Illinois Disability Claim Advocates

Filling And Appealing A Social Security Disability Claim In Illinois

Illinois, popularly known as ‘the Prairie State’ has a population of over 12 million and like any other state, numerous people apply for Social Security Disability benefits every year. The federal program encapsulates Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) which gives monthly cash payments to people unable to work as a result of a disability.

You can file your disability claim by visiting Illinois’ Social Security Administration (SSA) office to make the application in person or make a phone call to 800-772-1213 where a customer service rep will guide you on what to do next. You can also apply online at www.ssa.gov for disability benefits.

It’s not uncommon for the Disability Determination Service to deny your claim.

Timeline For Filing Social Security Disability Claims In Illinois

When you apply for Social Security Disability in Illinois, your claim should be processed in about 3-4 months.

This is assuming that you have filled out your details correctly with the SSA having full access to your medical records. In the state of Illinois, approximately 37% of initial applications for disability benefits are approved without the need for appeals, which is higher than the national average of 36%.

If your disability is denied, you don’t have to give up, especially if you deserve it. The SSA has a thorough appeal and review process to help out qualified applicants who may have slipped through the processing cracks.

The Social Security Appeals Process

Illinois has 6 hearing offices and 71 administrative law judges stationed throughout the state for this exact reason.

There are several appeal stages you’ll have to undergo before getting a reviewed decision after a wait time of about 17 months. Steps involved include:

Reconsideration Stage

Your first stop in the appeals process is to fill out and submit a ‘Request for Reconsideration’ form, which you should have provided to the SSA within 65 days of your initial denial letter. The denial notice will have information regarding how to make such a request.

It’s even more difficult to get a favorable ruling at this stage than the initial application you made. A vast majority of reconsideration requests are declined with the approval rate being at 15%. It’s therefore likely you’ll have to go for a hearing.

Hearing Stage

If your reconsideration is declined, you have the right to present your case before an administrative law judge (ALJ). This is where you can plead your case in person, showing proof of your disabling condition by using witness testimony, medical professionals, and a disability advocate to assist in the claim.

The hearing stage is the easiest to win, with Illinois courts having an average approval rate of 53%. That’s why it’s important to appeal if you feel you were hard done by in getting awarded disability benefits.

How Long Does it Take to Get Disability in Illinois?

The time between your initial application for disability in Illinois and receiving your benefits varies. If the SSA approves your first application, you may receive benefits in as little as three to six months.

However, a majority of claims take much longer to get approved and each state processes disability applications differently. When you file for disability in Illinois, the wait time and chance of approval differs between hearing offices.

According to a 2019 report by Disability Judges, the SSA approves 41% of applications presented at disability hearings in Illinois, which is around the national average.

Some areas of Illinois have long wait times for hearings. In the Chicago National Hearing Center, applicants wait 21 months on average for a hearing, which is six months longer than the national average. However, this isn’t the case at every office.

At the Peoria hearing office, the wait time for a hearing is 11 months, which is shorter than the national average. Applying for disability in Illinois can either be simpler or more difficult depending on which office hears your case.

Illinois SSI Supplemental Plan

If you get SSI benefits, then you may be suited to get supplemental cash from the state through a program called the AABD Cash Assistance or state supplemental payment (SSP). The state of Illinois adds payment on top of the federal SSI disability claim.

The amount disbursed depends on the claimant’s ‘monthly maintenance costs’ from the SSI payment amount.

SSA Disability Hearing Offices in Illinois

Illinois is the headquarters for Region 5 of the SSA, which serves Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. There are six regional hearing offices in Illinois. Below is a list of these offices for your convenience.

Chicago Official Hearing Office

Citadel Building, 19th Floor

131 S. Dearborn

Chicago, IL 60603

Telephone: 866-964-1719

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Get Directions

Services the following Social Security Field Offices: Chicago (Back of the Yards), Chicago (East), Chicago (Lawndale), Chicago (Loop), Chicago (Near Northwest/West Town), Chicago (Near Southwest), Chicago (South), Chicago (Southeast), Chicago (West)

Chicago National Hearing Center

200 West Adams, Suite 1500

Chicago, IL 60606

Telephone: 877-768-5681

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Get Directions

Services the following Social Security Field Offices: None

Evanston Official Hearing Office

Northwestern University Research Park

1033 University Place, Suite 200

Evanston, IL 60201

Telephone: 866-336-6051

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Get Directions

Services the following Social Security Field Offices: Chicago (North), Chicago (Northwest), Evanston, Freeport, Mt. Prospect, Rockford, Sterling, Waukegan, Woodstock

Oak Brook Official Hearing Office

2301 W. 22nd Street, Suite 201

Oak Brook, IL 60523

Telephone: 866-964-7344

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Get Directions

Services the following Social Security Field Offices: Aurora, Bloomingdale, Elgin, Hillside, North Riverside, Woodridge

Orland Park Official Hearing Office

15401 S. 94th Avenue

Orland Park, IL 60462

Telephone: 877-490-9530

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Get Directions

Services the following Social Security Field Offices: Champaign, Chicago (SW Suburbs), Chicago Heights, Danville, Joliet, Kankakee, Peru

Peoria Official Hearing Office

3328 W. Willow Knolls Drive
Peoria, IL 61614
Telephone: 866-726-8293
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Get Directions

Services the following Social Security Field Offices: Bloomington, Decatur, Galesburg, Pekin, Peoria, Rock Island, Springfield and IOWA: Davenport

Hire a Disability Advocate Who Knows How to Apply for Disability in Illinois

If you want to file for disability in Illinois, the SSA places hurdles in the way between you and approval. At GAR Disability Advocates, our specialists know how to file for disability in Illinois and understand Social Security benefits inside and out. We take care of you every step of the way.

Disability advocates have specialized knowledge about the application process and help clients file successful applications for disability in Illinois. They manage the initial application and even represent you in hearings if necessary. 

Our specialists manage disability applications on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay us nothing unless the SSA approves your application. For a free evaluation, call us today at 201-308-9520.

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