How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

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

Disability lawyers and non-attorney disability representatives in Illinois are only paid if they win a claimant's case. This is because what they receive as their fee is a percentage of the back pay. If the case is not won, there is no back pay and, thus, there is no fee (How much does a Social Security Disability attorney get paid?).

The fact that a representative can only be paid if they win the claim provides a strong and powerful incentive to properly prepare a case (such as obtaining the necessary evidence, which may include functional capacity statements from treating physicians) and properly present it.

If the case advances to the hearing level (most do), then the representative's presentation will include a working case theory that is supported by Social Security administrative regulations.

However, even considering the nature of how a disability attorney or representative is paid, most disability representatives have the goal of providing solid and helpful representation for their clients. Most will strive to win their client's cases for two other reasons: A) they wish to build upon their local reputation which advertises a high rate of success and B) they are empathetic to the plight of their clients, which is simply the fact that if the case is lost their client often faces financial ruin.

Do you need a lawyer for a disability claim in Illinois? At the initial claim level (the disability application), some would find this debatable. Thirty percent of cases at this level are awarded.

However, this also means that 70 percent of claims are lost at this level. A proactive representative can get a claimant' case won at even the initial claim level (disability application). And many would argue that if a representative is involved from the beginning of the case, the evidence will be properly developed so as to not disadvantage the case later.

What about individuals who have been denied on a disability application? At that point, representation does make sense because these individuals will typically also be denied on their first appeal, which is the request for reconsideration, and will consequently have to ask for a second appeal which involves a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.

Going to a hearing without representation is an extreme gamble. About forty percent of claimants who do not have representation at this level win their claims. However, for represented claimants, over sixty percent win their claims. That represents a sizeable gap between winning or not winning, based on whether or not representation is involved.

Keep in mind that it can take up to three years or longer, counting from the time that a case was first initiated, to get to the hearing level. To go to a hearing therefore, and not be sufficiently prepared, is really not wise.

Essential Questions

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Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

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Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

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Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

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Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

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Qualifications for disability benefits

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Filing Illinois request for reconsideration after denied

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Options after Social Security Disability is Denied in Illinois

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Choosing a Disability Attorney in Illinois

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Filing a disability appeal in Illinois

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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

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Eligibility and Qualifications for Disability in Illinois

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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

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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

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Illinois disability denials

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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

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.