• Social Security Administration (SSA)
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Social Security Disability (SSDI)
      • Medicare
    • Dependent Adult Child (DAC)
      • Medicare


  • Office of Public Aid
    • Medicaid (SSI entitlement)
    • SNAP

Federal Benefits

Social Security Administration 

Supplemental Security Income (SSI): If an individual is eligible for SSI, SSA will pay monthly benefits to people with limited income and resources (under $2000.00) who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. Blind or disabled children may also get SSI.

  • SSI benefits are not based on your prior work or a family member's prior work.
  • SSI beneficiaries also can get medical assistance (Medicaid)- to pay for hospital stays, doctor bills, prescription drugs, and other health costs.
  • SSI beneficiaries may also be eligible for SNAP.
  • SSI benefits are paid on the first of the month.
  • Under age 18, family household income and parent assets are considered assets to the disabled child.
  • One month following turning 18, an individual with disability can apply due to limited income and resources, even if they are considered a dependent and do not pay rent. If the disabled adult plans on paying rent by creating a Fair Market Rental Agreement they can maximize their monthly benefit. There are certain tax implications for parents collecting rent. Please consult with your individual tax experts regarding collecting income and dependent child exemptions.
  • As part of the SSA's Work Incentive Program - Student Earned Income Exclusion - If an individual is under age 22 and regularly attending school, SSA does not count up to $1,780 of earned income per month when SSA figure your Supplemental Security Income payment amount. The maximum yearly exclusion is $7,180. These amounts are for the year 2016; SSA usually adjusts these figures each year based on the cost-of-living.
  • Upon exiting full-time student status, SSA has an earned-income process to determine monthly benefits, where SSI benefits reduce based on any earned income of the disabled.
  • It is the Representative Payee's responsibility to be aware of additional responsibilities and incentives.

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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): The SSDI program pays benefits to you and certain family members if you have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.

  • SSA medical requirements for disability payments are the same under both programs and disability is determined by the same process.
  • To earn this benefit an individual with disability must earn enough work credits to qualify. The amount needed for a credit changes from year to year and there is also a maximum of credits an individual can earn in one year. In 2016, an individual can earn one credit for each $1,260 of wages or self-employment income. When the individual earned $5,040, they've earned their maximum four credits for the year.
  • Before age 24--You may qualify for SSDI if you have 6 credits earned in the 3-year period ending when your disability starts. After age 24, the amount of work credits needed to qualify for SSDI increases.

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Disabled Adult Child (DAC): An adult disabled child, is where the onset of disability is documented before age 22, may be eligible for child's benefits if a parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. SSA considers this a "child's" benefit because it is paid on a parent's Social Security earnings record. The "adult child"—including an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild—must be unmarried, age 18 or older, and have a disability that started before age 22.

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Medicare: Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. Certain people younger than age 65 can qualify for Medicare, too, including those with disabilities and those who have permanent kidney failure. Many individuals with disabilities can attain Medicare benefits once earning enough work credits for SSDI benefits, once receiving SSDI for two full years an individual may apply for Medicare benefits.

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State Benefits

Illinois Department of Human Services- Office of Public Aid

Medicaid: Medicaid is a state-run program that provides hospital and medical coverage for people with low income. Medicaid is an entitlement benefit to individuals who attain SSI benefits. Attaining Medicaid, even as secondary health coverage is a necessity if the individual with disability plans to receiving IDHS-DD Home-Based/CILA or IDHS-DRS Home Services Funding.

SNAP: SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. The Food and Nutrition Service works with State agencies, nutrition educators, and neighborhood and faith-based organizations to ensure that those eligible for nutrition assistance can make informed decisions about applying for the program and can access benefits

Safelink Wireless - Safelink Wireless is a program designated to provide eligible individuals who receive SSI or Medicaid a free monthly cell phone with 250 minutes per month. Click here to apply.

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Illinois Secretary of State

Individuals with eligible disabilities can apply to receive at no cost for an Illinois Person with Disability Identification Card. Must be signed by a medical physician and will need to bring in typical additional forms of identification to receive their ID card. Click the PDF below for the application.

Application for an Illinois person with a disability.