Credibility Factors Explained by a Chicago SSD Attorney

chicago ssd attorneyIf you’re looking to be approved for disability benefits, any Chicago SSD attorney can tell you that your credibility is an essential component of the approval process. Maintaining credibility throughout the process is key to your success.

Evidence to Assess Your Credibility

An adjudicator may assess your credibility by reviewing a variety of evidence. For example, he or she may review your lab tests and medical examination reports. Additionally, doctors, psychologists, and other health care professionals may submit medical records regarding your medical history that the adjudicator reviews.

The adjudicator can also evaluate statements that you made about your medical history, treatment you received, your response to treatment, your symptoms, your ability to perform certain work activities, and your daily activities.

Additionally, the adjudicator can review this type of information from third parties, such as co-workers, friends, and family. The adjudicator can also make his or her own credibility determination based on personal observation of you by him or her, or by other employees of the Social Security Administration.

Consistent Statements

A Chicago SSD attorney believes that one way to boost your credibility is to be consistent in your testimony and other aspects of your case record. The adjudicator can compare what you say during a hearing with what you said under different circumstances. For example, the adjudicator may review statements you made to a health care provider.

He or she may also evaluate statements that you made to the Social Security Administration during each stage of the process and your statements in other parts of the case record, such as reports and observations regarding your daily activities, symptoms, and behavior.

One important evaluation is whether your statements are actually consistent with medical exam and lab test results. If your statements are not consistent, this may not indicate that they are not credible. Symptoms can change, worsen, or improve over time, and that may impact the persistence, intensity, or functional effect of your symptoms.

Contact a Chicago SSD Attorney

If you would like to discuss how to maintain your credibility during the claims process with a Chicago SSD attorney, contact Daley Disability Law by calling (866) 463-3171.


A Chicago Disability Lawyer Discusses What to Do When Benefits Are Delayed

Chicago disability lawyer - Social Security CardIf more than a few months have gone by since you were granted Social Security disability benefits and you have not been paid, you can approach the problem in three different ways says a Chicago disability lawyer.

Send a Fax to the Payment Center

You or your Chicago Disability lawyer can send the payment center a fax. If your benefits are being paid by the Office of Central Operations, which is located in Baltimore, you should send the fax to one of the modules or processing units. Your Social Security Number is used to assign the module to your case. If you are not sure which processing unit to send the fax to, your Chicago disability lawyer can find out for you.

Discuss Your Case with a Supervisor

You can talk about your case with a local Social Security office supervisor. Your lawyer can also speak with the supervisor on your behalf. Depending on the situation, the supervisor might be able to arrange for you to receive a prompt payment.

Contact a Congressional Office

Each Senator and Representative has a dedicated member of his or her staff who deals directly with the Social Security Administration. If you and your lawyer prompt a congressional inquiry, you may receive a speedy payment, says a Chicago Disability Lawyer.

Working with a Chicago Disability Lawyer

If you wish to speak with a lawyer about your Social Security disability case, please contact Daley Disability Law, at 312-561-3030.

A Chicago Social Security Law Office Explains the 5 Step Sequential Process

Chicago Social Security law firm - Benefits FormThe Social Security Administration uses a five step process to decide if you have a disability. Many claimants find this to be difficult to understand. Working with a Chicago Social Security law firm can make it easier for you to grasp what the steps mean, and how they relate to your claim. The 5 step process can be broken down as follows:

The Five Steps

1. If you are working, does the work constitute substantial gainful activity (SGA)?
2. Do you have a medically determinable impairment? If so, is it severe?
3. Does your impairment meet or equal a listing?
4. Are you able to do past relevant work (PRW)?
5. Considering your residual functional capacity, age, education and work experience, are you able to do other work?

A Chicago Social Security Law Office on Evaluating the Steps

Lawyers in our Chicago Social Security law firm know that there are two main routes to a finding of disabled: (1) your impairment meets or equals a listing (step 3); (2) you meet all 5 steps.

Your disability must last 12 months. Lawyers in our Chicago Social Security law office can explain the exact meaning of the entire process. The terms above have specific meaning, that could be different from what you expect. Let our Chicago Social Security law firm help you avoid a misstep, like failing to meet one of the “non-disability” eligibility income or tax related requirements for SSD/SSI. Our Chicago Social Security law firm can also explain the six ways that you may be found not disabled.

The Six Ways That You Can Be Found Not Disabled

1. At Step 1-doing work that constitutes SGA;
2. At Step 2-no medically determinable impairment;
3. Condition is not severe, and you can do basic work;
4. At Step 4 you can do PRW;
5. At Step 5 you are able to do other work;
6. Condition does not last 12 months.

