Illinois Disability Claim Advocates

Appealing A Social Security Disability Claim Denial In Illinois

Illinois Disability Claim Advocates: Illinois, popularly known as ‘the Prairie State’ has a population of over 12 million and like any other state, numerous people apply for Social Security Disability benefits every year. The federal program encapsulates Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) which gives monthly cash payments to people unable to work as a result of a disability. You can file your disability claim by visiting Illinois’ Social Security Administration (SSA) office to make the application in person or make a phone call to (800)772-1213 where a customer service rep will guide you on what to do next. You can also apply online at www.ssa.gov for disability benefits. It’s not uncommon for the Disability Determination Service to deny your claim.

Appeals In Illinois

When you apply for Social Security Disability in Illinois, your claim should be processed in about 3-4 months. This is assuming that you have filled out your details correctly with the SSA having full access to your medical records. In the state of Illinois, approximately 37% of initial applications for disability benefits are approved without the need for appeals, which is higher than the national average of 36%. If your disability is denied, you don’t have to give up, especially if you deserve it. The SSA has a thorough appeal and review process to help out qualified applicants who may have slipped through the processing cracks.

The Social Security Appeals Process

Illinois has 6 hearing offices and 71 administrative law judges stationed throughout the state for this exact reason. There are several appeal stages you’ll have to undergo before getting a reviewed decision after a wait time of about 17 months. Steps involved include:

Reconsideration Stage: Your first stop in the appeals process is to fill out and submit a ‘Request for Reconsideration’ form, which you should have provided to the SSA within 65 days of your initial denial letter. The denial notice will have information regarding how to make such a request. It’s even more difficult to get a favorable ruling at this stage than the initial application you made. A vast majority of reconsideration requests are declined with the approval rate being at 15%. It’s therefore likely you’ll have to go for a hearing.

Hearing Stage: If your reconsideration is declined, you have the right to present your case before an administrative law judge (ALJ). This is where you can plead your case in person, showing proof of your disabling condition by using witness testimony, medical professionals, and a disability advocate to assist win the claim. The hearing stage is the easiest to win, with Illinois courts having an average approval rate of 53%. That’s why it’s important to appeal if you feel you were hard done by in getting awarded disability benefits.

Illinois SSI Supplemental Plan

If you get SSI benefits, then you may be suited to get supplemental cash from the state through a program called the AABD Cash Assistance or state supplemental payment (SSP). The state of Illinois adds payment on top of the federal SSI disability claim. The amount disbursed depends on the claimant’s ‘monthly maintenance costs’ from the SSI payment amount.

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At GAR Disability Advocates, we pride ourselves on being able to educate our clients by providing additional news and resources that may impact their claim.

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