The mention of Springfield, Illinois often conjures up thoughts of the most famous resident of this capital city, Abraham Lincoln. The 16th President of the United States lived in Springfield for close to three decades. Now, nearly two centuries later, approximately 115,000 people also call Springfield home.
Illinois has been slow to grow its economy in comparison to other US states. Most recently, however, the state has made great strides. With strong manufacturing, agriculture, and education industries, there are jobs to be had in the area. Unfortunately, over 11% of Springfield residents under the age of 65 are disabled.
The good news is that Springfield offers many resources to those who are disabled. Health care employs over 25,000 people in the Springfield area, thus providing many places to receive quality health services. Further, Springfield residents who are unable to work may qualify for financial assistance from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Health Resources for Individuals Living in Springfield
Proximity to medical care is imperative to those facing a chronic or severe health condition. Due to the high number of doctor’s appointments, medical tests, and prescribed treatments, taking care of one’s health after a serious diagnosis can become a full-time job. Thankfully, those living in Springfield have many health care resources right at their fingertips.
Being close to medical facilities and doctors is not only essential to one’s health, but also imperative for those seeking a disability award. During the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application progress, claimants will need to prove that their health condition is so severe that it prevents them from working. To do so, applicants will need to submit a substantial amount of medical evidence in the form of medical records.
The SSA carefully reviews all medical documentation submitted to help determine the outcome of a claim. In addition to reviewing medical test results, surgical records, and hospital visits, the SSA will look to the visit notes from the primary treating doctor. The SSA places a high emphasis on the notes and opinions of a claimant’s physician. The more often one sees the doctor, the better the picture painted of one’s health to the SSA.
Unfortunately, many doctors are unfamiliar with the Social Security process. Therefore, once you have decided to seek Social Security disability benefits, you should discuss your intentions with your physician. Some disability applicants have found it helpful to come prepared to their appointments with written lists of their physical or psychological limitations. Others have opted to review the Blue Book with their doctor. The Blue Book lists all of the qualifying health conditions as well as the symptoms and tests that must be present to win an award.
Luckily, there are many health care providers in Springfield and the surrounding area. Here are three medical practices that might be of assistance to you in your quest for disability benefits.
HSHS Medical Group Multispecialty Care
2901 Old Jacksonville Rd
Springfield, IL 62704
Springfield Clinic Family Practice Center
1100 Centre West Drive
Springfield, IL 62704
Memorial Physician Services
2950 South 6th St.
Springfield, IL 62703
Applying for Social Security Disability in Springfield
The Social Security disability application process is complex no matter the state you live, and Illinois is no exception. With thousands of applications each year, the likelihood of approval is low. In fact, approximately only 30% of claimants are approved for disability during the initial stages. Those individuals who go on to appeal the decision sometimes wait as long as two years for a hearing. Therefore, it’s essential to begin the SSDI application process as soon as you determine you are disabled.
SSDI benefits are reserved for those individuals who have contributed taxes to the program by working enough hours over the last decade. Only these “insured” applicants who have enough work credits are potentially eligible for disability benefits.
More often than not, SSDI claims are rejected due to insufficient medical evidence or incomplete applications. The burden of proof falls on the applicant, who must provide all of the medical information needed for the SSA to make a decision. Applicants must meet the strict criteria as outlined by the Social Security Administration in the Blue Book.
Finally, disability benefits are reserved for those individuals who are deemed permanently disabled. The SSA requires that a physician verify that the symptoms of the claimant’s illness are so severe as to prohibit them from working for at least a year.
There are several options available for those wishing to complete a Social Security disability application. The majority of claims are received through the online database system. However, some applicants require further assistance. The Social Security offices can be reached via telephone or in person at any of the following locations in Springfield and the surrounding areas:
Springfield Social Security Office 62704
3112 Constitution Drive
Springfield, IL 62704
Litchfield Social Security Office 62056
1107 W Ferdon
Litchfield, Illinois 62056
Alton Social Security Office 62002
501 Belle St Room 103 Federal Building
Alton, Illinois 62002
Can a Social Security Lawyer Help Me Win My Claim in Springfield?
As you have probably gathered, the Social Security disability application process is quite involved. Small omissions or errors in an application can mean the difference between winning an award or being denied benefits. While some candidates have been successful on their own, the vast majority of individuals secure the use of an experienced lawyer to help them navigate their claim.
Social Security lawyers and disability advocates are skilled at reviewing a case and then determining whether or not the applicant has a realistic chance of winning their claim. A qualified disability attorney will help you complete your application, gather medical information, be the liaison between you the SSA offices, and even represent you at a disability hearing. More, disability lawyers are only compensated if you win your claim, making the decision to work with one that much more straight-forward.