If you are unable to work and seeking Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) due to your disability, you may wonder what makes a Social Security Disability case good or bad.

There are a number of things that can influence the quality of Social Security Disability case but the most important thing anyone seeking Social Security Disability can do is (1) to treat aggressively for their particular medical conditions and (2) treat with specialists who are considered “experts” for that particular medical condition.

What does treating aggressively mean? That means being sure to mention to your doctor the symptoms your medical condition causes as well as what makes your condition worse, what makes it better, activities you can or cannot do or avoid, and providing examples of how your conditions affect in your day to day life.

At Drummond Law, we tell our clients to tell their doctors EVERYTHING, EVERYTIME! It is important that these medical issues are discussed at every appointment as it shows a continuous medical issue that affects you as opposed to a medical problem that occurred then went away.

Why are specialists important? Specialists, doctors who specialize in treating a particular medical condition or a particular body part, are the doctors Drummond Law recommends its clients treat with. The reason why is because Social Security is more likely to put faith in how specialists evaluate and document your condition than a regular family doctor. Furthermore, for your own benefit, specialists tend to be able to give more particular care for the specific medical issue than general practitioners.

At Drummond Law, we know how to take a bad case that is likely to lose and turn it into a good, winnable Social Security Disability case.

If you or someone you know is seeking Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income, call Drummond Law at (217) 324-2323 for a FREE CONSULTATION.


One concern Drummond Law is all too familiar with from its clients is that it takes way too long for a Social Security Disability “SSD” or Supplemental Security Income “SSI” case to get to a hearing with a judge. At Drummond Law, we agree with this concern that it is taking entirely way too long for Social Security Disability applicants to get their case heard.

The current time frame at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) offices in Peoria, IL and St. Louis, MO from the date of filing to the date a hearing is held in front of an Administrative Law Judge is more than 2 years. In fact, the wait for a hearing after one is requested is 15 months/502 days in Peoria and 590 days/20 months in St. Louis. Source: http://www.disabilityjudges.com/state/ missouri/st-louis and http://www.disabilityjudges.com/state/illinois/peoria.

The biggest reason for these delays is due to the increased number of applicants of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits particularly in the St. Louis ODAR region, which has one of the longest wait times for hearings in the entire nation.

Drummond Law understands that these long waits for decisions and hearing dates from Social Security cause enormous financial problems for applicants. Because of this, we take whatever steps we can to speed up your case so you can get a quick approval for SSD or SSI.

However, some times the procedures that can be used to speed up a case do not apply to a specific case and other times the procedures used to speed up the process are denied by Social Security. If either of those occur, your case will have to proceed until you are in front of an Administrative Law Judge.

If you or someone you know is seeking Social Security Disability and is tired of having to wait so long to get a decision from Social Security, contact Drummond Law at (800) 842-0426 for a FREE Consultation to determine whether we can help speed up the process.


Recently, a Social Security Disability applicant got frustrated when they met with me because he got denied for Disability benefits by Social Security but he knows an alcoholic or drug user that gets Social Security Disability even though nothing is wrong with them.

It is not uncommon for Social Security Disability applicants to know other people who get Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits but do not appear to be disabled and engage in bad behaviors such as drinking excessively or using drugs.

Drummond Law understands this can be very frustrating especially if you have legitimate medical conditions that prevent you from working and have been denied by Social Security for disability benefits. However, the first thing we always say if a client brings up a situation like this is that (1) we do not know what kind of medical problems that particular person has and (2) a denial by Social Security does not mean you positively can not get benefits and we are only concerned about doing what we can to improve your case to make it a winner and get you disability benefits.

By focusing on your case and your case only, Drummond Law can ensure (1) you are seeing the proper doctors for your medical conditions so that we can get the best medical evidence possible and (2) you are talking to those doctors and explaining the symptoms and problems you have due to your medical conditions.

Therefore, the answer to the above question is not that you can not get disability benefits, it’s that you CAN with Drummond Law’s help.

If you or someone you needs help with their Social Security Disability case, please call Drummond Law at (800) 842-0426 for a FREE consultation so that we can make your case a winner.


Many applicants for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) end up attempting to work while there case for disability is pending for the simple reason that they are having financial distress and need money to pay past due bills for rent, power, medical bills, child care, or any number of things.

Obviously, working full-time for a long time during a time when you are seeking Social Security Disability is not recommended because being “disabled” under Social Security’s rules means you are not able to maintain working a 40 hour job.

However, here at Drummond Law, we understand that money can be tight and seeking a job may be the only way to stay afloat while your Social Security Disability case is being processed. That is why we always explain what an “Unsuccessful Work Attempt” is and how applicants can use these to (1) help determine if there is any job that they can maintain and (2) earn some money to help cover their bills during a Social Security Disability case.

An “Unsuccessful Work Attempt” occurs when a Disability applicant attempts to work during his or her Disability case and gets fired or has to quit because of their medical conditions. Depending on what happens during this Unsuccessful Work Attempt, this attempt can either hurt or help your chances of winning your disability case.

