Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

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.








  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved







  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center



    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children




    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers




    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security




    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved

    FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions

    The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration




    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI






    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer








    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