Guide to Public Benefits & Other Resources

Author: Marc Raifman, Staff Attorney, Public Benefits Practice Group, Legal Aid Chicago



 

Health Forward MLP at Legal Aid Chicago has created this reference guide organized by goal for your patients and members. Some important points to remember:

(1) This is NOT everything as there are always more programs and changes happening; it does

contain most Public Benefits offered.

(2) Many of these programs have income- demographic- and other limitations that do not

appear on this page. Click the links for more information about any particular program; you

can also reach out us if you have question.


Please direct all complaints, grievances and appeals of this guide to MRaifman@legalaidchicago.org


 

ILLINOIS PUBLIC BENEFITS PROGRAMS

1. For Cash

  • TANF (for expecting mothers and families with dependent children and very low income)

  • AABD Cash (generally for those whose only income is SSI)

  • WIC (cash but with limits to food purchases for expecting mothers and those with young children)

  • VTTC (cash and food-purchase limited cash for non-citizens victims of trafficking, torture and other serious crimes in U.S. or abroad; ongoing program in 2022)

  • General Assistance (available only outside of Chicago depending on municipality policy)

2. For Food

  • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, i.e. cash with limits on what you can buy)

  • PEBT (SNAP substituting for in-school lunch assistance during the pandemic; inactive as of February 2022; may return)

3. For Utilities

  • LIHEAP (heating bill assistance) & LIHWAP (water bill assistance)

4. For Other Assistance


STATE/FEDERAL FUNDED HEALTHCARE COVERAGE

1. Medicaid

  • Low-Income Adult (standard Medicaid)

  • AABD Medicaid for people with a disability (already approved by Social Security) or 65+

  • Family Health Plans & AllKids Medicaid (premiums reduced or eliminated for non-parent guardians and lower-income families)

  • Medicaid for children under DCFS care or supervision and former foster care children through age 26

  • Coverage for immigrant senior

  • Long Term Care Medicaid (*Subject to Public Charge*)

  • VTTC (non-citizen) Medicaid

  • Emergency (non-citizen) Medicaid

  • Moms and Babies (expecting mothers and those with young children)

2. Veterans Care

3. Medicare

4. Medicare Savings Program

(Medicaid that covers Medicare premiums & co-pays)

5. "Extra Help"

(Medicare/Prescription Drug Plan)

6. Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program

7. State Hemophilia Program

8. State Renal Dialysis Program

9. State Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Program


HEALTHCARE COVERAGE FOR THOSE INELIGIBLE FOR STATE/FEDERAL PLANS LISTED ABOVE?

1. ACA Healthcare Marketplace

Shop for plans not tied to employment; best to warn shoppers that when they list their phone

numbers they should expect numerous phone calls from aggressive brokers that week

2. Care for Non-Citizens


NEED INCOME WHILE UNEMPLOYED AND LOOKING FOR WORK?

Unemployment Insurance


NEED INCOME WHILE HURT AND NOT LOOKING FOR WORK?

1. Workers compensation

2. Temporary disability

(not provided by the State, must be purchased by the worker)

3. Social Security disability (Both SSI and SSDI)

4. Student Loan Forgiveness (IBR; PSLF)


NEED HELP TO ACCESS RETIREMENT BENEFITS?

1. Private Pension

(Pension Action Center in Boston available to help Illinois residents)

2. Social Security Retirement (or SSI if over 65)


HELP WITH PERSONAL HEALTH CARE OR CHILD CARE?

1. IDHS Child Care Assistance

2. Personal Assistant/Home Health Aide


PERMANENT HOUSING SUPPORT?

(See also Legal Aid Chicago’s “Housing Navigation” Guide below with additional resources for Veterans, Seniors, individuals living with HIV and others)

1. Emergency Housing Transfer/ Victims Assistance Transfer/ SAFE Homes

Act/ VAWA

2. Chicago or Cook County Housing Authority Programs

3. Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund


TEMPORARY RENTAL ASSISTANCE [LONG-TERM & SHORT-TERM]?

1. Latest information for City, County & State Pandemic-Era Programs

2. Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt

3. 311 (Chicago only, 1-2 months assistance for those who can otherwise

afford ongoing rent)


MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE?

Applications opening Spring 2022


HELP AS VICTIM OF A CRIME?

Illinois Attorney General Victims Compensation Program &

Illinois Address Confidentiality Program


WANT TO KNOW WHAT INCOME YOU CAN GET AS A TAX CREDIT?

The credits listed below are all federal, but there are state tax credits too!

LadderUp helps people file their taxes.

1. Stimulus Checks (not too late to claim them!)

2. Child Tax Credits

3. Earned Income Tax Credits

4. Dependent Care Tax Credits

5. Federal Education Tax Benefits

6. American Opportunity Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit,Tuition and

Fees Deductions


HELP FINDING, TRAINING FOR OR MAINTAINING A JOB?

1. State of Illinois Workforce Portal

2. Social Security Disability Benefits Work Transition Programs


HELP PURSUING EDUCATION?

1. LadderUp

For people who would like student loan guidance from a financial counselor

2. Community College

3. Early Childhood Education

4. GED and Alternative High School

(for those adults who did not complete high school, some research shows that employers look

more favorably on a vocational training program than a GED)


NEED MONEY MANAGEMENT HELP?

LadderUp can help people who want money management/guidance from a

financial counselor


HELP PURCHASING IN-HOME TECHNOLOGY?

FCC Broadband Assistance & Illinois Computer Exchange


HELP WHILE HOMELESS?

(see also Legal Aid Chicago’s “Housing Navigation” Guide)

1. Emergency Shelter

311 (Chicago only) or Pacific Garden Mission at 1458 S Canal Street (312-492-9410)

2. Coordinated Entry for Supportive Housing (not immediate shelter)

3. Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline


OTHER HELP FOR NON-CITIZENS?

1. Refugee Resettlement

2. Illinois Migrant Council assistance for farm workers

3. Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights


 

Download PDF version of the Guide to Public Benefits & Other Benefits (last updated on 3.15.22)

Guide to Public Benefits & Other Resources _ Legal Aid Chicago
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