One important rule with regard to Unsuccessful Work Attempts is that this attempt to work can only last up to 6 months. If it goes more than 6 months it will no longer be considered “Unsuccessful” and instead will be deemed “Successful” and will likely cause any related Disability case to be unwinnable. However, if it lasts under 6 months, Drummond Law can use this Unsuccessful Work Attempt as evidence that you have tried to work and could not because of your medical conditions.

If you or someone you know is disabled and has questions about what will happen if they work, please call Drummond Law at (800) 842-0426 for a FREE Consultation.

For more information about Unsuccessful Work Attempts see the following:





The short answer for if you get denied is it depends on what the circumstances of your denial is. If it is an initial denial or a denial of reconsideration, it should be appealed (and has to be appealed within 60 days). However, if it is a denial by an Administrative Law Judge, the Appeals Council, or a federal court, the answer becomes a little trickier.

Many applicants for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are applying for Social Security benefits for the first time and do not know how the process works. This can lead to some confusion as to what they need to do, especially if they get denied initially.

In general, the process has 3 phases: (1) the Initial Level, (2) Reconsideration, and (3) the Hearing Level.

If you are denied at phase 1 or phase 2, Drummond Law can help you appeal your case in order to make sure it stays active and continues to the next phase. It is important you contact us as soon as possible after you get denied because there is a 60 day time limit to appeal your denial. If you don’t appeal it within 60 days, you may have to start the Social Security Disability process over.

However, if you get denied at phase 3 after a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), the decision of whether to appeal depends on a number of factors including what medical treatment you have underwent and what the decision from the ALJ is based on.

If you have been denied Social Security, please contact Drummond Law at (800) 842-0426 for a FREE consultation during which we can help you determine how to proceed.


A lot of people know that Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) exists and they know that they should apply for it if they become unable to work. However, some people that contact Drummond Law are unsure of when to apply for Social Security Disability.

Our answer here at Drummond Law is that you should apply for disability as soon as you become unable to work. The number one reason why you should apply immediately after you become unable to work is because the Social Security Disability process can last a long time.

The time for Social Security Disability cases to be processed has been getting longer and longer due to an increase in applicants especially in the St. Louis, MO area. It is common for the initial decision making process to take 6 months or longer and the total process if your case goes in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) can take over 2 years.

The worst consequences of the waits associated with Social Security Disability cases are the financial problems that can arise for the claimants due to their lack of income during this time.

In order to make the financial consequences as small as they can be, Drummond Law recommends claimants apply as soon as it is clear that you will not be able to work provided your condition will last one year or more.

If it is unclear whether your condition will last one year or more, we sometimes recommend you wait to apply, but, more often say apply just in case because of these long waits.

If you or someone you know has become unable to work, please call Drummond Law at (800) 842-0426 for a FREE consultation.


One of the first questions usually asked by our clients is how long it will take for them to get their disability. Normally, there is a three-step process involved whether the claim is for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSD).

The first step to the three-step process for a Social Security claim is the initial application.  If the claim is denied after the initial application, the disabled person can request for reconsideration.  The case is then reevaluated, which most times, is done by a state agency who is under contract with the Social Security Administration.

If the claim is not granted during one of the first two stages, a hearing can be requested which is subsequently set in front of a federal administrative law judge from one of the regional hearing offices situated throughout the United States.  Unfortunately, there is quite a wait in order to get a hearing.

The most recent statistical information, which is from December 2015, indicated that the average processing time once a claim is at the hearing level will vary from a low of 313 days for the hearing office at Fort Smith, Arkansas to a maximum of 755 days in Brooklyn, New York.  The St. Louis hearing office has a processing time of 539 days while the Creve Coeur office as a processing time of 527 days.  The processing time for Peoria, IL is 455 days and in Evansville, Indiana it takes 467 days to process a claim.

The offices to handle the hearings are in charge of a geographical area which usually takes in surrounding counties.  The hearing offices themselves are called Offices of Decisions Adjudication and Review or by their acronym ODAR for short.

These wait times are often very hard on our clients and we do what we can to expedite hearings when possible.  Hearings are usually capable of being expedited when undue hardship can be shown by the claimant, when the medical issue is clear-cut in nature, or when the applicant is of advanced age.

At our law office we carefully evaluate claims and expedite them every chance we get.  However, we are very conscious of the fact that many claims should not be expedited because the medical records may not have developed through a stage that will allow for a high likelihood of success.  In other words, we do not sacrifice quality for speed when we are not sure of the outcome.

If you would like to discuss your particular claim of our office be more than happy to answer your questions and there is no cost for consultation.  As always, we do not require clients to pay any money up front and all fees are limited to a percentage (25%) of your back pay, if any.  Give us a call for FREE CONSULTATION at (800) 842-0426.


A lot of our clients contact Drummond Law after they have been denied for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) by Social Security. The answer to whether someone has a chance to get Disability or SSI after they have been denied is YES! However, what must be done to win will depend on what level of denial it was.

There are three main steps to a Social Security Disability case. Those three steps are:

  • The Initial Level: This step begins immediately after an individual has applied for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income.
  • The Reconsideration Level: This step begins if an individual is denied at the Initial Level and appeals Social Security’s decision.
  • The Hearing Level: This step occurs if an individual is denied at the Reconsideration Level and appeals Social Security’s decision by requesting a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge with the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, commonly known as ODAR.

