The county of Will relies on federal government grants and support from the Department of Human Services. The funds are used to help meet the needs of the disabled, low income, children, and seniors. As a result of this support, the county can provide them with food, emergency energy bill assistance, and other forms of financial help.
The main public assistance programs are below, but the offerings that are under highest demand include SNAP food stamps, heating bill help from LIHEAP, and grants from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF. Each has its own application process in place, and the Will County office can provide more details on each service.
Basic needs can be met by welfare, also known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). This is a federal resource that assists families with children, pregnant women, and single parents that meet income qualifications. Qualified individuals can be provided short term cash assistance and other government aid, and the grants can be used to pay for housing costs (such as rent or utilities), food, medical care, and more.
The money from TANF can also be used to pay for job and employment services, as the goal of Will County DHS is to eventually get people off of public aid. Funds can be used to pay for job retention services, GED preparation, vocational training, ESL classes, post-secondary education, and even child care costs while the parent is working.
Many people who are enrolled in TANF also are qualified for food stamps. The state of Illinois Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will provide residents of Will County with the Link EBT Card. The goal is to help seniors, low income families, the disabled and their families buy the food and groceries they need. The amount of the benefit depends on income and the number of household members as well, and the vouchers are usually available to clients within one month.
For those that are not qualified for the resources above, General Assistance is offered by the state of Illinois as a last resort. It is for when residents that are out of all other options and can't receive any other public aid. Families that are faced with poverty may receive funds for paying the bills or rent as well as health care as part of GA.
The disabled in cities, including Joliet Illinois and others, can get help from a number of government programs. They include social security income (SSI) as well as others such as Aid to the Aged, Blind, and Disabled (AABD). For those that meet the strict application process, they may be provided with a small fixed income for paying for their living expenses.
Using federal government money, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) provides assistance to the homeless and those threatened by it. Grants can be used for a number of housing costs, ranging from back rent to heating bill and security deposits. All of the aid is focused on those either living in a shelter in Will County, or that have an eviction notice from their landlord.
In many cases, the eviction may be due to unpaid utility bills. In this case, families can apply for LIHEAP from the department. This will provide households with funds for paying their energy bills.
Partnering with the state of Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Will County Department of Human Services provides a few different medical care options to the low income and uninsured. They include All Kids (which is for children), Medicaid (for very low income families) and Medicare (which is for senior citizens).
All of these will offer some form of help to those that need it. The medical assistance can range from dental and vision care to paying for doctor's visits, prescription medications, dental check ups, and maybe even glasses.
Health care is also part of the Will County Prenatal programs. Partnering with the federal government and state, the county will help ensure that affordable and high qualify medical care is available for expectant mothers as well as a new born child.
Public benefits focused on children from low income families are child care subsidies as well as Women, Infants, and Children. The first one will help the parent pay for their day care bills while they are working or in job training. The second provides them with food and meals. When combined, both of these will help low income parents in Will County Illinois address certain needs so they can become self-sufficient.
The main DHS office is at 45 East Webster Street in Joliet, Illinois 60432, and information on these statewide resources cab be obtained by dialing 1-800-843-6154.
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