Aid to Aged, Blind, and Disabled (AABD)

AABD provides healthcare coverage and cash assistance to seniors, persons who are blind, and persons with disabilities.

Who is Eligible

  • Persons who are aged 65 or older, persons who are blind, and/or persons who are disabled.
  • An individual must be a U.S. citizen, must have legal status in the U.S., and must be an Illinois resident.
  • An individual must have a monthly income less than 100% of the federal poverty level.
  • An individual must have assets limited to $2,000 (not including certain assets such as savings for burial expenses). 

Why Apply

  • Persons who are eligible for AABD Medical receive health coverage for doctor visits, specialty services, hospital care, emergency services, and prescription drugs.
  • Persons who are not eligible to receive cash assistance will have to pay a certain amount for their healthcare expenses each month before Medicaid benefits kick in.

To Apply For

Read More

Applying for AABD

When an individual applies for AABD, the caseworker may ask to see:

  • Individual's birth certificate
  • Individual's Social Security number
  • Paycheck stubs
  • Rent receipts
  • Checking and savings accounts records

The caseworker will ask to see records or papers about all of an individual's assets (money and the things they own). The caseworker will also ask to see records of any money an individual receives from insurance, pensions, and other sources.

Caseworkers will help individuals to locate and find some of these documents or pieces of information. This information will help a caseworker to understand an individual's family situation better, and to figure out how much money they have.

When deciding on an individual's eligibility for AABD, the department may exempt (i.e. not count) certain assets such as $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.

When determining eligibility for AABD, the department will also exempt:

  • Burial space such as a crypt, casket, vault, marker, lot or opening/closing the grave;
  • Funds of up to $1,500 saved for burial, cremation or funeral expenses; and
  • Certain prearranged funeral and burial plans.

However, there is a limit to how many assets an individual can have and still receive help from AABD.

If an individual's AABD application is approved...

The Illinois Department of Human Services will review an individual's application for AABD and all the information shared with an individual's caseworker. This may take up to 45 days if an individual is aged or blind, and up to 60 days if an individual is disabled. If the application is approved, an individual will receive money each month from the Illinois Department of Human Services.

If an individual is homeless, they can still receive AABD benefits. If they are eligible and approved, the Illinois Department of Human Services will make sure an indiviual gets their benefits.

At least once every year, an individual's caseworker will ask questions about where they live and the money they get from other sources. This will help keep an individual's records correct and make sure they are still eligible for AABD and are receiving the right amount of benefits.

If an individual's AABD application is turned down...

If an individual's application is turned down, they can appeal in writing or by calling toll-free 1-800-435-0774 (voice) or 1-877-734-7429 (TTY) to ask for a fair hearing. At the hearing, they can explain why they think their application should be approved.

To stay eligible for AABD, an individual must:

  • Tell the Illinois Department of Human Services when they move. An individual must let their caseworker know when they move so their MediPlan card and other important information can be sent to their new address. If an individual is homeless, they should tell their caseworker how they can be reached. If an individual's caseworker cannot find them, their benefits will stop.
  • Individuals should tell their caseworkers if they do not get the right amount of money.
  • A caseworker will tell an individual how much AABD money they should get each month. If an individual gets cash benefits that are too much, they must pay back the extra money to the Illinois Department of Human Services.
  • If an individual does not pay the money back, the department may take legal steps to get the money.
  • If, however, an individual gets cash benefits for an amount that is less than they are supposed to get, the Illinois Department of Human Services will send them the additional money they should have gotten.
  • Keep appointments.
  • An individual must try to keep all their appointments with their caseworker. If they cannot keep an appointment, they should be sure to tell their caseworker as soon as possible.
  • Report changes in family situation, income, and assets.
  • An individual must tell their caseworker within ten (10) calendar days if there are any changes in their family situation, the money they receive (income), or the things they own (assets). A change may affect their eligibility for AABD or the amount of money they receive.
  • The law states that an individual must tell the Illinois Department of Human Services the truth about their family situation, income, or assets so that they don't get more money than they are supposed to get. An individual may face penalties if they break this law or helps others to break it.

Links to Important Resources

Learn more about AABD Medical.

Calculate for eligibility for AABD cash assistance


Topics: Social Security Disability, Medicaid, Public Insurance Coverage
Tags: AABD, Healthcare Coverage
Last updated August 9, 2017

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Sponsored by

  • Lloyd A. Fry Foundation
  • Boston Medical Center