Cash assistance program in Illinois.

Families with children, pregnant woman or single moms and dads can get financial help from the Illinois cash assistance program. The government will provide temporary financial assistance for paying bills along with job placement or work training skills. The program, known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), is the federal government funded welfare type service for very low income residents.

The Illinois Department of Human Services, or DHS, administers this throughout the state. There are local offices in every country. The case managers will not only accept applications at the local center, but they will review what bills the program can pay (such as housing, energy, food, transportation, clothing, etc.). The state funds can be used to pay for a number of different household expenses.

They team will also calculate how much money can be provided each month to the low income household, and the range is about $243 to $623 for a family with six people in it. The average monthly payment is about $500 per month. But the exact amount of cash assistance is based on family size. Note households with even more kids living at the address may get more than the $523 cash for their basic needs.

The case managers from the Illinois DHS office will also help the parent of the kid address the personal responsibility part of the Illinois TANF cash assistance program, and that includes everything from budgeting to employment requirements, school for the kids, immunizations, GED classes, English as a Second Language, and more. A plan must be created between the DHS social worker and the parent(s), and it needs to be adhered too in order for the cash to continue to be paid out each month.

TANF is part of the federal government welfare program. It includes money to pay the bills while the parent addresses their long term needs and while they work towards personal responsibility. The goal is to provide temporary financial aid, focused on raising the kids, while the parent(s) achieve stability in their life. The state works with the recipient throughout the process.





How to apply and how much cash can be provided in Illinois

There are multiple ways to apply. One is to dial 1-800-843-6154. Another way is to drop in at a local DHS office. The staff will go over the terms and conditions of the Illinois cash assistance program. But be prepared with proof of income, assets, identification, and more. This assistance is only for legal citizens and not illegal immigrants, and the income guidelines closely follow federal government poverty guidelines. Or it can also provide help to those with immigration status pending.

The Department of Human Services has calculators to determine the amount of the monthly payment. The funds will either go onto a debit type card, or be wired into the household’s bank account each month. Once that takes place the money is used as the family sees fit, within the guidelines that are set by TANF.

In addition, while applying for the Illinois TANF temporary cash assistance program, families can make inquires into other government benefits. As the cash based welfare program is also usually combined with health care from the HFS Medical Assistance Program, SNAP food stamps, and other public assistance programs. All of the aid is intended to offer short term support while long term needs around employment, etc. are addressed.

As noted, the Illinois cash assistance program is very targeted in what it does and how long it lasts for. The financial support is for very low income families, and it can help them for at most 60 months during their lifetime. Then, as TANF winds down, the family and their kids should be in a more stable financial position.




By Jon McNamara

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