Volume VII, Issue II - October 2013

From:  Theodora Binion, Director
Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse


The Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA) will be hosting meetings in Chicago, Mt. Vernon and Springfield regarding Social Security Disability benefits and the DASA provider. Health & Disability Advocates will be providing the training.

The goal of the session is to learn why substance abuse treatment programs are important in the disability determination process for people with disabilities participating in treatment and recovery.

Learning Objectives for the Day

  • Who is eligible for Federal SSI & SSDI benefits?
  • Who gets disability benefits and an overview of the disability determination process?
  • How people who are disabled due to mental illness with co-occurring addiction disorders can quickly secure disability benefits.
  • Why substance abuse treatment programs are important in the disability determination process for people with disabilities participating in treatment and recovery, and what documentation is critical to provide.


Lisa B. Parsons  Lisa has extensive experience as a legal advocate in the areas of housing and welfare law. While in law school at the University of California Hastings, College of Law, Ms. Parsons co-founded the General Assistance Advocacy Project (1985-1988). After receiving her law degree, she served as the project director of the Bar Association of San Francisco's Homeless Advocacy Project (1988-1989), before moving to Chicago and accepting a similar position at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago. From 1990-1995, Ms. Parsons directed a joint law and social services project at the University of Chicago's Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, designed to assist persons who were homeless and mentally ill. From 1995 to 1996, she directed a study of the Forcible Entry & Detainer (Eviction) Court at the Daley Center for the Lawyers Committee for Better Housing.

Since 2008, she has directed the SSI Homeless Outreach Project Health & Disability Advocates. Lisa and a social worker do outreach on the streets and in shelters to assist

individuals who are homeless, with co-occurring substance addiction and mental health diagnoses, to apply for Social Security benefits and connect them to healthcare, housing and supportive services.

John Coburn  John is the Director of Training and a senior policy attorney for Health & Disability Advocates (HDA), a national policy and advocacy organization for people with disabilities located in Chicago, Illinois. John has extensive experience in training vocational rehabilitation service providers, employment service providers, benefits planners, PABSS advocates and other advocates on federal and state public benefits and work-related issues. In addition to developing and conducting trainings, he works on improving healthcare and workforce policy for people with disabilities. He has testified before Congress as an invited witness on the SSA Ticket to Work Program and Medicare Part D. Prior to working for HDA, John was a legal aid attorney.

DASA providers are encouraged to attend one of the following meetings.

November 4, 2013 - 1:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Michael A. Bilandic Building, Room C-5000
160 North LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois 60601

November 12, 2013 - 9:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M.

Department of Transportation, Auditorium
2300 South Dirksen Parkway
Springfield, Illinois 62703

November 13, 2013 - 9:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M.

Mt. Vernon One Stop Business Employment Center/354, Suite A
333 Potomac Boulevard
Mt. Vernon, Illinois 62864

Please RSVP your participation at this meeting by sending an e-mail message that includes your name, provider name, phone number, e-mail address, and session you plan to attend to Michele.Landers@Illinois.gov on or before November 1, 2013.