Illinois is an interesting mix of rural and city life. No matter where you live in the Land of Lincoln, if you are trying to raise a family with a smaller income, you will need help occasionally. The state offers several programs that provide assistance to help you make ends meet and give your family a healthy start to life. You can get help with childcare, healthcare, bills and a lot more if you qualify.
The Illinois Housing Development Authority offers assistance with paying for rent through the Rental Housing Support Program.
This offers needy families access to subsidized rent apartments or homes. It has one of the largest rent assistance programs in the nations.
The IHDA also offers several Section 8 housing options. If you live in the city of Chicago, you will find that other options exist because of the high cost of living in the state’s largest city.
Fellowship Housing based in Hoffman Estates offers to help those in the Northwest Suburban Chicago area with housing. Their focus is on the homeless or near homeless single mother and her children.
The Courage Program helps single mothers find affordable housing and may even hook you up with a roommate to split expenses. Single mothers or pregnant women can receive donations of baby food, diapers, warm clothes and other items.
CAWC: Connections for Abused Women and their Children provides shelter and health care to women and their children who have escaped domestic violence. Counseling is also available.
Chicago: In the metropolitan city of Chicago, finding help for rent and housing is often difficult. Luckily, there is an organization that provides affordable housing for Women and Single Mothers. They are dedicated to making female’s lives a bit easier by providing them with a place to stay.
The Illinois Department of Human Services offers childcare assistance to needy families who need a way to go back to work, head back to school, or finish their high school degree.
The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) is offered based on income. If you do not qualify, consider partnering with another family who works an opposite shift to share childcare duties or utilizing the help of relatives who may be home when you are working.
If you do not have adequate healthcare coverage for your family, you may be able to get help through the state’s Medicaid programs.
FamilyCare offers coverage for adults who are the primary caregivers for children 18 or younger. The program, which is offered based on income, covers all types of care, including dental and vision.
Any child in the state of Illinois who does not have full insurance coverage can get coverage through AllKids, regardless of the parent’s income. Families with higher incomes will pay a fee for the coverage, but it is available.
The chief objective of Illinois All Kids Program is to provide healthcare insurance to children. This program will help you pay premiums for both private and employer healthcare insurance plans.
The benefits are available either at a highly subsidized rate or free of cost. Depending upon your family size and income, your premium or health insurance co-payment is fixed. The Federal and state governments fund All Kids Share and Level I Premiums, while Level II Premiums and All Kids Rebate are funded by the state government only. All Kids Assist come under Medicaid health insurance plans.
Food and Supplies
Illinois offers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to needy families. eligibility is based on income and family size. SNAP is awarded through the Illinois Link system, which also provides cash assistance to very needy families through an electronic debit card.
WIC is another program offered to families with young children or pregnant women.
TANF is also another great option. It helps families become self-sufficient through providing aid and job help for those who need it. You can receive the help for about 2 years, or until you are up on your feet once again.
Illinois Food Stamp Program
Food Stamp Program has been specifically designed for low-income families to provide nutritious meals to all the members. Funded by the Department of Human Services, with these food stamp you can buy any consumable food item.
You can even use these food stamps to buy seed and seedlings for your garden to grow fruits and vegetables. You can avail the benefits of this program by the Illinois Link System, which provides you a plastic card that you can use as a normal credit or debit card to pay your bill at the grocery store.
The rules for getting the benefits of the Illinois Food Stamp Program are quite complex. Get in touch with the local Department of Human Services office to know whether you are eligible for the program and if you are eligible, how many benefits will you receive.
Energy Assistance Program
Illinois Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low-income families to pay off their winter energy bills.
It is a one-time benefit provided to underprivileged households to meet their energy expenses. The payment amount depends upon your household income, family size, geographic location and fuel type.
LIHEAP is sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services and Government of Illinois. It is managed by the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs. The assistance is provided by the non-profit organizations together with community action agencies.
To know more about this program, you should get in touch with your energy provider.
The Internet makes going to college a lot more accessible. To find aid, file the FAFSA and talk to your school’s department of financial aid.
A variety of state-specific programs are also available to Illinois residents led back to school. Also be sure to research school scholarships for more financial assistance options.
The College of DuPage Foundation Single Parent Scholarship is one such college in Illinois. These are the basic application requirements.
- Must be at least a part-time student with a minimum grade point average of 2.0
- Have to reside in District 502
- Must show financial need (FAFSA will fulfill this requirement)
Parents of twins or other multiples can apply for scholarship assistance through Illinois Organization of Mothers of Twins Club. You must be a member of the organization and not have been a recipient of their scholarship the previous year. You will have to show proof of registration and of passing with a “C” or better.
There is a lot of help for you to benefit from in Indiana. You can apply for many of these programs and get maximum benefit from them.
But before applying, know what you are getting into and do research and see if it is something for you.
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