March 2017 - Just the Facts

Just the Facts - March 2017 (pdf)


Total cases receiving Public Assistance in Illinois fell by 23,810 cases (41,205 persons) in March 2017 from March 2016. Non-Assistance SNAP cases were primarily responsible for the decrease. Aided cases numbered 1,980,272 (3,306,738 persons), down 1.2 percent from year-earlier totals.

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)


  • Total TANF Benefits: There were 28,724 TANF cases (76,044 persons) in March 2017, down 574 cases and 1,801 persons from February 2017. The caseload was 20.0 percent lower than the March 2016 total.
  • "0" Grant Cases: There were 2,969 "0" Grant cases (8,550 persons) in March 2017, down 143 cases and down 345 persons from February 2017.
  • TANF-Basic: TANF-Basic (primarily single-parent) families fell by 577 cases (1,757 persons) in March 2017 from February 2017 to 27,473 cases (70,373 persons).
  • Two-Parent Cases: Two-parent cases increased by 3 (decreased 44 persons) in March 2017 from February 2017 to 1,251 cases (5,671 persons).

TANF Program Detail 

  • Applications: The number of TANF applications received in March 2017 increased by 252 from February 2017 to a total of 7,098. New applications and re-applications decreased. Receipts included 6,170 applications for the Basic sector and 928 applications for the two-parent sector. There were 1,805 applications pending for the combined program this month, a decrease of 470 from February 2017 levels.
  • Approvals: There were 1,435 assistance approvals this month, including 926 new grants (up 46 from February 2017) and 509 reinstatements (down 97 from February 2017). A reinstatement is defined as approval of any case that was active within the previous 24 months.

Reasons for Case Openings

There were 1,393 March 2017 TANF openings for which reasons were available, down 223 from the March 2017 level. This total includes 1,308 cases from the Basic sector and 85 cases from the two-parent sector. Reasons for opening cases included the following:

Reinstatement after remedying previous non-cooperation  1.9
Living below agency standards  84.9
Loss of employment 0.3
Loss of other benefits  4.7
Parent leaving home 0.1
Increased medical needs  2.2
Loss of unemployment benefits  0.9
All other reasons  5.1

Reasons for Case Closings

Reasons were available for 2,209 March 2017 TANF case closings - up 268 cases from March 2017. This total includes 2,075 cases from the Basic sector and 134 cases from the two-parent sector. Reasons for closing cases included the following:

Earned income  33.5
Other financial  2.4
Non-compliance* 40.6
Non-financial  23.5

*26 cases canceled in February 2017 for non-compliance related reasons were reinstated by March 2017 after complying. These cases had no break in assistance.

Assistance to the Aged, Blind or Disabled (AABD)

The total number of March 2017 AABD cases was down 681 or 2.8 percent from the number of cases a year earlier. The decrease was largely attributable to Disability Assistance, where the number of cases fell 447 or 2.3 percent from March 2016 levels.

  • One-Person AABD Cases: One-person cases receiving grants through AABD increased by 22 in March 2017 from February 2017 to a total of 23,469. This total includes 4,017 persons who qualified for Old Age Assistance; 92 persons who qualified for Blind Assistance; and 19,360 persons who qualified for Disability Assistance.
  • "0" Grant Status: The number of persons in "0" grant status increased by 44 to 1,151 in March 2017 from February 2017.
  • State Supplemental Payments: The number of individuals receiving State Supplemental Payments decreased by 22 to 22,318 in March 2017 from February 2017.

Medical Assistance - No Grant

Disability Assistance customers were mainly responsible for a monthly increase of 3,285 cases receiving Medical Assistance in March 2017. Persons increased by 8,707. This resulted in a program total of 1,815,037 cases (3,057,154 persons). Of the total, 52,780 MANG cases and 80,572 MANG persons were in Kid Care, Disabled Worker, Breast and Cervical Cancer, and Department of Correction programs first included in July 2014. AABD MANG cases in these offices totaled 10,467. Additional FHP cases totaled 42,251. Additional FHP persons totaled 70,043.

  • MANG: MANG recipients represent 91.7 percent of total cases and 92.5 percent of total persons in March 2017. MANG cases decreased 0.07% (1,185 cases) from their March 2016 levels, when they represented 90.7 percent of all cases.
  • Family Health Plans: Families increased by 4,479 to 1,338,659 from February 2017 to March 2017. Persons increased by 8,707 to 2,580,776. These totals include two groups newly-eligible under the Affordable Care Act. The first group is Single Adults age 19 through 64, not otherwise eligible for other Medical Assistance with income at or below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Also added are Persons age 18 through 26 who were receiving Medicaid benefits when aged out of State Foster Care and who are not otherwise FHP or AABD clients.
  • AABD Clients: AABD customers who were categorically qualified for Medical Only decreased by 1,083 in March 2017 from February 2017 to 438,652 one-person cases. AABD Group Care clients totaled 58,828 in March 2017.
  • Foster Care: Foster Care Assistance aided 37,726 children in March 2017.

