March 2021 - Just the Facts


Total cases receiving Public Assistance in Illinois climbed 297,926 cases (466,104 persons) in March 2021 from March 2020. Aided cases numbered 2,078,575 (3,355,241 persons) in March 2021, up 16.73% from year-earlier totals.

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)

  • Total TANF Benefits: There were 28,540 TANF cases (77,314 persons) in March 2021, down 234 cases and 690 persons from February 2021. The caseload was 27.49% higher than the March 2020 total.
  • TANF-Basic: In March 2021, TANF-Basic (primarily single-parent) families decreased, from February 2021, by 238 cases (714 persons) for a total of 27,033 cases (70,578 persons).
  • Two-Parent Cases: Two-parent cases increased in March 2021 by 4 cases (22 persons) from February 2021 for a total of 1,507 cases (6,736 persons).
  • Approvals: There were 1,202 assistance approvals this month, including 577 new grants (up 33 since February 2021) and 174 reinstatements (up 16 since February 2021). A reinstatement is defined as approval of any case that was active within the previous 24 months.
  • TANF Cancelled due to earnings: In March 2021 there were 183 cases cancelled due to earnings from new employer or increased earnings from an existing employer.
  • Total Grant amount: $12,527,422 was the total in March 2021. This is $222,000 less than the total in February 2021. March 2021 shows a 38.12% increase from March 2020.

Assistance to the Aged, Blind or Disabled (AABD)

The total number of March 2021 AABD Cash cases was down 316 cases or -1.65% from the number of cases a year earlier.

* AABD Case Details: AABD cash cases increased by 27 cases in March 2021 from February 2021 for a total of 18,874 cases. This total includes 9,161 persons who qualified for Old Age Assistance; 129 persons who qualified for Blind Assistance; and 9,584 persons who qualified for Disability Assistance. The total grant amount shows a 5.65% increase from February 2021 ($2,248,709) to March 2021 ($2,375,823).

Medical Assistance - No Grant (MANG)

March 2021 had a program total of 1,910,847 cases (3,095,203 persons). Of the total MANG cases, there were 78,278 cases (132,075 MANG persons) in All Kids, Disabled Workers, Breast and Cervical Cancer, Veteran Care, Medically Fragile Technology Dependent, and Department of Corrections programs. Overall, MANG cases in March 2021 show a 15.32% increase (253,890 cases) since March 2020.

  • MANG: MANG recipients represent 91.93% of total cases and 92.25% of total persons in March 2021. In March 2020, MANG recipients represented 93.05% of total cases.
  • Family Health Plans: Families increased in March 2021 by 7,102 to 768,844 cases from totals in February 2021. Persons also increased 17,295 in March to 1,915,790 persons.
  • ACA Adult: ACA Adult saw an increase of 12,158 cases from February 2021 for a total of 790,682 cases in March. Persons increased by 12,574 for a March 2021 total of 817,822 persons.
  • AABD Clients: AABD customers who were categorically qualified for Medical Only increased 0.72% in March 2021 from February 2021 to 351,321 cases.
  • Foster Care: Foster Care Assistance totals were not available at the time of this report.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Disaster SNAP / Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (DSNAP/P-EBT) benefits were distributed in March 2021 for the months of August 2020 through December 2020. This program provides benefits to children who would have received a Free/reduced price meal if school were in session, but due to the Pandemic the in-school meal was not available. As part of the special processing for these benefits, separate individual cases were required to be set up for each individual child that was eligible.  

  • SNAP Assistance was given to 1,917,052 Illinois households (2,753,665 persons) in March 2021. This is an increase of 1,025,955 households from March 2020 levels.
  • A total of 120,314 households (163,850 persons) received SNAP with no other assistance in March 2021. This is an increase of 38,198 households from March 2020 levels.
  • The total SNAP assistance amount for March 2021 was $748,008,844. This is an increase of $527,967,382* from March 2020.


