A town that approximately 81,000 call home, Champaign, Illinois sits in Champaign county, mid-way between Chicago and Indianapolis. Despite its surrounding farmland, Champaign is home to numerous technology companies and two colleges.
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Parkland College employ many area residents, as do Yahoo, Kraft Foods, and Plastipak. The median household income for Champaign residents is a higher-than-average $131,000, and the cost-of-living is around 7% lower than the national average.
Applying for Champaign Social Security Disability Benefits
If a Champaign resident becomes unable to work for a year or more due to injury or illness, they may consider applying for Social Security disability benefits. Although thousands of Champaign workers see weekly paycheck deductions for their Social Security taxes, these workers may find the process of obtaining these benefits more difficult than anticipated. What they may not realize is that approximately 70% of Social Security disability applications are denied.
If a disabled Illinois worker’s application for Social Security disability benefits is denied, they can still pursue their claim by proceeding through the Social Security Administration’s appeal process. After waiting an average of 3-4 months for their initial decision, if they receive a denial they can then file an appeal (called a “Request for Reconsideration”) and will wait anywhere from another 1-3 months for a second decision to be issued. Unfortunately, less than 10% of denials are reversed upon reconsideration.
The majority of Social Security disability applicants who end up receiving benefits have their applications approved at the next level of appeal, which requires testifying at a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Unfortunately, it can be two years or more from the date of the initial disability application before this takes place. The office that schedules these hearings for those who are applying for Social Security disability benefits in Champaign is located in Peoria. The average wait for a hearing out of this office is 373 days.
It can be very difficult for Champaign, Illinois Social Security disability applicants to live on little or no income while they appeal denials and wait for their hearing. If you’re applying for disability benefits in the Champaign area, hiring a Champaign Social Security attorney can be increase the chances that your application will be approved without having to proceed through the appeals process. A Champaign disability lawyer can make sure that the Social Security Administration has all relevant records and is properly evaluating your claim.
Around 3.8% of all Illinois residents are currently receiving Social Security disability benefits, and their average monthly payment is $1,185. However many of those who are currently receiving benefits likely endured a long wait. If you are disabled and unable to work it can be very difficult to have to wait years before receiving any Social Security disability benefits.
You can decrease the chances of that happening by hiring a Champaign Social Security lawyer. A Champaign Social Security disability attorney is familiar with the claims process and knows how to highlight the medical evidence, by filling out form SSA-827, that is most relevant in proving that you’re disabled. They can also do other things such as obtain statements from your doctors, assist you with the reports that the SSA will likely ask you to fill out, and answer your questions along the way.
Hiring a Champaign Disability Attorney
In the event that you end up having an administrative law judge hearing, hiring a Champaign disability attorney can increase the chances that the judge will find in your favor. The SSA often hires medical or vocational (employment) experts to testify at disability hearings and a skilled Champaign disability lawyer can cross-examine these expert witnesses.
They can also provide additional testimony regarding your disability, and may be able to submit a brief to the judge explaining exactly how you qualify as disabled. Each situation is unique, and some administrative law judges approve more claims than others, but a Champaign Social Security disability lawyer can ensure that your case is presented in the most favorable light possible.
Luckily for Champaign disabled workers, there is no upfront cost to hire a Social Security lawyer in Champaign. Champaign Social Security disability attorneys are paid on a contingent basis, which means that they are only paid if you are awarded benefits. If your application isn’t approved, you won’t have to pay. If you are awarded benefits, your Champaign disability attorney will receive a fee equal to 25% of your back benefit payments (up to a maximum of $6,000.)
A Champaign Social Security attorney will also handle disability claims for residents of nearby cities such as Urbana, Danville, Decatur, Charleston, Bloomington, Pontiac, Lincoln, Taylorville, and Crawfordsville. They will also represent other Champaign county residents as well as those in neighboring Vermillion, Douglas, Ford, McLean, and Piatt counties.