinois

Which disability appeal to file in Illinois

How many disability appeals do you get in Illinois?

Getting a Disability Appeal on time in Illinois

Eligibility, approvals, and qualifications in Illinois

How to Qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois

Can a Specific Medical Problem get you Approved for Disability in Illinois?

Eligibility and Qualifications for Disability in Illinois

Can you get disability approved in Illinois at the reconsideration level?

Miscellaneous questions about SSD SSI in Illinois

Can you get disability in Illinois on your first try?

How many Social Security Disability and SSI cases get denied in Illinois?

Disability denial in Illinois, when to get a lawyer

Social Security Disability Waiting period in Illinois

Will I lose my SSDI SSI disability benefits in Illinois when my case is reviewed?

Illinois disability hearings

How to Prepare for a Disability Hearing in Illinois

Odds of disability approval in Illinois better at a hearing vs reconsideration

Illinois disability attorney representation after being denied

Illinois mental disability

Approved for disability in Illinois with a mental condition

Mental testing for an SSDI or SSI disability claim in Illinois

Filing for Disability with depression in Illinois

Illinois disability decisions

Who makes the SSD or SSI decision in Illinois

How long does it take to get a disability decision in Illinois?

What is the Social Security Disability decision making process in Illinois?

Illinois disability, working and work credits

Work credits in Illinois to be covered for Social Security Disability

How to get your disability status in Illinois

If you get and receive disability benefits in Illinois, can you work?

Can you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois if you are working?

Illinois disability denials

Why is Social Security Disability and SSI Denied in Illinois?

Denied on a Disability Reconsideration in Illinois

Illinois Disability Claim was Denied, Should I Reapply?

Denied the second time for Social Security Disability in Illinois