Because of the approach taken at the Initial level and Reconsideration level by Social Security, it is not uncommon to be denied at these steps. Based on our experience at Drummond Law, it appears that only very extreme cases of Social Security, especially those where death is imminent, are approved at these initial levels.

Although being denied at the Initial level and the Reconsideration level is frustrating, Drummond Law has the experience and knowledge needed to change a denial at these levels into a win at the Hearing level.

Additionally, if you have been denied at the Hearing level, Drummond Law can analyze your case and determine if appealing your case above the level of the Judge is appropriate or if it would be more beneficial to file a new claim for benefits.

The most important thing that can be done to improve a Social Security Disability case is for the claimant who is seeking benefits to get treated by the best doctors for their conditions and to document their symptoms with his or her doctor.

What doctors are best to treat at depends on what condition is making you disabled. In general, it is to your advantage to treat with medical specialists and not general practitioner doctors as they are more knowledgeable on the particular medical problem you are having, tend to produce better records, and are considered to be more important by Social Security’s judges.

An example of the best medical specialist for a spinal condition would be an orthopedic (bone) doctor or a neurologist because they know the tests that need to be done to document these conditions while the best specialist for a psychological condition such as depression would be a psychiatrist because they know what symptoms indicate a more severe psychological condition.

However, just going to the doctor is not enough to win a Social Security Disability case. It is very important that when you go to the doctor, you talk to them and explain everything that is going on with you medically so that your symptoms are documented. Documenting your symptoms can go a long way in helping to prove your disability.

If you or someone you know is disabled and needs help with their Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income case, please call Drummond Law at (800) 842-0426 for a FREE CONSULTATION.


The answer to the question above is yes, depending on your heart or cardiovascular condition you may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). At Drummond Law, we routinely help people who suffer from heart-related conditions and other cardiovascular conditions get disability and SSI and know what evidence is needed to win cardiovascular claims.

The first important step you can take if you have any heart or cardiovascular problems is to get a referral to be treated by a cardiologist, the type of doctors who specialize in treating those particular conditions. This is important for two reasons: (1) Social Security and the Administrative Law Judges at ODAR want to see that you are treating with a specialist for your condition and (2) Cardiologists know all the proper tests and treatment to provide you and will give you the best evidence possible to win your disability claim.

Once you get to a cardiologist the next step as mentioned above will be to get the proper tests and treatment to help evaluate your condition. Some tests that help measure the severity of heart and cardiovascular conditions include electrocardiograms (EKGs), stress tests, echocardiograms, catheterizations, blood tests, and angiographies. If you get the proper tests, it becomes much easier to prove your heart condition is disabling.

In addition to tests, it is also important that you detail to your doctor the symptoms and health problems you are having due to your heart conditions. Some common symptoms of heart and cardiovascular conditions include palpitations (irregular heart beats), shortness of breath, fatigue, a fast heartbeat, weakness, dizziness, and sweating.

Drummond Law knows what it takes to win heart and cardiovascular disability claims. If you or someone you know is disabled due to a heart or cardiovascular condition,  call Drummond Law today for a FREE CONSULTATION at (800) 842-0426.

Some helpful links regarding heart and cardiovascular symptoms and disability include:









A lot of our clients at Drummond Disability have asked us questions including: (1) Why is it taking so long for a decision in my Social Security disability case? And (2) Is there any way that my case can be sped up so I can get a decision in disability case?

The answer to the first question is that wait times have increased for decision on Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cases due to an increase in disability applications. What this means is that because more people are applying for disability it is taking long to process the additional claims and resulting in each case taking longer.

In general, there are 3 steps in each Social Security case’s life:

  • The first step is the initial level which begins after the application for SSD and/or SSI is completed.
  • The second step is called reconsideration and is filed if you receive a denial at the initial level.
  • The third step is a Request for Hearing which is filed if your reconsideration is denied and it serves to request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

While going through step 1 and 2 use to take a couple months, over the years these steps have now routinely began to take up to 6 months or more before claimants get a decision in this case. Furthermore, step 3, the request for hearing, use to result in a wait of 6 or less months are not taking a year or more to schedule. In fact, the current average length of time to get a hearing for the St. Louis, MO ODAR office is 16 months while the average wait for the Peoria, IL ODAR office is 13 months.

Here at Drummond Law we understand that waiting this long can cause a lot of issues for claimants including financial difficulties, housing problems, and difficulty affording the proper medical treatment. Because of this, we take whatever steps we can to accelerate your case.


The ways that your case can be accelerated include: (1) if your case meets what Social Security calls a Compassionate Allowance; (2) if a Dire Need request with supporting documentation is accepted by Social Security; and (3) if an Attorney Advisors decision is requested.


Drummond Law routinely does all of these steps and have had success in getting cases fast tracked. Unfortunately, it does not work for all cases, but Drummond Law does whatever is possible for every case.


If you are having problems due to delays in your Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) case, call Drummond Law today for a FREE CONSULTATION at (800) 842-0426.