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IL SSDI lawyerLife can be difficult for many people who have disabilities. One of the ways the government helps those people is by providing financial assistance through the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are two programs that the SSA runs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both programs get thousands of applications each year, but not everyone is approved. In some cases, the information provided at the time they applied was either incorrect or not sufficient to allow them to begin collecting benefits. When applying for either program, it is important that you have all of the required information organized and prepared.

Personal Information

First, the SSA will want to know all of your personal information. This would include things like your name, social security number, and place of birth. If you have ever been in the military, they want to know what branch you were in and your dates of enlistment and discharge. They will also want to know whether or not you have a spouse or any children. If you do, they will want their identifying information, including their date of birth and social security numbers. If you were married and/or divorced, you should know the dates of those events.

Information About Your Medical Condition

Next, the SSA will want to know about your medical condition that causes you to be disabled. They will ask you to provide the name and contact information of someone who is familiar with your disability that they can contact if you need assistance with your claim. They will also ask you to list all of your medical conditions, injuries, and illnesses that prevent you from working. You must also provide the contact information for any physicians, hospitals, and/or clinics and the date of service for any medical treatment you have received. You should also provide information about any medications you may be taking and any medical tests you have had done.

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IL disability lawyerThere are a wide variety of different types of disabilities that can affect a person’s ability to work. However, this does not mean that a person will automatically qualify for Social Security disability benefits. To make the case that you are disabled, you will need to meet certain requirements, including receiving evaluations from medical experts, and you will need to specify how a physical or mental condition has affected your ability to work. One type of disability that is not always fully understood is the inability to concentrate on your work and complete the tasks involved in a regular workday.

Illinois Court Reverses Decision Based on Improper Consideration of a Vocational Expert’s Testimony

An administrative law judge (ALJ) may choose to deny a disability claim because they believe that an applicant should be able to find employment that fits any restrictions or requirements that may apply to a person’s condition, including issues with “concentration, persistence, and pace.” However, an ALJ must properly consider the evidence in a case, including testimony from a vocational expert (VE). One recent case that was heard in the U.S. District Court of Illinois demonstrated how a denial may be based on a faulty consideration of a VE’s testimony.

In this case, Timothy S. C. v Commissioner of Social Security, the plaintiff, a 50-year-old man, was found to have a number of severe impairments, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arthritis, kidney disease, depression, and anxiety. He had previously worked in construction and as a food prepper and dishwasher, but he stated that he could no longer work due to blood pressure, fatigue, depression, sleep issues, and other health concerns. Lack of concentration was a key factor in his ability to continue working.

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IL disability attorneyWhen seeking Social Security disability benefits, the opinions of your treating physicians will often provide crucial evidence in support of your case. But not all treating-physician opinions are treated equally. For instance, if your doctor simply confirms your own subjective reports regarding certain symptoms–such as chronic pain–without providing any further analysis, that may be of limited value to a Social Security administrative law judge (ALJ) reviewing your application.

Seventh Circuit Dismisses Appeal Brought by Illinois Woman with Fibromyalgia

A recent decision from the Chicago-based U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Apke v. Saul, helps to illustrate this point. In this case, a 37-year-old woman applied for disability benefits, citing a number of impairments, including fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a pain disorder that is notoriously difficult to diagnose using objective tests. As a result, Social Security often views disability claims based on fibromyalgia with increased skepticism.

This case proved to be no different. Although the plaintiff submitted expert reports from three of her treating physicians, the ALJ overseeing the case decided after holding a hearing to solicit the views of a third-party rheumatologist. Based on the rheumatologist's findings, the ALJ ultimately denied the plaintiff's application for disability benefits.

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