Filing for Disability in Illinois

The State of Illinois adds money to the federal SSI disability payment; the amount depends on the recipient's maintenance costs.

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While Social Security disability (SSD or SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are federal benefit programs that provide cash payments to those who are unable to work, there is some specific information that you should know if you intend to file for disability in Illinois.

How to File for Disability in Illinois

There are a few different ways to file for Social Security disability benefits in Illinois. You can:

  • visit your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office. The SSA’s office locator can help you find the location nearest to you.

  • telephone the SSA at (800)772-1213. A customer service representative can make an appointment for you to apply in person or via telephone.
  • visit www.ssa.gov and apply for disability benefits online. (Note: you can only apply for SSD, not SSI, online.)

Appealing a Disability Decision in Illinois

If you apply for Social Security or SSI disability in Illinois, you will receive a written decision on your claim in approximately 3-4 months. However, fewer than 30% of those who apply for disability in Illinois are approved for disability benefits. If your application for Social Security disability benefits is denied, you can still be approved for benefits through the SSA’s appeals process.

To appeal a Social Security disability denial in Illinois, you need to complete a “Request for Reconsideration” form and submit this to the SSA within 65 days of the date on your denial letter. If your reconsideration is denied, the next step in the Social Security appeals process is to appear for a disability hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). While more than half (approximately 56%) of Illinois disability hearings result in the claimant being awarded benefits, the wait for an ALJ hearing can be long. The average wait for a disability ALJ hearing in Illinois is 575 days, much longer than the national average.

While an ALJ may occasionally announce their opinion at a disability hearing, in the majority of cases, you’ll receive a written decision in the mail approximately 30 days after your hearing.

Illinois SSI Supplemental Payment

Illinois residents who are awarded SSI may be eligible for an additional payment from the state of Illinois, called the state supplemental payment (SSP). Eligibility for this Illinois SSI supplement is determined by subtracting the disabled individual’s “monthly maintenance costs” from the amount of his or her SSI payment (plus any other income.) If these maintenance costs are higher than this combined amount, Illinois will pay the SSI recipient an additional amount. The SSP is administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS).

Illinois DDS Offices

Although Social Security disability is a federal benefit program, each state’s disability determination agency is responsible for making the medical decisions on disability claims. Illinois' Disability Determination Services (DDS) office is located at:

Illinois Bureau of Disability Determination Services
Department of Human Services
PO Box 19250
Springfield, IL 62794-9250
Tel: 800-225-3607

Illinois ODAR Offices

Disability appeal hearings in Illinois are held at the SSA’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) locations. Below is the contact information for Illinois’s ODAR offices.

Chicago Hearing Office

Office of Disability Adjudication and Review
Suite 900
200 West Adams Street
Chicago, Illinois 60606
Tel: (866) 964-1719
Fax: (312) 886-3504

Evanston Hearing Office

Office of Disability Adjudication and Review
Northwestern University Research Park
1033 University Place, Suite 200
Evanston, Illinois 60201
Tel: (866) 336-6051
Fax: (847) 869-6121

Oak Brook Hearing Office

Office of Disability Adjudication and Review
2301 West 22nd Street, Suite 201
Oak Brook, Illinois 60523
Tel: (866) 964-7344
Fax: (630) 954-2995

Orland Park Hearing Office

Office of Disability Adjudication and Review
15401 South 94th Avenue
Orland Park, Illinois 60462
Tel: (877) 490-9530
Fax: (708) 675-3300

Peoria Hearing Office

Office of Disability Adjudication and Review
3328 W. Willow Knolls Drive
Peoria, Illinois 61614
Tel: (866) 726-8293
Fax: (309) 689-9782

Vocational Rehabilitation Services in Illinois

If you are interested in obtaining vocational rehab services to help you return to work, the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) Rehabilitation Services Department may be able to help. Through their Supported Employment Program (SEP,) those with significant disabilities may be able to obtain ongoing support services that allow them to continue to work. You can apply for rehabilitation services online at https://wr.dhs.illinois.gov/wrpublic/wr/setReferral.do or call the DHS Helpline at 800-843-6154 for more information.

Getting Help with Your Illinois Social Security Disability Claim

The laws, rules, and procedures of applying for Social Security disability in Illinois can be difficult for a disabled worker to navigate on their own. Many applicants choose to hire an experienced Illinois SSD attorney. If you've been denied benefits and need to appeal, it makes sense to talk to a disability lawyer, who can increase your chances of winning your appeal. You can use our lawyer locator to contact an Illinois disability lawyer.

by: , Contributing Author

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