If you are a disabled resident of Illinois, then you can apply for benefits through a state program called Aid for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled (AABD). You can also seek disability benefits from the federal government if you meet all the eligibility criteria of the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The Social Security Administration provides disability benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). All of these disability programs are intended to provide financial help to those who are disabled and are unable to work.
While the federal government is responsible for administering both programs, the state works hand in hand with the SSA to help with the overall process. This is why Illinois residents benefit from speaking to one of the experienced disability lawyers in Illinois. A local attorney will be familiar with the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and its Disability Determination Services (DDS) for SSDI and SSI applicants.
The DDS reviews and analyzes an applicant’s medical history to determine whether they meet the SSA’s disability requirements. In some cases, they may order an applicant to undergo an additional medical examination with a doctor of their choice. This will give them a better understanding of your disability. Illinois social security disability attorneys can guide applicants through this process and make sure that everything is submitted correctly and on time.
After you have determined that you meet the eligibility requirements, there are various ways to apply for SSDI or SSI.
You can apply for disability benefits in Illinois by filling out an application online at https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/, visiting a local Social Security Office, or calling 800-772-1213.
Some of the disabilities for which you can receive benefits in Illinois are:
Before you apply, an Illinois attorney can help you determine whether you’ll qualify for benefits through SSDI, SSI, or both. SSDI and SSI each have different purposes, so you may qualify for one program but not the other.
SSDI Program in Illinois
Under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), a certain amount is deducted from each paycheck you receive during employment. This amount contributes to the Social Security fund, which is used to pay SSDI benefits. Your employer is also responsible for making some contributions on your behalf.
To be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must be “insured.” To achieve this status, you must work for a long time before becoming disabled. The SSA uses a work credit system that considers the length of time an applicant worked as well as the amount of money earned each year.
For example, in 2021, one credit was given for every $1470 earned. An applicant can earn a maximum of 4 credits every year. To qualify for SSDI, they must have earned a total of at least 40 work credits.
In addition, an applicant for SSDI must suffer from total disability. They will not be eligible if they are only partially or temporarily disabled.
SSI Program in Illinois
The SSI program is mainly a financial aid program for those with limited income and resources. This means that the program can provide benefits to disabled applicants even if they have never worked. In the year 2020, the maximum SSI benefit that was provided per month was $783 for an individual and $1,175 for a couple when both are qualified for SSI.
If you qualify for either of these programs, our lawyer can help you gather the necessary paperwork and submit a complete application. If your application is denied, your lawyer can help you appeal the decision.
The Social Security Administration denies many applications on the grounds that the applicant does not have a “severe” enough disability. However, an experienced disability lawyer in Illinois will know how to present your case in the most favorable light and increase your chances of being approved for benefits.
If your application gets rejected, you have the option to file an appeal. The four stages of appeal are:
After you request a reconsideration, your application will be reviewed by a representative who was not involved in the initial review. If your application is still denied, the next step is to have a disability hearing before an ALJ. This is a formal hearing where you will have the opportunity to present evidence and testimony in support of your claim.
Usually, an eligible applicant will receive their benefits after this hearing; however, if the ALJ denies your claim, it is important to be familiar with Disability Claims and Federal Appeals in case the Appeals Council confirms their decision. The Appeals Council is a group of SSA employees who review ALJ decisions to see if they were made correctly. If the Appeals Council denies your appeal, you have the option to file a lawsuit in Federal Court.
Some of the other benefits that are provided in Illinois are Illinois Medicaid and Illinois unemployment.
Generally, you will be eligible for getting Illinois Medicaid if you are found eligible for SSI. The applicant must be a resident of Illinois and either a U.S. national, citizen, permanent resident, or legal alien. The Medicaid program provides benefits to residents who are disabled or blind if their income is lower than the federal poverty level. Those who meet the income requirement may also be eligible if they are pregnant, responsible for the care of a child, or at least 65 years old.
This is a program that is operated by the state and is an unemployment insurance benefit. These benefits are intended for residents of Illinois who have suffered from loss of income after losing their job. However, the workers applying must meet the program’s eligibility criteria.
To find out which disability program may be beneficial to you, consult with an Illinois attorney at Chermol and Fishman, LLC. They can provide a free case evaluation to discuss which program will suit your needs.