Our Chicago Social Security law firm is familiar with the 6 points above. We will fight against a finding of not disabled.

Work with Our Chicago Social Security Law Firm

Our Chicago Social Security law office is here to help. If you are looking for a Chicago Social Security law firm call Daley Disability Law at 312.561.3030.

Our Chicago Social Security Lawyers Discuss Inclusions and Deductions

Chicago Social Security disability attorneyMany Northbrook Social Security disability lawyers are asked by claimants if they can continue to work while receiving Social Security benefits. While technically they can, our Chicago Social Security lawyers may caution them about the amount of earnings that they can make without being penalized. In order to determine if they will make this much, our lawyers can help explain what is and is not included in earnings.


First, claimants must understand what is included in the earnings amount. The earnings include any bonuses the claimant receives.


After including all of the necessary earnings, our Northbrook Social Security disability lawyers explain what is deducted from earnings. This includes any sick pay or vacation pay. These amounts are deducted because the Social Security Administration wants to know how much the claimant actually earns based on work that he or she performs. Another important deduction are specific medical expenses that the claimant’s impairment necessitates. These medical expenses must be impairment-related work expenses, such as attendant care, transportation or job equipment. Another possible deduction is a subsidy. A subsidy may exist when there is a significant discrepancy between the value of the claimant’s services and the amount that he or she actually receives in compensation. Such a situation may occur when the claimant is working for a family member. The Social Security Administration subtracts the subsidy before determining earnings.

Information for Your Attorney

When you meet with a disability attorney, you will be asked about your current rate of pay and how many hours you work. Usually, it is easiest to provide your lawyer with paycheck stubs so that your earnings can be calculated correctly. The attorney can compare this figure with the current Substantial Gainful Activity limit. You may still qualify for benefits even if you earn above this amount based on the principles outlined above and relevant guidelines.

Legal Assistance from Our Chicago Social Security Lawyers

For more information on inclusions and deductions of earnings, contact Chicago Social Security lawyers by calling Daley Disability Law, PC at (866) 463-3171.

Chicago Social Security Lawyer Discusses Medical Evidence

Chicago Social Security LawyerOur Chicago Social Security lawyer can explain how the Social Security Administration measures your symptoms by using medical evidence. This can be a complex process that involves a great deal of subjectivity. A Chicago Social Security disability lawyer can explain that symptoms cannot be measured. However, the effects of symptoms can be observed. For example, pain cannot be measured on an objective level. However, pain may reduce joint muscle, cause muscle spasms, disrupt movement or cause sensory deficits. If this information is recorded in your medical records, it can help lend to credibility regarding your statements of pain.

Information in Medical Records

Your medical records may contain a wealth of information that your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer can use to substantiate your claims. For example, medical records usually show the date and original report of symptoms. This information can often be used to derive an onset time period. Additionally, medical records detail the nature and location of your symptoms. Medical records indicate the advice that a doctor recommended and your response to this advice. They also include information regarding precipitating and aggravating factors. Your medical records will also create a chronology of sorts in which your symptoms are recorded and then followed throughout time. This can show if they have gotten worse, improved or stayed the same. Additionally, your treatment and response to treatment is recorded in a similar fashion. Your statements regarding how routine activities have been affected by the medical condition and symptoms is also chronicled in your medical records. Likewise, any side effects that you have experienced due to medication or treatment is also recorded.

How This Information Is Used

The judge or decision maker may compare the information in your medical records with other statements that you have made in your documents to the Social Security Administration. Consistency often lends to credibility. Additionally, a medical record that shows that a person sought medical treatment, followed the recommended treatment and continued attempts to obtain relief from symptoms like pain supports a claimant’s contentions.

Help from a Chicago Social Security Lawyer

For more information on this information, contact a Chicago Social Security lawyer from Daley Disability Law, PC at (866) 463-3171.

The Importance of Medical Evidence at Your Disability Hearing

Chicago Social Security lawyer - Doctor Looking at Medical GraphCan My Chicago Social Security Lawyer Help to Develop the Medical Evidence in My Disability Case?

A good Chicago Social Security lawyer understands that the crucial question in any disability case is whether an individual claimant can work eight hours for each of the five workdays every week. An excellent Chicago Social Security lawyer understands how important medical evidence from your treating physician is in establishing your inability to work and where to draw the line with medical testing and evaluations. Let our legal experts help you develop the medical evidence in your case to increase your chances of winning.

