No Fee Unless you Win.

Law Offices of Austin McGreal

180 North LaSalle, Suite 3700

Chicago, IL  60601


Law Offices of Austin McGreal



One of the most important rules to remember is that denials are common.   You must not give up!   If you do, you may be cheating yourself out of tens of thousands of dollars simply or more in benefits you deserve simply because you didn’t understand the process and the complex evidentiary requirements.   There can be multiple reasons for the denial of your claim.  The most common is a failure to fully understand the complex Social Security Disability process and all the many regulations that drive it.   An experienced lawyer who specializes in disability claims is you best tool for success.   If you have been denied, call us for a free consultation and analysis of your case.  (312) 906-9444.


  • Why your Social Security claim may have been denied
    • Appealing a denial for SSI or SSDI benefits
      • Guide to the Social Security appeals process
        • Time is of the Essence for your Social Security Disability Benefits.
          • Denied SSDI?  Don’t give up.  We can help!
            • What to expect after your disability benefits have been denied



Why your Social Security claim may have been denied.

After completing and putting together what you considered believed was the BEST application for disability benefits, you receive a letter in the mail stating that you were denied.  Like many other applicants, you are wondering how the Social Security Administration (SSA) denied your Social Security disability claim after you provided them with ample evidence of your disability.

What you and many others do not know is that before approving applicants for disability benefits, the SSA uses a five-step process to decide whether an individual is disabled.  Under SSA guidelines, “Disability” is defined and based on an individual’s inability to work.  Step One of the process is learning whether you are working.  If you are working, and your earnings average more than $1,130 per month, you generally will not be considered disabled.  If you are not working or your monthly earnings average is less than $1,130, the SSA then looks at Step Two -- your medical condition.

To be decided “disabled” your medical condition must significantly limit your ability to do basic work activities such as walking, sitting and remembering.  If your condition is considered not severe, you will not be considered disabled.  If your condition is considered severe, the SSA will proceed to Step Three, to see if your condition is on the “List of Impairments”.   If listed, you are automatically defined as disabled and approved for benefits.   If you condition is not on the List of Impairment (and most are not), the SSA will compare your condition with one from the list.  If it is found not to be as severe as an impairment on the List, the SSA moves on to Step Four to determine if you can do the work that you did before.

To determine whether you can do the work that you did before, the SSA reviews the work you did in the past 15 years.   They compare how you did the work and how the work is generally done across the U.S. against your current functional abilities.  If they determine that you can do the work as you did before or as it is done in other areas of the nation, you will not be approved. If they determine you cannot do the work, they move to Step Five to see if you would be able to participate in another type of job.

To determine if you are able to do another job, the SSA evaluates your medical condition, age, education, past work experience and any skills you may have that could be used to do other work.  If you are unable to do other work based on these factors, you will be considered disabled.

Any evidence we can develop to prove your disability is vital to the success of your claim.  The more information that you provide to the SSA, the more likely you will have a successful case.

For more information about Social Security benefits or to receive assistance in filing a claim, call McGreal Disability Law even if you have already been denied Social Security disability benefits.  We will discuss your situation and see if there is way we can turn your case around and win you benefits.  

Appealing a denial for SSI or SSDI benefits


Most people that appeal an initial SSI or SSDI denial do so with representation by an experience Social Security Disability Attorney.  We can provide you with instructions on how to appeal and how to continue to document your disability.  We will be able to contact Social Security on your behalf once the proper paperwork is completed. 

If you want to appeal on your own, you may go to the Social Security web site at   If you later decide to get the help of an attorney, we can do that at any time.  However, be sure to leave us enough time so that we can properly prepare your case to be presented in the best light possible.

Although the wait time is agonizing long, it is important to maintain documentation and continue medical treatment while allowing the process to take its course.  McGreal Disability Law will ensure that all deadlines are met, receive and submit updated medical records, prepare the necessary arguments for your case, and much more. 


Guide to the Social Security appeals process


If you are denied Social Security Disability benefits, you are not alone.  About 80 percent of all applicants are initially denied.  However many of these applicants ultimately receive benefits by appealing their case.  The appeals process is not an easy task to conquer, but don’t fear!  We have outlined the appeals process below to help you tackle it with confidence.  Let’s get started.

