4/9/20 - IDHS Weekly Bulletin

Thursday, April 9, 2020


The majority of IDHS local offices remain closed as they do their part to flatten the curve. Anyone interested in learning about IDHS services should visit dhs.illinois.gov/helpishere or call toll free at 1-833-2-FIND-HELP (1-833-234-6343). Those who are wishing to sign up for benefits or manage existing benefits should visit abe.illinois.gov.


The federal government has approved Emergency Allotment Supplements for the April and May which will be issued to all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households that were not receiving the maximum allotment for their household size. No action is required by the customer. New SNAP applications are also eligible. The amount of the supplement will be the amount that brings the household up to the maximum allotment. April benefits will be distributed to existing SNAP households between April 8th and April 20th. May benefits will be distributed between May 1st and May 20th. To apply for SNAP benefits, please visit abe.illinois.gov.


During this healthcare crisis, Early Intervention services have been suspended to reduce personal contact and to help flatten the curve. However, these services and their providers are vital to developing minds, so IDHS and HFS have been working diligently to implement a teletherapy delivery model for Early Intervention. As such, they are proud to announce that work has been completed and remote EI services will begin this week. EI providers should have already received thorough guidance on how to proceed, but if families or providers have additional questions, they are invited to reach out to their Bureau of Early Intervention contact.


If you are deemed an "Essential Worker" during the COVID-19 emergency, you can find help securing child care by visiting: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/OECD/Pages/For-Communities.aspx. A dedicated helpline has also been created so Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs) can help connect essential workers and families to emergency child care. Call toll-free at 1-888-228-1146. For residents in Cook County, Illinois Action for Children (IAFC) has launched a temporary text messaging service to answer Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) questions during IAFC's office closure. Parents in Cook County can text 312-736-7390.


While the state is under a Stay at Home order, not everyone has a home to go to. To help those in need, the Governor and IDHS have increased shelter services for people experiencing homelessness during this pandemic, including an extra $6 million throughout the state for emergency lodging. IDHS is also increasing existing funding by 5% for homelessness service providers to increase their capacity during this crisis. If you feel you are in danger of becoming homeless please visit housingactionil.org/get-help/resources-homeless/. If you are already experiencing homelessness, please visit the Emergency and Transitional Housing Provider List to find a shelter near you.


The Census is still occurring and every person in Illinois needs to be counted! Visit My2020census.gov to complete the census online or call 1-844-330-2020. For more info text 987987 or go to Census.Illinois.Gov.


The closure of IDHS Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) local offices was extended until the end of April. However, DRS continues to assist customers, vendors, and other stakeholders during this global crisis through remote telework. The Division has also launched a toll-free number to expand those options - new or existing customers with physical disabilities can call 1-877-581-3690 to inquire about or be connected to services.


IDHS is dedicating $1.2 million to increase the capacity of its current statewide network of services and to streamline access to emergency shelter for individuals and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence. Those experiencing domestic violence and/or abuse, plus anyone concerned about a friend, family member, or loved one, can call toll free at 1-877-TO-END-DV (1-877-863-6338) to be connected to shelter through existing local domestic violence shelters or connected to emergency shelter through available hotels and motels.

Victims and families can also visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline at http://www.thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.


If you or one of your family members has mental health and/or substance use challenges and would like to receive support by phone, call the Illinois Warm Line at 1-866-359-7953. Wellness Support Specialists are professionals who are trained in recovery support, mentoring, and advocacy and are ready to listen to and support you. The Warm Line is not a crisis hotline but is a source of support as you recover or help a family member to recover.

You can also connect to a counselor by texting TALK to 552020.

If you or a loved one are experiencing an immediate mental health crisis, please call the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).


During these uncertain times, the state is ensuring its citizens are aware of any and all resources available that may be of help. The Crisis Text Line is a nationwide service providing counseling in any type of crisis, 24-hours a day. Text HELLO to 741741. You can find more information at www.crisistextline.org.