Should My Chicago Social Security Lawyer Request a Functional Capacity Evaluation to Prove That I Can’t Do Sedentary Work?
Your Chicago Social Security lawyer probably won’t request a functional capacity evaluation. These tests are not always reliable in assessing whether or not you can complete a 40-hour work week. Functional evaluations often conclude that a claimant, especially one under 50, can do sedentary work. Sedentary work involves sitting for six hours in an eight-hour workday, lifting 10 pounds occasionally and lighter objects frequently. Your Chicago Social Security attorney may rely instead on reports from the treating physician that you have developed a relationship with who has had the opportunity to treat and observe you over time.

The Role of Your Treating Physician 
At the hearing, substantial weight goes to the opinion of your treating physician, especially if your doctor has developed a longitudinal perspective on your medical conditions. Such opinions will be given more weight than a doctor who has only examined you one time. If your treating doctor’s opinions conflict with the one-time opinion of a so called expert, you need to call a Chicago Social Security attorney. A good Chicago Social Security lawyer understands the role of the treating physician and won’t be intimidated by individual medical reports or isolated findings.

Call a Chicago Social Security Lawyer
Before you ask your doctor to perform a functional capacity evaluation, you should speak to a Chicago Social Security attorney at Daley Disability Law by calling 312-561-3030.

Learn About SSA Judges From Your Chicago Social Security Disability Attorney

Chicago Social Security disability attorney - Social Security Administration LogoA requirement for filing Social Security disability benefits is to testify in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). If you’ve retained the services of a Chicago Social Security disability attorney, then you won’t have to face that judge alone. You’ll have plenty of time to prepare your testimony. Your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer will also review all the procedures so you’ll be completely comfortable during the hearing.

The Role of the Administrative Law Judge

Although you’ll be testifying at a hearing, the Social Security Administration is not putting up a defense. They won’t be hiring their own version of a Chicago Social Security disability attorney. Instead, it will be the role of the ALJ to act as a neutral fact-finder. As your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer will inform you, the ALJ has a strict set of guidelines to follow before they can make a determination. Currently, around 60 percent of all claimants are granted benefits after making an appeal. Your Chicago Social Security disability attorney will certainly understand the appeals process. This is why you need to depend on their skill and experience.

Before Your Hearing

Your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer will submit all the documentation supporting your claim to the ALJ before the hearing. This will give the judge the opportunity to review the material and form the necessary questions you’ll be asked. The ALJ has the authority to help your Chicago Social Security disability attorney gather evidence by issuing subpoenas. Fortunately, your Chicago Social Security disability attorney will be familiar with the potential line of questioning, and they can help you practice forming your responses.

Your Appearance Before the Judge With Your Chicago Social Security Disability Attorney

In some cases, you might have the opportunity to appear before your judge via video teleconferencing. You can discuss with your Chicago Social Security disability attorney if this is the best option for your claim. The lawyers working for Daley Disability Law have a long history of helping their clients earn SSD benefits. Find out how they can assist with your claim by calling their offices today at 312-561-3030.

Chicago Social Security Disability Lawyer Examines the Disability Application Process and Evaluations

Chicago Social Security disability lawyer - Handicapped Parking People who apply for Social Security disability benefits often don’t understand what it takes to get their applications approved. The Social Security Administration’s strict rules and regulations regarding eligibility for disability benefits are complicated and difficult to understand. In fact, the majority of applicants get their initial request for benefits denied. If you exercise the right to appeal an unfavorable decision, you’ll have another opportunity to request the disability benefits you need. An experienced Chicago Social Security disability lawyer knows how the disability evaluation process works and can help you achieve a desirable outcome.

Chicago Social Security Disability Attorney on How to Apply for Benefits

There are several ways to fill out a Social Security disability application. You can complete the application online at the Social Security Administration’s official website and submit it electronically. Another option is to call the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 and set up a telephone appointment with a claims representative. It’s also possible to call and schedule an appointment at the local Social Security office.

During the appointment, the claims representative will ask you several questions and list your answers in the application. Then, the claims representative will give you the documents so that you can make sure the information is accurate prior to signing the paperwork. A Chicago Social Security disability attorney can file the application for you but isn’t permitted to sign the application on your behalf unless appointed to do so by a court of law.

Evaluation of the Social Security Disability Application

The evaluation of the disability application and first stage of an appeal – known as a reconsideration – isn’t handled directly by the Social Security Administration. A state government agency that has a contract with the Social Security Administration is appointed to evaluate the disability applications and the claims that are being reconsidered. The Social Security Administration adopts the decision made by a claims examiner or medical doctor working for the state government agency.

Chicago Social Security Disability Lawyer Explains the Appellate Process

When you receive a notice of decision that states your request for disability benefits wasn’t approved, you can file a Request for Reconsideration. When your claim is reconsidered, someone who hasn’t previously reviewed your claim will evaluate all of the evidence to determine if the initial decision was correct. If you are still denied benefits after a reconsideration and disagree with the decision, you can file a Request for Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge.

