How an Attorney Can Help You Appeal Your SSD Case in Illinois

If a medical condition has made it impossible for you to work, you might want to pursue a claim for Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two kinds of disability benefits that help disabled workers.

To qualify, you must meet specific medical criteria set forth in the medical guide, also called the Blue Book. Most disability claims are denied, including those for individuals who are unable to work because proving a disability can be challenging.

You can file an appeal for a claim denial to ask for your claim to be reconsidered. If a reconsideration receives a denial, then you file an appeal and request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ).

While claims can be denied for any reason, there are some more common reasons for claims to be denied. The leading cause of denials is a lack of hard medical evidence that defines the severity of the disability and that shows the actual limitations faced by the individual.

You must have medical evidence showing any diagnoses, the severity of the medical issues, and any limitations or restrictions and how the individual’s overall life is impacted. Disability Determination Services (DDS) must be able to understand how your ability to work has been affected.

Other common causes for claim denials are the failure to have follow-up or ongoing medical care and the individual’s income exceeding the limit for substantial gainful activity (SGA). In Illinois, about 30% of initial disability claims are approved.

On the reconsideration level, about 8% of cases get approval. When it reaches the hearing level in Illinois, about 57% of claims get approval.

Visiting the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Illinois

If your claim is denied at the reconsideration level, you can file an appeal to request a hearing before an ALJ. These hearings are conducted at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR).

In Illinois, there is an average wait of 18.8 months for a hearing, which is slightly higher than the average 18-month wait. At the hearing, you will be questioned by the ALJ and a vocational expert.

This is to determine the severity of your disability and to determine if you qualify for benefits and are unable to work. Your medical problems, age, work history, and educational background are all considered at this level.

There are several ODARs in Illinois. The Peoria ODAR has eight judges with an average 17-month wait time for a hearing. In Peoria, 45% cases are approved on the hearing level. Chicago’s ODAR has 14 judges and an average 16-month hearing wait.

Claims there have an average 564-day processing time and see a 44% approval rate on the hearing level. The NHC Chicago ODAR has 15 judges and claimants have an average 25-month hearing wait.

At this office, there is an average 720-day processing timeframe and only 31% of cases are approved on the hearing level. An attorney can help you prepare for the hearing and even discuss the questioning you will undergo.

How an Attorney Can Help You Appeal Your SSD Case in Illinois

Getting Help from A Disability Attorney

Social Security Disability Claims can be challenging and most are denied. When you enlist the help of a disability lawyer, your chances of a successful claim improve significantly. Your attorney can get all your medical records and other documents ready for review by DDS.

Your attorney can accompany you to the local SSA office to make sure your file is in order and all your medical records are there. All medical records, including physician notes, x-ray reports, scan reports, lab results, surgical notes, treatment records, and physician records are needed to help you get your claim approved.

DDS needs to see a complete picture of your limitations and restrictions. Your attorney can also talk with the SSA representatives on your behalf. Your lawyer will also handle any appeals that must be filed and help you prepare for the hearing level. There are several SSA offices throughout Illinois.

  • Social Security Administration
    4631 Ashland Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60609
    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Wednesday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

  • Social Security Administration
    1325 N Lake Street
    Aurora, IL 60506
    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Wednesday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

  • Social Security Administration
    15401 S 9th Avenue
    Orland Park, IL 60462
    Monday - Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    If you are ready to pursue a disability benefits claim, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page. Your details will be shared with a disability attorney who can help you get your claim underway today.

    Additional Resources

    Illinois Social Security Disability
    Chicago Social Security Disability