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Illinois disability benefits

How Much Are Disability Benefits in Illinois?

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
May 28, 2024  ·  2 min read
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Nearly 291,000 Illinois residents receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) each year. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) offer financial support and healthcare coverage to Illinoisans who cannot work because of a disability.

Read on to learn how the SSA calculates monthly benefit amounts in Illinois.


SSDI and SSI limits in Illinois

In Illinois, as in every state, the SSA sets the maximum amounts a beneficiary can receive through SSDI and SSI. For 2024, individuals eligible for SSDI can receive up to $3,822 per month, while those who qualify for SSI can receive up to $943 monthly.

Both SSDI and SSI recipients are also eligible for healthcare benefits. SSDI recipients qualify for Medicare, which provides comprehensive healthcare coverage, whereas SSI recipients can get coverage under Medicaid, which provides access to necessary medical care without substantial personal cost. Illinoisians must fill out a separate application to receive Medicaid through SSI.

We've helped 5,814 people in Illinois apply for benefits.

How much is the average disability check in Illinois?

The exact amounts an individual can expect to receive depend on various factors like income and work history. In Illinois, the average monthly amount for SSDI is $1,737.77, while the average monthly amount for SSI is $619.56.


Calculating SSDI in Illinois

In Illinois, the calculation of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits starts with an evaluation of your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME), or your past earnings adjusted for inflation. SSA will then determine your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) by breaking your AIME into three income brackets and multiplying each segment by a different percentage. 

The math, while complex, calculates your contributions to Social Security over time. For a better understanding of how these calculations affect your potential benefits or to get an estimate of your specific benefits, create an account at SSA.gov.


Calculating SSI in Illinois

Supplemental Security Income is dependent on financial need rather than past employment or earnings. The SSA starts with the maximum federal benefit rate — $943 for 2024 — then subtracts any income the applicant receives. 

Countable income includes wages, passive income, benefits from other federal or state programs, and the economic value of any provided living arrangements. There are exceptions — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), for example — that do not count as income.


How much does a disability attorney cost in Illinois?

Disability lawyers in Illinois, or any other state, do not charge upfront fees. Instead, they work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case.

The process begins with a free consultation where you can discuss your case with a lawyer. If you choose to proceed, you'll enter into a contingency fee agreement, which the SSA must also approve. 

The standard fee for disability lawyers is 25% of your first disability check. However, there is a legal cap: a lawyer’s fee cannot exceed $7,200. The actual amount they receive depends on your “back pay” — the benefits owed to you from the time you were eligible but had not yet received payments. If your case extends over a long period, this back pay could be substantial, but your lawyer still can only receive up to $7,200.

In rare instances where a case progresses to federal appeals, the fee structure changes, and there is no cap on the 25% fee. However, most disability claims do not reach this stage, and future benefits are not subject to any legal fees. This fee structure ensures hiring a lawyer for your disability claim is financially accessible.

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SSA offices in Illinois

The process of applying for disability benefits can be daunting, but visiting an SSA office can demystify the process. SSA offices have knowledgeable staff, ready to provide you with guidance as you prepare your application.

Alton

501 Belle St Rm 103 Federal Bldg

Alton, IL 62002

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (855) 285-6006

Fax Number: (833) 950-3115

Aurora

1325 N Lake St 

Aurora, IL 60506

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 274-5412

Fax Number: (833) 950-3109

Belleville

1670 Lebanon Ave Lake Christine Center

Belleville, IL 62221

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 405-0471

Fax Number: (833) 580-0167

Bloomingdale

230 West Lake St 

Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 845-1577

Fax Number: (833) 950-3451

Bloomington

207 N Williamsburg Dr

Bloomington, IL 61704

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 405-4640

Fax Number: (833) 950-3107

Carbondale

250 W Cherry St Rm 104

Carbondale, IL 62901

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 714-0377

Fax Number: (833) 950-3441

Champaign

101 S Country Fair Dr 

Champaign, IL 61821

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 819-2593

Fax Number: (833) 950-2810

Chicago

2127 W Lawrence Ave 

Chicago, IL 60625

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 409-8426

Fax Number: (833) 950-2806

See all SSA offices in Illinois

Frequently asked questions about benefits in Illinois

How do I qualify for disability in Illinois?

To qualify for disability you need to have a condition that prevents you from working for at least a year. You’ll also need to meet certain work history requirements (for SSDI) or be within certain income limits (for SSI). For more on these requirements, read our full write up here.

What conditions qualify for disability in Illinois?

Any condition that will prevent you from working for a year or more can qualify for disability benefits. Some of the most common conditions include musculoskeletal disorders, mental disorders, nervous system diseases, and circulatory system diseases. See our full list of conditions that qualify here.

How long does it take to get approved for disability in Illinois?

It takes an average of 6.1 months to get an initial disability decision in Illinois. Most people who apply are initially rejected, and need to appeal this decision. If you appeal and go to a hearing, the process takes around two years on average. Read more: How Long It Takes to Get Approved for Disability Benefits

How much does disability pay in Illinois?

The average SSDI payment in Illinois is $1,413.31 per month. The average SSI payment is $651.63 per month. What you’ll earn is dependent on your income, or the amount you’ve historically paid into the Social Security program. Read more on what amount you can expect.

How should I prepare my disability application in Illinois?

Answer the application questions truthfully, consistently, and succinctly. You should also ensure that you gather and submit all your medical records with your application. The SSA paperwork can be complicated, so our legal team has written a full guide to the application here.

Does Illinois have a state disability program?

No, Illinois doesn't have a state disability program. Only five states (California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island) have a state program. Residents of Illinois can apply for federal disability programs (SSDI and SSI). Read more about SSDI and SSI here.

Related resources:

Illinois Disability Benefits

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By Jackie Jakab

SSA Offices in Illinois

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By Jackie Jakab

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Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney

Jackie Jakab

Lead Attorney

Jackie Jakab is Atticus’s Legal Director. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, and has counseled thousands of people seeking disability benefits.
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