Contributed by Deanna Power at Social Security Disability Help
If you or a loved one has a disability, you will know that additional expenses are endless, from medical bills, to therapy, to home alterations. Whether you’re unable to work and need assistance or require help with meeting your child’s needs, Social Security Disability (SSD) may provide the support you require.
SSD programs include:
• Supplemental Security Income (SSI) –pays benefits to disabled individuals of any age as long as they meet the income/financial resource requirements
• Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – pays benefits to qualified disabled workers who have worked throughout their lives and paid Social Security taxes
Both programs require that you have a severe disability, and medically qualifying is the same for both SSDI and SSI. Once approved for disability, you may also receive medical coverage through Medicare or Medicaid.
• Medicare is automatically available to people who have been disabled for at least 24 months.
• Medicaid may be available to SSI recipients, though in Illinois you must submit a separate application for benefits.
You can apply for Medicaid at any Department of Human Services (DHS) office in the state. If you qualify for Medicare, you’ll automatically receive enrollment information from Medicare prior to your eligibility date.
Medically Qualifying for Benefits in Illinois:
In Illinois, only about 32 percent of applicants receive an approval during the first review of their claim. You can increase your chances of approval by:
• Having a detailed and accessible medical history
• Matching or meeting a Blue Book listing.
The Blue Book is the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) list of impairments and contains information on the medical records required to support a claim for benefits. You can find the full Blue Book online here. Work closely with your doctor to ensure:
• Your medical records reflect your mental and physical limitations
• Your medical history contains the tests and other diagnostic information the SSA requires for your specific condition.
If you don’t meet a Blue Book listing, you may still get benefits through a residual functional capacity (RFC) analysis. The SSA looks at your daily abilities and limitations to determine if you’re disabled.
If both of these avenues fail, you can appeal your denial. In Illinois, a little over half of applicants are approved after appealing.
Applying for SSD in Illinois:
SSDI applications can be completed online or at your local SSA office. SSI applications require a local appointment. Here are just a few of the nearly 50 offices in Illinois at which you can submit applications:
• Champaign – 101 S. Country Fair Dr., Champaign, IL 61821
• Danville – 400 N. Vermilion St., Danville, IL 61832
• Peoria – 815 W. Pioneer Pkwy, Peoria, IL 61615
• Springfield – 3112 Constitution Dr., Springfield, IL 62704
• Springfield – 2715 West Monroe Street, Springfield, IL 62704
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Be sure to check back next Friday for more from PACE!