Illinois disability benefit programs.

Individuals with a disability can receive additional assistance from a number of Illinois programs and services. These resources are above and beyond any other local, federal government, or non-profit programs that are also accessible to them. There are several different government organizations and departments in Illinois that provide these benefits to the disabled. They will try to ensure that residents with a disability and their immediate family members or care takers get the information and support they need. While much of the information is provided by the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) and their regional offices, other agencies are also involved in helping the disabled as well.

Health care, medical benefits and insurance may be provided by Healthcare and Family Services, or HFS. This is offered for residents that are blind, have a permanent disability, or are over the age of 65. There are income and asset limits in place that need to be met by applicants. This health care is sometimes referred to as Aid to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled (AABD) medical benefits.

Illinois will provide the disabled with access to a comprehensive healthcare program. The state can help pay for prescription drugs, doctor visits, hospital care, emergency room coverage, durable medical equipment, long term care, and other healthcare services. Aid is also offered to qualified immigrants. Learn more at a Illinois Department of Human Services Family Community Resource Center or call 1-800-842-1461.

Financial aid and cash benefits are offered. These include federal programs such as SNAP (food stamps), temporary Cash Benefits through Illinois, and energy bill assistance from LIHEAP. While the funding for many of these resources is limited, the disabled will often be given priority, especially for federal programs such as low income energy bill assistance. DHS can provide more information, or call 1-800-842-1461.

Health Benefits for Workers with Disabilities is for those individuals with a disability that are still working. Illinois will allow those individuals to pay a low monthly premium as part of HBWD. They will also still be able to receive full medical and health care benefits.

This is offered as part of the national movement to help people with disabilities return to work and receive some form of income. The objective is to continue to offer them affordable benefits and not penalize someone for earning their own income or holding a job. The program can people with disabilities work with full federal government Medicaid healthcare benefits. There may be some minimal premiums or co-payments due. To learn more or apply for Health Benefits for Workers with Disabilities, call 1-800-226-0768.




Prescription Drug Coverage is mostly provided by the Illinois Rx Buying Club. This is available to uninsured Illinoisans who meet certain income and asset limits. The card is free to use, and people will save an average of 25% on hundreds of the most popular generic and other prescription drugs. 1-866-215-3463

Cash compensation is offered as part of Social Security and Disability Benefits. Illinois individuals and their families can apply for this program and it is fully supported by the state. 1-800-772-1213.

The Division of Developmental Disabilities is a DHS agency. Advice, support, and referrals are available for persons and the family of people with developmental disabilities. Representatives from the state can answer questions on respite care, community programs, home care, and other state of Illinois services that are available to persons with a disability. 1-888-337-5267.

Division of Rehabilitation Services, or DRS, is the primary government organization that can help the disabled with various basic needs. A number of resources are offered that can assist individuals in making informed choices to achieve full community participation through education, employment, cash benefits, and independent living opportunities. Call 1-800-843-6154 for information. Or they also operate from about 50 offices across the state, so residents can call a local center.

The Division of Mental Health is also part of the Department of Human Services. This particular group is focused on helping children, adolescents and adults. They will ensure that individuals have access to public-funded mental health services. They also operate over 25 community hospitals with psychiatric units, 150 community mental health centers/agencies, and nine state-operated hospitals.

The community services offered by the mental health group help individuals maximize their potential and independence through an array of social services which are designed to help the person remain living in their community and home.

Many of the Division of Mental Health services are offered through partner groups and non-profits that are called Providers. Some examples include the mental health clinics, hospitals, Permanent Supportive Housing, housing vouchers for the disabled, and the PSH Bridge Subsidy Program. 1-800-843-6154.





Coordinator for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services is one of the groups that offers job training programs, social services and additional materials in the area of deafness/hearing loss and mental health. The Illinois agency helps individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Applicants also need to have mental health needs. 1-800-843-6154.

Screening, Assessment and Support Services offers mental health screening, planning, assessment, crisis intervention and medical treatment services for youth who are at risk of psychiatric hospitalization. This aid is only for those who are without other non-profit resources other than government programs or the States Office of Mental Health. The state will try to help unnecessary hospitalizations of adolescents and children. It will also provide increased access to more appropriate community treatment alternatives.

The Individual Care Grant (ICG) Program is for adolescents and children that live with severe emotional disturbances or mental illnesses. It will offer them intensive residential-based treatment. The parent / guardian must be a resident of Illinois, needs to be enrolled in an approved educational program, and of course the child must also have a severe mental illness.

UIC Division of Specialized Care for Children will help medically eligible children and their families access benefits and services. It is offered for children and teenagers under the age of 21. DSCC operates from about 15 offices across Illinois.

One resource, known as the Core Program, provides care coordination, diagnosis and treatment for children with chronic health impairments. The second component, known as the Home Care Program or Waiver for Children who are Medically Fragile, provides in-home medical care of technology-dependent children. This is available for those who would otherwise need to remain in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. The program will help provide ongoing rehabilitation and developmental management to patients and disabled children. 1-800-322-3722




A more focused Illinois program is the Supplemental Security Income - Disabled Children's Program. This will offer rehabilitative services to children under 16 years of age who are eligible for federal disability benefits from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Among other things, DSCC provides information about and referral to non-profit community resources, government assistance, referrals to Early Intervention or preschool programs, section 811 housing, and more.

While there are dozens of centers in the state, two of the main offices are at the following.

  • Central Administrative Office, 3135 Old Jacksonville Road, Springfield, IL 62704-6488, call 217-558-2350
  • Chicago Administrative Office, 1919 W. Taylor St., 8th Floor, Room 800, Chicago, IL 60612-3772, telephone 312-996-6380.






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