This is a composite of different discussions and experiences I have had with Social Security staff, attorneys and people who have had sought disability.
This fictional interview takes poetic license to give you an idea of what happens at a Social Security Disability hearing site.
What is your job?
I give the claimants the computer disc with their disability information just before the hearing, and get their paperwork completed.
I also help the Judge gather the information for the hearing and do whatever else the Judge may need to help the hearing run smoothly.
How many claimants would estimate show up without a lawyer?
I would guess about 35 percent of the people do not have a lawyer.
What do you notice about claimants who do not have a lawyer?
They really do not understand what is going to happen at the hearing. I have to walk them through the paperwork and how to open the electronic file.
And they do not know what is going to happen in the hearing.
What have you seen in the hearing?
The people without a lawyer do not know how to explain to the Judge why they are disabled under our rules.
They have no idea how to respond to the vocational expert when they testify the person can do a job.
Why do you think some people go into something so important as a Social Security Disability hearing without a lawyer?
They think that they have to pay a lot of money to get a lawyer to represent them.
They do not understand that the lawyers only get paid if they win, and the government limits how much the lawyer charges.
Make sure that you are well prepared for your Social Security Disability case. Feel free to call Illinois Social Security Disability Attorney Dirk May with Williams and Swee at 309-827-4371.