During the appellate process, a Chicago Social Security disability lawyer persuasively presents written arguments and documents that support your claim. The severity of your medical condition and the inability to work will be communicated in an effective manner. A legal advocate ensures that you are properly prepared to handle every aspect of the proceedings.

Contact a Chicago Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you suffer from a disability and want to apply for Social Security benefits, it may be very difficult to get favorable results without legal assistance. A knowledgeable Chicago Social Security disability lawyer can provide valuable information and guide you through the application process. Call Daley Disability Law today at 312-561-3030 to schedule a confidential consultation.

Hearing Information & Preparation, Letters

Chicago Social Security disability attorney - Social Security CardIf you are filing for SSD benefits, you should be assisted by a knowledgeable Chicago Social Security disability attorney who can help you meet the SSA’s definition of disability.

How Your Chicago Social Security Disability Attorney Will Prepare for the Hearing

Your Chicago Social Security disability attorney will take the following preparation for your disability hearing:

· Review your Social Security file to determine what is necessary to prove your case

· Obtain all of the required records, such as medical records

· If necessary, obtain reports from your doctors

· Prepare you for your testimony a few days before your hearing

· Talk with any witnesses who may testify at your hearing

Your Chicago Social Security Disability Attorney Will Expect You to Think About Potential Witnesses

Your Chicago Social Security disability attorney will ask you to consider who might be an effective witness for your case. A good witness is a close acquaintance who is familiar with your problems and is able to describe them to the judge.

Consequently, claimants tend to choose their spouse, family members or close friends as witnesses. In fact, such individuals are often the only witnesses available. While they are reliable as witnesses, your Chicago Social Security disability attorney may prefer someone who isn’t as close and might be considered less biased. Some judges believe that close friends or family members will bend the truth to help you.

Listed below are some common witnesses in SSD cases:

· Supervisors
· Coworkers
· Social workers
· Vocational rehabilitation counselors
· Ministers
· Landlords
· Neighbors

If there are any of these witnesses who can testify at the hearing, be sure to tell your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer as soon as you receive a letter from him that notifies of the hearing date.

Letters From Your Friends and Relatives Regarding Your Disability Will Help Your Chicago Social Security Disability Lawyer

Letters written by your friends, family and other acquaintances are useful evidence in a SSD case. Your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer will hope to get as many such letters as he can and may even give you an instructive memo on writing them, which you can distribute to your friends.

An experienced Chicago Social Security disability attorney can help you file SSD benefits. If you would like a free initial consultation with an attorney, call Daley Disability Law today at 312.561.3030.

A Chicago Social Security Disability Attorney Discusses the Opening Statement of the Administrative Law Judge

Dublin Social Security disability lawyer - JudgeCertain procedures are in place that govern the sequence of events at a Social Security disability hearing. An experienced Chicago Social Security disability lawyer can assist you as you prepare to take part.

Opening the Hearing
Typically, it is the role of the ALJ (administrative law judge) to begin the proceedings by formally opening the record, acknowledging those in attendance and documenting that your Chicago Social Security disability attorney is serving as your representative. Either you or your attorney will be asked for confirmation of those statements. Normally, the ALJ will recommend that you relax and will try to ease any nervousness you may be feeling.

The Statement
An opening statement may consist of:

1. An assertion that the administrative law judge is independent of the office that denied the claim and the declaration that the hearing is de novo.

2. A declaration that the proceedings are being recorded. Oral testimony and hard-copy documentation from you, your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer and others will be accepted as evidence and made part of the official record.

3. An outline or overview of how the hearing will proceed. This will consist of the following:

a. Testimony will be obtained from one speaker at a time.
b. Witnesses are under oath, and cross-questioning by your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer may take place.
c. Evidence in the hearing is not subject to the rules of evidence used in a court of law.
d. There will be sufficient time for your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer to submit briefs concerning the law or the facts of the case or to present pertinent oral arguments.

4. An overview of the procedures already undertaken in the claim (procedural history).

5. A recitation of the issues to be considered.

6. An overview of the exhibits to be presented, consideration of any objections and, once these have been reviewed and decided upon, admission of the proposed documentation.

Waiving of Steps Five and Six
If your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer agrees, the reading of the procedural history and statement of issues may be dispensed with upon request by the ALJ. Normally the attorney will give consent if there is nothing out of the ordinary that prevents his/her doing so.

Be Sure You Understand
If you are facing this situation, don’t face it alone. Contact a Chicago Social Security disability lawyer with Daley Disability Law by calling 312-561-3030 today.