Navigating the Social Security Disability application and appeals processes can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are many Social Security Disability attorneys and advocates in Bloomington, Illinois who are trained to help. In fact, these legal professionals played a part in getting 3,250 McLean County residents SSDI benefits and another 1,640 McLean County residents SSI benefits. (Statistic from December, 2012)
Prior to filing your claim for disability benefits and prior to consulting with an attorney or advocate, it is important that you read up on the two different benefit programs—Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Doing so will give you a better understanding of what is required of you and it will assist you in making smart decisions regarding your application.
Access more information about SSDI and SSI benefits on the following page: Social Security Programs. If you have additional questions, contact a representative at your local Social Security field office. Two near-by offices are listed below:
207 Williamsburg Drive
Bloomington, IL 61704
815 W Pioneer Pkwy
Peoria, IL 61615
Hiring a Bloomington Social Security Disability Attorney
Once you have researched the different benefits available to you, it may be in your best interest to hire a qualified attorney or advocate. He or she will be able to help you throughout the process and can actually increase your chances of being awarded disability benefits.
If you choose to hire a legal professional, you will not be required to pay them unless your claim is approved. Even if you are approved, the SSA has set specific limits on how much an attorney or advocate is allowed to charge.
Learn more about hiring an attorney or advocate on this page: Why do I need a lawyer?
If you live outside of Bloomington, it is likely that a Bloomington attorney will be able to represent you as well. In fact, Bloomington attorneys often handle disability claims in the following cities: Normal, Morton, Washington, Lincoln, East Peoria, Pontiac, Peoria, Pekin, Decatur, Streator, Rantoul, Champaign, Urbana, Springfield, and Peru.
For further information regarding the Social Security Disability Lawyers in Bloomington, contact the McLean County Bar Association:
McLean County Bar Association
P.O. Box 3142
Bloomington, IL 61702
Bloomington Disability Hearings
Unfortunately, many initial Social Security Disability applications are not approved. If you are denied, you will have 60 days in which to appeal this decision. The appeals process will typically include an appeal hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. This type of hearing is held in an Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR).
There is currently no ODAR located in Bloomington. For this reason, many Bloomington claimants will have to attend appeal hearings in the Peoria ODAR. If you do not already have an attorney or advocate at this point, we suggest you hire one before your appeal hearing.
Below we have listed facts and statistics regarding the Peoria ODAR. These may become helpful if your claim proceeds to the appeals process.
(This information was collected for the months between September 2012 and July 2013.)
- The Peoria ODAR scheduled 3,286 hearings total.
- 83.99% of these hearings were resolved—or ended in approval, partial approval, or denial
- The Peoria ODAR has 8 judges.
- Each judge determines an average of 2.8 dispositions daily.
- The entire Peoria ODAR determines an average of 22.4 dispositions per day.
- 68.72% of Peoria hearings were conducted through video conference; the rest were handled in person.
- As of July, 2013 the Peoria ODAR had 3,844 pending cases and a wait time of 380 days.
Contacting your Congressperson
Waiting for a Social Security Disability appeal hearing can take many months. Because many applicants for disability benefits are dealing with serious illness and financial problems, this wait can be very difficult.
If you find that it is impossible to wait your hearing, you can contact your local congressperson to request that he or she intervenes with the Peoria hearing office on your behalf. If your representative feels that your circumstances warrant a faster decision on your claim, he or she may be able to help. This does not always work and can typically only be used in extreme situations. However, requesting congressional intervention will not negatively affect your claim in any way—even if it does not work.
Your congressman in the Bloomington area address is listed below:
104 W. North Street
Normal, IL 61761
Telephone: (309) 662-1100
Fax: (309) 662-1150
Complete the following form for a free legal evaluation with a Bloomington disability attorney or advocate.