3/18/20 - Message on IDHS Local Offices from Secretary Hou: COVID-19

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

While there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus among IDHS employees, out of an abundance of caution, starting today, IDHS is taking action regarding two types of local offices across the state:

  • 75 Family and Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) will be closed temporarily.
  • 45 Division of Rehabilitation Services' (DRS) local offices will close, starting tomorrow.

All emergency food relief (SNAP), cash assistance (TANF) and medical (Medicaid eligibility) applications will continue to be available online or by phone. Home Services and Vocational Rehab resources will remain available through DRS' statewide network of counselors who will continue working remotely.

IDHS anticipates a number of the FCRC local offices reopening on Thursday, March 19, but will be assessing staffing and openings on a daily basis. DRS local offices currently plan to re-open in early April.

IMPORTANTLY: While offices are closed, IDHS customers can still apply for and manage benefits, and request assistance:

  • You can apply for SNAP, cash, and medical at ABE.illinois.gov or by calling the ABE Call Center at 1-800-843-6154.
  • You can check application status, review benefits, and report changes through Manage My Case on ABE.illinois.gov .
  • You can request Vocational Rehabilitation services or Home Services www.DRS.illinois.gov/apply .

IDHS will continue to monitor the COVID-19 crisis, and communicate with staff and customers about service availability.

Today's actions represent the latest step in a comprehensive response to this public health emergency.

Earlier this week, IDHS Secretary Grace Hou committed to protecting community-based providers of social services in Illinois, if their "operations are diminished or temporarily suspended during this national and state emergency."

IDHS remains dedicated to finding the safest, most responsible way to keep life-giving and life-changing programs and services available throughout this crisis. Leadership of the agency has pledged to continue working in close coordination with its dedicated workforce, represented by AFSCME Council 31 and other bargaining units.

IDHS continues preparing to broaden and strengthen all of its remote options for consumers - and will use every available resource to ensure residents of Illinois are not harmed by this temporary reorganization.

More information is available at www.CoronaVirus.Illinois.Gov and through the COVID-19 Hotline, at 1-800-889-3931.