There are four levels in the appeals process. 

1.  The first level is the Reconsideration level.  During reconsideration, all evidence submitted for the original decision, plus any new additional evidence, will be reviewed by someone who did not take part in the first decision.  If the original decision by the SSA is found to be wrong, they will change it.

2.  The next level is the Hearing level.  If you disagree with the decision determined during the Reconsideration level, you may ask for a hearing which is conducted by an administrative law judge.  At the hearing the judge will allow you to explain your case and may question you and your witnesses about your disability.  Witnesses for your case can include persons such as a friend, relative or a medical or vocational expert who knows about your disability.

3.  After the Hearing level, if you still disagree with the decision given by the SSA, you may ask for a review by the Social Security Appeals Council.  The Appeals Council will look at all prior requests for appeal reviews.  In reviewing all prior requests, if they feel that the decision made during hearing is correct, they will deny the request for a review.  On the other hand, if the Appeals Council decides to review your case, they may decide the case themselves or send it to back to an administrative judge for further review.  A letter will be sent to you, notifying you of the decision reached. 

4.  The final level of the appeal process is at Federal District Court.  If you disagree with all the decisions made on your claim, or you were denied a review by the Appeals Council, you can file lawsuit in a Federal District Court.  In order to appeal your case at the District Court level, you must have an attorney who can file a case against the SSA.  At this level, we will submit multiple legal briefs to a district court judge for review of your case. 

As you can see, the appeals process can be confusing and time-consuming, which is why it is beneficial to have an experienced Social Security Disability attorney on your side to ensure that all decisions are made properly. For more information call McGreal Disability Law.  (312) 906-9444 for a free consultation and assistance. 

Time is of the essence to obtain your Social Security Disability Benefits.


We have all heard the news stories about Social Security not being around forever.  As the economy remains on shaky ground, Congress is looking at ways to cut the deficit and Social Security disability remains a top issue for cuts.  One of the areas being carefully reviewed is a more strict process for Social Security Disability Requirement.

Denied SSDI?  Don’t give up.  We can help!


You’re disabled and can no longer work.  You've paid into the Social Security system all these years only to be denied your claim for disability benefits.  You submitted all the information that you had to prove your disability but it still wasn't enough to gain the approval.  You think you can’t win and you want to give up.   DON’T DO IT!   WE CAN HELP.


If you disagree with the Social Security Administration’s decision about your claim you have the right to appeal your case and you should do so.  Social Security wants to ensure that every decision made about your disability case is correct.  After determining a decision on your initial claim, the SSA will send you a letter explaining their decision.  Outlined in the letter will be instructions on how to appeal your claim. If you wish to appeal your disability claim denial you have 60 days from the receipt of the letter to send a request of appeal in writing to the SSA.  If you fail to request an appeal of your Social Security disability claim denial within the time limit, you may lose your opportunity to appeal and the decision and it will become final.  If you are unable to appeal your Social Security disability denial within the allotted time limit and have a good reason for the delay, the SSA may allow you more time.  However, the request for more time must be submitted to the SSA in writing, stating a good reason for the delay.

In the Social Security Disability process, time is precious and it’s vital that you meet all deadlines.  Don’t let anymore time slip away.  If you need assistance in appealing your claim, or would like more information, contact McGreal Disability Law at (312) 906-9444.  We will help you win the benefits your deserve.


What to expect after your disability benefits have been denied.

If you are denied disability benefits at the initial level, you have the right to file for reconsideration. But you must file this within 60 days of the date that your disability claim was denied. If you do not file your reconsideration request in 60, your application for benefits will not be reconsidered. At the Reconsideration level, your medical and vocational information will be reviewed and updated, if necessary. A different Social Security representative will review your disability application (a different person does this because a new set of eyes may find something the first representative did not see).

The most important thing to remember is that although this is a very long and often frustrating process, persistence can pay off.  Each level or “stage” in the disability process presents its unique set of challenges. In many cases, it takes up to two years after initial application is made for a person to be approved for Social Security disability benefits.  It is the person who has an experienced attorney, and who does not give up, who ultimately receives the benefits her or she deserves.