Unbeknownst to many people, especially those with very low incomes – if you are disabled, there are services available that can provide you with assistance in your area. Usually, every state has a different organization – the name might be slightly different with each state; however, in the state of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Rehabilitation Services will provide testing & determine if a person with my disability classification (severe to profound) would be eligible for assistance with hearing aids (or whatever your disability may be).
In 2009, I went in for testing, and at the time having been out of work for some time that year, my income was practically non-existent. At that time, I qualified financially – and I was grateful. My hearing aid I had was just about to fall apart (the external shell was cracked). I was able to get two new digital hearing aids, with a receiver that allows me to listen to the television even if I don’t have the volume turned on (the receiver is hooked up to the television & transmits signals to a receiver I wear on my chest – wallet sized – & it sounds like I am in a movie theater).
If you are a young adult, please do not hesitate to contact your local agency to see if you qualify for any kind of assistance for college. Yes, you read that correctly – assistance for college. Without the Division of Rehabilitation Service’s assistance, I would never have made it through college – I am eternally grateful for the assistance I received (much of my room, board, books, tuition & fees for 4 years) after I properly filled out state and federal financial aid forms. If I received any monies for assistance from the state or federal , D.O.R.S. (Division of Rehabilitation Services) pick ed up the difference.
If you are not aspiring to attend college, it is still imperative that you contact your local agency to:
1) Make contact with them to create a file so they can assist you with either direct assistance, or refer you to others that might be able to help you, and,
2) Every person that registers with the organization allows that organization to show others that make voting decisions for funding see that there is a voting base there, a constituency – and will be more likely not to put the axe on funding for the organization for each of us that makes contact with the local disability assistance program.
The worst thing that will happen is you will be declined for any and all assistance whatsoever. The best thing that will happen is that you will receive every single thing you wanted for help with your disability. There are income limits, disability qualification requirements, and other restrictions, I am sure.
For the state of Illinois, here is the information I have – copied from DHS (Department of Human Services) website:
“DHS’s Division of Rehabilitation Services is the state’s lead agency serving individuals with disabilities. DRS works in partnership with people with disabilities and their families to assist them in making informed choices to achieve full community participation through employment, education, and independent living opportunities.
How to Contact DRS
Use the online Rehabilitation Services Web Referral to refer yourself or someone else for services.
DRS staff provide services to people with disabilities in 48 local offices located in communities throughout the state. Use the DHS Office Locator and search for Rehabilitation Services to find the nearest local office or call toll-free: (800) 843-6154 (Voice, English or Español) or (800) 447-6404 (TTY).”
I hope this helps – I have gotten several people scholarships to college with this information – and many people assistance with their disabilities over the years. Now, it’s time to put it on a blog and let others benefit from it as much as possible, as well…
Have a nice day.
p.s For general questions about DRS, email DHS.ORS@illinois.gov.