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more videos: What Not to Do at Your Hearing, How the Judge Determines Disability, How to Be Persuasive, How to Describe Daily Activities, When You Have Physical Impairments and Mental Limitations, and Working Part-Time

Guidance from Peoria Social Security disability lawyers on filing for disability in Illinois

“How do I apply for Social Security disability benefits?” This is a question often posed to our Hanson and Hanson disability attorneys. Peoria residents should know that there are three ways to apply: (1) by telephone, (2) in person at your local Illinois Social Security office or (3) using the Internet. You can learn more about applying by reviewing Answers to 9 common questions.

The best time to file for Illinois disability benefits is roughly 6-9 months after you stop working unless you have an obvious long-term disability.

If you haven’t yet applied for Illinois disability benefits, one of the best pieces of advice we can offer is always give the Social Security Administration all the information that it asks for in an honest, straightforward way. Tell the truth. Do not exaggerate or minimize your disability. This advice also goes for all stages of the Social Security disability claims process, particularly at hearings.

The Social Security Administration’s definition of disabled

“Will I qualify for disability benefits?” is another common question fielded by our Peoria disability lawyers. It is impossible to know for certain, except in a few cases of truly catastrophic illness or injury. Social Security’s rules for proving you are disabled are complex. Social Security will not approve your application for Peoria disability benefits just because you, your friends and family, your employer, or even your doctor says you are disabled. And it does not matter that you have been awarded disability benefits by some other government agency, such as the Veteran’s Administration or Workers’ Compensation.

The Social Security Administration follows its own definition of disabled. To be disabled according to Social Security law, your physical or mental impairment must be so severe that you are unable to do your previous work and you cannot, considering your age, education, and work experience, do any other substantial gainful work that exists in the national economy.

For more information on whether you are disabled for Peoria Social Security disability purposes, see our videos How the Judge Determines Disability and Are You Likely to Qualify.

When your application for Peoria Social Security disability benefits is denied

“Should I appeal if my application is denied?” Many Peoria disability applicants need an answer to this question. They wonder whether an appeal is worth the time and effort. The short answer is yes. Far too often people give up on seeking Illinois disability benefits when their initial applications are denied. In fact, more than half of those whose disability applications are denied fail to appeal. This is a mistake.

An experienced Peoria disability lawyer will tell you that an initial denial is a common occurrence and shouldn’t deter applicants who cannot work from continuing to pursue benefits. In evaluating your initial disability application, an Illinois state agency decision maker has nothing more than a paper file to review. On the other hand, your appeal results in a hearing where you and your Indiana disability lawyer can personally present your case to an administrative law judge. The judge will get to observe you and listen to you and your witnesses testify as to your disability.

While approximately two-thirds of all initial applications are denied, over half of the claimants who appeal their denials will ultimately be awarded Social Security disability benefits.

Skilled Peoria disability attorneys at Hanson and Hanson can help

We are experienced with all types of impairments, including these:

  • Back injuries and back pain
  • Arthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Emphysema
  • Asthma
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Diabetes
  • Lupus
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Fibromyalgia

And many more.

We assist Peoria disability claimants at all levels of the process, up to and including appeals to the federal courts in the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois. You may contact us at any stage. Appeals must be made in a timely manner, so, if your application has been denied, act promptly in prosecuting your claim to avoid any loss of anticipated benefits.

If you would like our assistance and you are not already represented by a Peoria disability attorney, please provide a brief description of your claim using the short claim evaluation form to your right. We will respond promptly.

Or you may contact our office at:

Hanson and Hanson
Peoria Illinois Social Security disability attorneys

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P.O. Box 825
1802 North Division Street
Suite 304
Morris, Illinois 60450-0825.