Applications - All Programs

In March 2017, application receipts for all programs excluding SNAP increased by 12,644 from February 2017 to a total of 100,983. This count includes: 93,134 applications for Medical Assistance, 7,098 for TANF, and 751 for AABD grants. SNAP applications received through Intake and Income Maintenance increased by 20,283 from February 2017 to 134,050.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

  • SNAP Assistance was given to 981,849 Illinois households (1,885,248 persons) in March 2017. This is an increase of 1.5 percent (14,831 households) from March 2016 levels.
  • Of this total, 869,504 households (1,735,916 persons) also received cash or medical benefits through other public assistance programs. This is an increase of 2.73 percent (23,121 households) from March 2016 levels.
  • A total of 112,345 households (149,332 persons) received Non-Assistance SNAP in March 2017. This is a 11.7 percent (14,888 households) decrease from March 2016 levels.

All Kids (KidCare)

  • All Kids, which began in February 1998, extends Medical coverage by expanding income eligibility standards (based upon the Federal Poverty Level) for pregnant women, infants born to Medical-eligible pregnant women, and certain other children under the age of 19.
  • Between February 5, 1998 and March 1, 2017, a total of 116,628 TANF-Medical Only persons were enrolled in All Kids Phase I due to this expansion of eligibility. Included in this total are 6,535 in the Moms and Babies program and 110,093 in the Assist program.
  • Cases ineligible for Medicaid due to excess income may be eligible for All Kids Phase II. November 1998 was the first month of enrollment. Phase II also requires co-pays and sometimes premiums. All Kids Share and All Kids Premium provide essentially the same benefits as Medical Assistance. A total of 18,358 Share and 38,052 Premium persons had enrolled by March 1, 2017.


Program Cases Persons
TANF (PAYMENT CASES) 25,755 67,494
ZERO GRANTS TANF 2,969 8,550
ZERO GRANTS AABD 1,151 1,151
FAMILY HEALTH PLANS 1,338,659 2,580,776
AABD MANG 438,652 438,652
NON-ASSISTANCE SNAP 112,345 149,332
FOSTER CARE 37,726 37,726
TOTAL 1,980,272 3,306,738

Child Care

Child Care Services are available to families with income at or below 162 percent of the federal poverty level. Families must be working or enrolled in approved education or training activities. Families cost-share with co-payments based on income, family size and number of children in care. Services are delivered through a certificate program and a site-administered contract system.

  • The Certificate Program eligibility is determined by resource and referral agencies. Parents choose subsidized full or part-time care from any legal care provider that meets their needs. Providers include child-care centers, family homes, group child-care home and in-home and relative care. In February 2017, an estimated 120,526 children were served by certificate.
  • The Site-Administered Contract Program serves families through a statewide network of contracted licensed centers and family homes. Families apply for care directly with the contracted providers and eligibility is determined on-site by the provider. In February 2017, an estimated 6,601 children were served by contract.
  • The Migrant Head Start Program provides child care and health and social services for preschool children of migrant and seasonal farm workers. Services are provided by local community based agencies.

Emergency Food, Shelter and Support

Homeless families and individuals receive food, shelter and support services through local not-for-profit organizations. A "continuum of care" includes emergency and transitional housing and assistance in gaining self-sufficiency and permanent housing.

  • The Emergency and Transitional Housing Program served 5,466 households in shelters during October-December 2016. Of those, 799 were households with children.
  • The Emergency Food Program served 785,641 households (duplicative) from October-December 2016.
  • The Homeless Prevention Program helps families in existing homes and helps others secure affordable housing. During October-December 2016, 885 households were served. Of those, 533 were families (Households with children under age 18).
  • The Supportive Housing Program funds governments and agencies which serve families and transitional facility residents. In October-December 2016, 502,101 nights of Supportive Housing were provided.
  • The Refugee and Immigrant Citizenship Initiative funds the provision of English language, civics and U.S. history instruction as well as application services. This program has been suspended.
  • Of the refugees served, 494 entered employment, and 713 retained jobs 90 days from October 1, 2016-January 31, 2017.
  • The Outreach and Interpretation project assures access to IDHS benefits. This program has been suspended.

Social Service Block Grants

Service funding is provided through the Federal Title XX Social Services Block Grant to manage and monitor contracts which help customers achieve economic self-support and prevent or remedy abuse and neglect.

  • Crisis Nurseries served 440 customers during the October-December 2016 quarter.
  • The Estimated Donated Funds Initiative aided 4,617 customers with 61,970 rides provided for Senior's during the October-December 2016 quarter.

