Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Colbert Consent Decree?
The Colbert Consent Decree has nearly 20,000 Class Members. It is the largest of three Olmstead settlements in Illinois. The Colbert v. Pritzker lawsuit said that people are in nursing homes in Cook County when they do not need to be. The lawsuit said that this violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. Through this settlement, the State agreed to provide supports and services to help Class Members live in the community. Class Members can live in the most integrated setting that meets their needs.
What is the Williams Consent Decree?
The Williams Consent Decree is also one of the three Olmstead settlements in Illinois. It has over 4,000 Class Members. The Williams v. Pritzker lawsuit said that people are in special facilities throughout Illinois when they do not need to be. These facilities are called Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities (SMHRFs). They used to be called Institutes for Mental Disease (IMDs). The lawsuit said that this violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. Through this settlement, the State agreed to provide supports and services to help Class Members live in the community. Class Members can live in the most integrated setting that meets their needs.
Who are Colbert and Williams Class Members?
Class Members are adults who can get Medicaid and who are, or might be in the future, in facilities when they do not need to be. For Colbert, these are nursing homes in Cook County, Illinois. For Williams, these are SMHRFs in Illinois. Class Members are people who may be able to live in the community with the right supports and services.
How does it work?
Outreach staff educate Class Members about the program. Class Members who are interested take part in an assessment. After the assessment, if the person is recommended to move out, they are linked to a care manager. The care manager helps them find housing and get ready to move. After that, they set up services and supports to help the Class Member live independently in the community. The care manager visits them often to follow up and make sure they are safe and healthy.
What services and supports are there?
Class Members can get many services and supports. These include:
- Home and community-based services;
- Community mental health services;
- Subsidies to help with rent;
- Help finding housing;
- Assistance with security deposits; and
- Furniture and moving costs.
What types of housing are there?
Class Members get help to find housing where they want to live. Some types of housing include apartments with private landlords, senior buildings, Supervised Residential Settings (SRS), or Supportive Living Programs (SLPs).
How will the rent get paid?
Class Members can get a Bridge Subsidy to help with rent. They pay 30% of their income towards rent, and the Bridge Subsidy pays the rest of the rent. The Bridge Subsidy helps bridge the gap between moving out of the facility and being able to get a permanent rental subsidy.
How can I be in the program?
Each facility works with one Colbert/Williams program agency. To be in the Colbert/Williams program, you can contact the agency for your facility. This can be done by Class Members, family, friends, or the general public. To find the right agency, contact IDHS. Email DHS.ColbertDecree@illinois.gov or DHS.WilliamsConsentDecree@illinois.gov, or call 1-312-814-3784.