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Illinois: Social Security Disability Lawyers
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Need Help With Social Security Disability?
You've come to the right place. If you or someone you know is unable to work because of a long-term disability, a social security disability law office can help. Disabled workers may be eligible to receive social security disability (SSD) benefits from the government.
Use FindLaw to find a social security disability lawyer near you to help guide you through the claims process and resolve any problems that arise with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims and SSDI benefits.
What is Social Security Disability?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is one of the largest of several United States Federal programs with the purpose of providing assistance to persons with disabilities. Workers pay into SSDI out of their paychecks. When a worker suffers an injury or disability, they can file a claim to get benefits if they are no longer able to work. Before a disabled worker can get SSDI benefits, they have to qualify and go through the application process. Unfortunately, some workers are improperly denied benefits and have to turn to a Social Security disability lawyer for legal advice.
Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability?
Disabled workers can qualify for Social Security disability benefits but assistance is not automatic. An eligible individual has to apply to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and be approved to receive benefits. To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, an eligible applicant has to:
- Earn enough work credits; and
- Be considered “disabled" under the Social Security Administration's standards.
Work credits are based on annual wages and quarters of work. The amount of earnings to earn one quarter of credits changes every year. Most workers can earn up to 4 work credits per year. To qualify for SSDI, an individual needs 40 credits, with at least 20 credits earned in the 10 years prior to the disability.
The number of qualifying credits can be reduced for workers who have not worked long enough to accumulate 40 credits. Some people may be able to get benefits if they do not work, including disabled children, veterans, disabled young people, and surviving spouses.
A disabled worker also has to qualify with a disabling condition. The SSA has a list of qualifying impairments, which includes multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and certain types of cancer. For impairments that are not listed conditions, it is up to the SSA to determine whether the disability qualifies. Each person who files a Social Security disability claim has to provide the medical evidence to show an impairment and the severity of the impairment.
How Much Does a Social Security Disability Attorney Charge in Illinois?
Many Social Security disability law firms provide Social Security disability representation on a contingency basis. A contingency fee agreement means that the lawyer will only be paid after you win your claim. Contingency fees for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) cases must qualify under Social Security Administration (SSA) fee agreement guidelines.
Additionally, Social Security disability attorneys are only able to charge fees up to a maximum that is set by statute. This means that the lawyer should be able to tell you up front how much their services will cost based on your situation.
A Social Security disability lawyer may also offer a free consultation. A free initial consultation can help you find a Social Security disability lawyer that can represent you without having to spend anything out-of-pocket.
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost in Illinois?
In Illinois, a general estimate of the per-hour cost for a lawyer can range from about $130 to $400 per hour, depending on location, expertise and the complexity of the case in question.
In some cases, attorneys may opt to offer clients a flat-rate fee instead of a per-hour fee. This typically arises in criminal defense law as well as certain divorce court proceedings. A fee for a misdemeanor defense is usually far less than the flat fee for a felony defense. Representation on issues related to juvenile offenses and traffic offenses may cost you less than the representation on situations involving corporate law or bankruptcies.
Finally, certain lawyers, such as personal injury lawyers, typically offer clients representation based on contingency. If you win a settlement from such a case, such as slipping and falling at a business establishment and incurring a serious injury, your personal injury lawyer will retain a percentage of your total settlement, rather than charging you any per-hour or flat-rate fees.
If you cannot afford representation in a legal matter, legal aid may be an option to consider.
What Types of Cases Can an Illinois Lawyer Help With?
While an Illinois lawyer can take on cases of any sort, the most common criminal cases in Illinois involve simple assault or aggravated assault, sexual assault, violations of the Controlled Substances Act, burglary (business and residential), driving while under the influence (DUI) and severe violent crime such as homicide and armed robbery.
Illinois lawyers are also typically called upon to represent parties in marital disputes leading to divorce or separation, the custody battles common to such cases, and other civil proceedings.