Early Intervention (EI)

The Illinois Early Intervention (EI) program serves infants and toddlers birth to 3 years old with developmental delays or disabilities and their family in one or more of the following areas of development: adaptive, cognitive, communication/speech, physical and social emotional. EI is part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part C for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities. Annually, the EI program serves approximately 21,000 children throughout the state and maintains 25 regional intake entities called Child and Family Connections (CFC) offices. CFCs handle referrals, intake and service coordination for infants and toddlers with Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs).

Early Intervention services include, but are not limited to developmental evaluations and assessments, communication/speech therapy, developmental therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, service coordination, psychological, and other counseling services and assistive technology. Evaluations, assessments, service plan development and service coordination are provided to families at no cost. Ongoing EI services are paid for by public insurance (i.e., Medicaid/All Kids), a family's private health insurance, when appropriate, state general revenue, and other program funds. Families are assessed a family participation fee based on a sliding scale which considers their ability to pay.

Program Statistics

Referrals 3,582 2,920 2,849
Active IFSP's 21,600 20,955 20,689
0-3 Participation Rate 4.62% 4.49% 4.43%
Under 1 Participation Rate 1.44% 1.37% 1.33%
% With Medicaid 57.9% 58.6% 58.6%
% With Insurance 38.3% 37.5% 36.8%
% With Fees 27.9% 27.3% 27.5%

What's New in EI

The Bureau, along with multiple stakeholder representatives, has been working to prepare for implementing the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) Phase II strategies in the 3 pilot Race To The Top Innovation Zones. An evaluation Team was created to create the necessary tool(s) to measure and report on the implementation. Each of the 3 pilot sites has also received training for their Local Leadership Teams who will be the lead evaluators of the implementation within their own geographic areas. In April 2017, the EI Program will submit Phase III of the SSIP, which will identify implementation steps taken for changes to infrastructure, resources needed, expected outcomes, timeliness showing completion of improvement activities, and an evaluation of the implementation plan.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

The purpose of WIC is to provide nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and support, nutritious food and referrals to services for eligible pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children to age five. The program has been housed under the Department of Human Services since 1997. In order to be eligible, participants must be at 185% of the federal poverty level, be a resident of the State of Illinois, and have a nutrition risk.

Program Statistics

Pregnant Women 19,316
Breastfeeding Women 15,677
Postpartum Women 15,596
Infants 59,353
Children 100,250
Total 210,192

What's New in WIC

WIC Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) planning activities are underway and include the transfer of a new management information system (MIS) to replace the existing Cornerstone system. USDA has mandated full implementation of EBT by 2020. An implementation advanced planning document (IAPD) and requests for proposals for an EBT processer and MIS implementer developer are being reviewed for approval by USDA.

Participant Centered Services (PCS) are being cultivated throughout the Illinois WIC Program. PCS is a comprehensive, outcome-based model developed by Altarum Institute to promote the adoption of positive nutrition- and health-related behaviors by Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) families. PCS is a comprehensive systems change model for participant interaction that touches upon all aspects of WIC functions and service delivery. PCS puts the participant at the core of WIC service delivery and targets the most important determinants of behavior change: self-efficacy, skill building, and readiness to change. PCS focuses on a person's capacities, strengths and developmental needs, rather than solely on problems, risks or negative behaviors.

The online learning system for participants has added new modules on lead poisoning prevention and oral health recently. Local agencies are encouraged to promote the use of WIC Health and to that end a new WICHealth Academy is being developed this year to better train staff on this stage of change based system. Illinois is part of a multi-state review team for the Academy and all modules developed.

Family Case Management

The program target population is low income families (below 200% of the federal poverty level) with a pregnant woman, an infant or a child with a high-risk condition. The goals of the program are to help women have healthy babies and to reduce the rates of infant mortality and very low birth weight. To achieve these goals the program conducts outreach activities to inform expectant women and new mothers of available services and then assists them with obtaining prenatal and well-child care. The program works with community agencies to address barriers to accessing medical services, such as child care, transportation, housing, food, mental health needs and substance abuse services. Services are provided statewide through local Health Departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers and community-based organizations. Home visits by a public health nurse are provided to the families of infants with medical problems.

Program Statistics

FCM Active Participant Counts for March 2017

Cook County
Children 4,491 755
Infants 12,735 1,930
Pregnant 6,301 859
Children 7,476 807
Infants 25,735 2,836
Pregnant 11,209 1,040
Children 11,967 1,562
Infants 38,470 4,766
Pregnant 17,510 1,899

Program Accomplishments

Family Case Management has contributed to the overall reduction in the state's infant mortality and has reduced expenditures for medical assistance during the first year of life. Program outcomes are more effective in the integrated system of Family Case Management and WIC. The last analysis conducted for SFY 2014 shows:

  • The very low birth weight rate is almost 50% lower
  • The rate of premature birth is almost 30% lower
  • Medicaid expenditures for health care in the first year of life are almost 20% lower
  • Over the last 14 years, participation in both WIC and FCM saved Illinois on average over $200 million each year in Medicaid expenses.

Bureau of Program & Performance Management