Nearly 84,000 people call Cicero, Illinois, home. Named after the Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero, the city is now a mere one-sixth of the size it was at its largest, before portions splintered off to form neighboring towns. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA,), around 3.8% of Illinois residents are disabled and receiving Social Security benefits (with an average monthly payment of $1,185.)
This means that approximately 3,100 Cicero residents are likely relying on this important source of government aid to support themselves and their families. Many of these disabled workers likely faced a long wait before being granted benefits, despite having paid into the Social Security system for their entire working lives.
It’s estimated that nearly three million people across the nation will apply for Social Security disability benefits in any given year. Over 70% of these applications will be denied. After a two to four month wait for their initial decision, these disabled workers will then start the lengthy Social Security appeals process by filing a “Request for Reconsideration.”
It will take another one to three months for a second decision to be received, and around 90% of these are denials.
Cicero is a regional manufacturing center, with over 100 factories operating in the area. Although many residents travel to Chicago or other nearby towns for employment, the Cicero Elementary School District 99, and the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame also employ many of those who reside in Cicero. The median household income is $42,044, and, likely due to Cicero’s close proximity to Chicago, the cost of living is a 8.4% higher than the national average. If a Cicero worker becomes disabled and unable to work, they could be shocked and upset by how long and stressful the disability application process can be.
But it doesn’t necessarily have to take so long – if you hire a Cicero Social Security attorney, they may be able to increase the chances that your claim will be approved right off the bat, sparing you from the appeals process altogether.
Applying for Cicero Social Security Disability Benefits
A Cicero Social Security disability attorney can be an invaluable asset if you’re a disabled Illinois worker and are applying for Social Security disability benefits. While there’s never a guarantee when applying for disability, a knowledgeable Cicero Social Security lawyer can assist you with many things, including presenting the relevant evidence to the SSA in the best possible way, and filing any necessary appeals.
In order to be found disabled under the SSA’s specific guidelines, you need to either meet certain criteria or demonstrate that you’re unable to perform essentially any job on a regular basis. An Illinois disability attorney can review your medical records, provide your doctors with questionnaires to complete, and may even be able to submit a written argument to the SSA, to demonstrate how you meet these qualifications.
When a claim is denied at reconsideration level, a Cicero Social Security disability applicant can appeal the decision by requesting a disability hearing in front of an administrative law judge. The good news is that the majority of disability hearings result in the claimant being granted benefits. The bad news is that the wait for a hearing can be very long.
The SSA office that schedules hearings for those applying for benefits in the Cicero, Illinois, area, is located in Chicago. The average wait for a hearing out of this office is over a year, at 404 days. This means that Illinois disability applicants could end up navigating the Social Security process for more than two years total.
Hiring a Cicero Disability Attorney
If you’re waiting for your disability hearing to be scheduled, it’s a very good idea to obtain representation by a Cicero disability attorney. Although an unfavorable decision from an administrative law judge can be appealed, your best chance of getting approved comes at your disability hearing. Very few claims are approved beyond this point.
You may be nervous or unsure of how to testify, but your Cicero disability lawyer can prepare you for the hearing and will also be able to cross-examine any medical or vocational expert that the SSA may use
You may be concerned that you can’t afford the services of a top Cicero Social Security disability lawyer. However, Cicero disability lawyers won’t require any payment upfront. Illinois Social Security attorneys are only paid if and when your application for Social Security benefits is approved. If this happens, they will receive a fee equal to the lesser of the following: 25% of your “back benefits,” or $6,000.
Cicero, Illinois, Social Security disability attorneys will also represent other Cook, Lake, Will, and Kane county residents, as well claimants in cities such as Berwyn, Champaign, Oak Park, Forest Park, Lyons, River Forest, Summit, La Grange, Elmwood, Melrose Park, River Grove, and West Chester.