According to Heartland Alliance study, millions of people in Illinois experience poverty or are living on the brink of it. Almost one-third of Illinoisans are poor or low income. Poverty remains higher than pre-recession levels – which means that Illinois is doing worse than the national average at recovering from recession-era losses.
Poverty continues to grow in the Chicago suburbs, as it has over the past few decades and women’s poverty rates are over 20 percent higher than men’s, which only worsens the conditions for single mothers, who must face this situation alone with their kids in most of the cases.
However, single mothers may count on several programs created for them and for the low-income population in Illinois. Following you will find a list of them and how to apply:
Homeless Prevention Program
The Homeless Prevention Program provides rental and utility assistance, and supportive services directly related to the prevention of homelessness to eligible individuals and families who are in danger of eviction, foreclosure or homelessness or are currently homeless. The program is designed to stabilize individuals and families in their existing homes, shorten the amount of time that individuals and families stay in shelters, and assist individuals and families with securing affordable housing.
Homeless prevention services are provided through Continuum of Care organizations. This is a network of local governments, community organizations and non-profit agencies that cover the service needs of the entire state to provide:
- Payment of rent arrears to prevent eviction (3 months maximum).
- Payment of a rent or security deposit (2 months maximum).
- Payment of utility bills and arrearage.
- Supportive services to prevent homelessness or repeated episodes of homelessness, include:
- Housing Location/Inspection
- Job Preparation/Employment Services
- Case Management
Unemployment insurance is a state-operated insurance program designed to partially replace lost wages when you are out of work. Like fire, accident, health and other types of insurance, it is for an emergency: when you are temporarily or permanently out of a job, or if you work less than full time because of lack of work.
The program ensures that, if you meet the eligibility requirements of the law, you will have some income while you are looking for a job, up to a maximum of 26 full weeks in a one-year period, depending on when the claim was established. Unemployment insurance, however, cannot and does not protect you against wage losses while you are absent from work due to illness or while you are idle by choice.
For further information and to file a claim for Unemployment Insurance, please visit http://www.ides.illinois.gov/Pages/10%20Things%20You%20Should%20Know.aspx.
Illinois’ medical assistance programs, consisting of Medicaid and numerous other medical programs associated with it, provide comprehensive health-care coverage to about 3.2 million Illinoisans. The programs cover children, parents or relatives caring for children, pregnant women, veterans, seniors, eligible individuals, and persons who are blind and persons with disabilities.
The medical assistance programs are administered under provisions of the Illinois Public Aid Code; Illinois Children’s Health Insurance Program Act; Covering All Kids Health Insurance Act; and Titles XIX and XXI of the federal Social Security Act. The department’s mission is to improve the health status of the individuals enrolled in its programs, while simultaneously containing costs and maintaining program integrity.
Illinois Medicaid has a division called Family Health Plans where the state has All Kids and FamilyCare programs that are comprised in five plans: FamilyCare/All Kids Assist; All Kids Share; All Kids Premium Level 1; All Kids Premium Level 2; and Moms and Babies. Children are eligible through 18 years of age. Adults must be either a parent or caretaker relative with a child under 18 years of age living in their home or be a pregnant woman. For all plans, non-pregnant adults must live in Illinois and be U.S. citizens or legal permanent immigrants in the country for a minimum of five years. Children and pregnant women must live in Illinois and are eligible regardless of citizenship or immigration status. For more information visit the All Kids https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/MedicalPrograms/AllKids and FamilyCare https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/MedicalPrograms/AllKids/Pages/FamilyCare.aspx Websites.
Childcare Assistance Program
The Illinois Department of Human Services’ (IDHS) Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency are working together to support families to get the information and resources the need to find and select the best child care for their child.
To qualify for the program an applicant must:
- Live in Illinois
- Be employed and/or going to an eligible educational activity (High school, trade school, undergraduate college…)
- Have children younger than 13 that need care while you are working or going to school
- Children with documented special needs may be eligible up to the age of 19
- Have family income below allowable limits