TANF 28,540 77,314
AABD Cash 18,874 18,874
Family Health Plan 768,844 1,915,790
AABD MANG 351,321 361,591
ACA 790,682 817,822
SNAP with no other assistance 120,314 163,850
Foster Care N/A N/A
Refugees Cash & Medical 77 77
Total 2,078,652 3,355,318

Child Care 

Child Care Services are available to families with income at or below 200% 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 and family size. 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 2021, an estimated 95,543 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 2021, an estimated 3,709 children were served by contract.
  • The Migrant Head Start Program provides childcare and health and social services for preschool children of migrant and seasonal farm workers. Services are provided by local community-based agencies. In February 2021, there were 158 children enrolled in Migrant and Seasonal Head Start.

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 3,067 households in shelters during January through March 2021. Of those, 443 were households with children.
  • The Emergency Food Program served 203,077 households (duplicative) in March 2021.
  • The Homeless Prevention Program helps families in existing homes and helps others secure affordable housing. During the January - March 2021 quarter, 317 households were served. Of those, 310 were families (Households with children under age 18).
  • The Supportive Housing Program funds governments and agencies which serve families and transitional facility residents. In the January - March 2021 quarter, 818,036 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 served 12,096 clients in March 2021.
  • Of the refugees served, 441 received employment services, and 79% of the clients entering employment were still employed 90 days later from January - March 2021.
  • The Outreach and Interpretation project assures access to IDHS benefits. This program has served 5,831 in March 2021.

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 32 families/customers during the January-March 2021 quarter.
  • The Estimated Donated Funds Initiative aided 2,465 customers with 32,340 rides provided for Senior's during the January - March 2021 quarter.

Early Intervention (EI)1

The Illinois Early Intervention (EI) program serves infants and toddlers ages 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 23,000 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 referred to EI and coordinates the eligibility determination process and manages eligible infants and toddlers with Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs)through transition.

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 - Early Intervention

Indicator February 2021 SFY 2020 Average SFY 2019 Average
Referrals 2,701 2,813 3,333
Active IFSP's 17,185 22,474 22,812
0-3 Participation Rate 5.86% 10.41% 4.88%
Under 1 Participation Rate .90% 1.30% 1.38%
% With Medicaid 50.40% 51.2% 52.0%
% With Insurance 40.10% 38.8% 39.1%
% With Fees 29.40% 28.8% 28.5%

What's New in EI

The Bureau is finalizing our State Systemic Improvement Plan to improve child outcomes through two coherent improvement strategies of implementing the Child Outcomes Survey practice with fidelity and to have Family Engagement processes developed, measured, and put into practice. This work aligns with evidence-based services utilizing the Division of Early Childhood's Recommended Practices.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)1

The purpose of WIC is to provide nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and support, nutritious supplemental foods, 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. 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 - WIC

Eligibility Category Clients in February 2021
Pregnant Women 13,217
Breastfeeding Women 10,659
Postpartum Women 11,720
Infants 44,991
Children 74,491
Total 155,078

What's New in WIC

WIC Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) implementation activities are underway and include the creation of a new management information system (MIS) to replace the existing Cornerstone system. USDA has mandated full implementation of EBT by October 1, 2020. The Pilot roll-out of both the EBT and MIS began March 16, 2020 in DHS Region 4. We are currently set to go live in the last DHS Region to be converted, Region 1 - Cook County on Tuesday, September 8.

Family Case Management1

The program target population is low income families (below 200% of the federal poverty level) with a pregnant woman, an infant. 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-childcare. The program works with community agencies to address barriers to accessing medical services, such as childcare, 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 program staff are provided in the first year of life.

Program Statistics - Family Case Management

Active Participant Counts for February 2021

Medicaid 23,722
Non-Medicaid 6,587
Statewide 30,309

Bureau of Program & Performance Management

1 Current month's Child Care, Early Intervention, Women, Infants, and Children, and Family Case Management data is not released until the end of the following month resulting in a one-month lag for this report.

* Increase due to COVID19 - see Policy Memo -