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Increase in personal needs money still not seen for some

The residents of The Clayton Residential Home, which is located in Lincoln Park, Illinois, are not happy. This facility houses mentally-ill individuals and is paid for out of these individuals' $735 (approximate) Social Security Disability (SSD) checks each month. The individuals receive between $30 and $60 of that money to spend on their personal needs, such as toothpaste, deodorant and soap. This is generally the only money these individuals get each month.

In July, the new Illinois budget and an increase in income tax was passed by the legislature. Three facilities have not received the increase, which affects approximately 400 people. Three other facilities are paying their residents the higher amount, according to a survey by ONE Northside.

The facilities that house these individuals are known as Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities (SMURFs). These facilities shouldn't be confused with facilities that house the developmentally disabled.

The monthly increase wasn't much -- an increase up to $60 a month, but the residents are certainly ready to get it. However, there really isn't a clear plan in place for the individuals to receive the back pay they deserve.

In a memo from the Illinois Department of Human Services director in August, all of the service providers for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled were notified that the increase was to be backdated to July 1. If Social Security Disability checks are used to pay for the facility in which you live, you, too, may be eligible for an increase in personal needs money.

If you have filed for SSD benefits and were denied, an experienced attorney can help you file an appeal. As you can see above, these benefits can be of tremendous help for those who qualify.

Source: Chicago Sun Times, "BROWN: Mentally ill still waiting for promised hike in allowance," Mark Brown, accessed Dec. 08, 2017

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