State of Illinois
Department of Human Services
AABD Cash - Aid to the Aged, Blind or Disabled
The Aid to the Aged, Blind or Disabled (AABD) Cash program is available through the Illinois Department of Human Services. The program is for people who are elderly, blind or have a disability and need money and medical care to help take care of themselves.
How do I apply for AABD Cash?
You can apply for AABD Cash at your local Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) office. An IDHS caseworker will ask you questions and enter your answers into a computer. When your caseworker is finished asking you questions, he or she will give you a computer printout with your answers on it and ask you to sign it. This is your application for AABD Cash.
If you do not know where your local IDHS office is, call the telephone number on the back of this brochure. You can get the address and telephone number of the office closest to where you live. If you are physically unable to go to your local IDHS office, a caseworker will call you on the telephone to interview you and help you apply for AABD Cash. You can apply on line at www.dhs.state.il.us. You may also take, mail, or fax the application to your IDHS office. The web site can tell you which office serves your area.
Who is eligible?
You may be able to get help from AABD Cash if:
- Are a United States citizen or meet certain requirements for non-citizens (your case-worker can explain the requirements for non-citizens)
- Live in Illinois
- Receive benefits from the federal Supplemental Security Income Program known as SSI, or have been denied SSI because of income
- Are 65 years or older, blind or disabled.
If you get money from other sources, you may still be eligible for AABD Cash.
Applying for AABD Cash
When you apply for AABD Cash, your caseworker may ask to see:
- Your birth certificate
- Your Social Security number
- Paycheck stubs
- Rent receipts
- Checking and savings accounts records.
- Proof of residency
Your caseworker will ask to see records or papers about all of your resources. (Your resources are your money and the things you own.) Your caseworker will also ask to see records of any money you receive from insurance, pensions and other sources.
If you need help getting some of this information, your caseworker will help you. This information will help your caseworker understand your family situation better and figure out how much money you have.
When deciding on your eligibility for AABD Cash, the department may exempt (not count) certain resources such as $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.
When determining eligibility for AABD Cash, the department will also exempt (not count):
- Burial space such as a crypt, casket, vault, marker, lot or opening/closing the grave;
- Funds of up to $1,500 saved for burial, cremation or funeral expenses; and
- Certain prearranged funeral and burial plans.
However, there is a limit to how many resources you can have and still receive help from AABD Cash.
What does the Illinois Department of Human Services do about liens and estates?
The Illinois Department of Human Services has the legal right to recover the amount of assistance persons receive through the AABD Cash program. The department can file a lien on any real property you own. The department will seek to recover money equal to the amount of AABD Cash assistance you received.
Illinois Healthcare and Family Services has the legal right to recover the amount of assistance persons receive through AABD Medical.
For more information on liens and claims, get the brochure called "Property Liens and Estate Claims" from your local Illinois Department of Human Services office.
If your AABD Cash application is approved...
The Illinois Department of Human Services will review your application for AABD CASH and all the information you give your caseworker. This may take up to 45 days if you are aged or blind, and up to 60 days if you are disabled. If your application is approved, you will receive money each month from the Illinois Department of Human Services.
If you are homeless, you can still receive AABD CASH benefits. If you are eligible and approved, the Illinois Department of Human Services will make sure you get your benefits.
At least once every year, your caseworker will ask you questions about where you live and the money you get from other sources. This will help keep your records correct and make sure you are still eligible for AABD CASH and are receiving the right amount of benefits.
If AABD Cash is denied DHS will consider eligibility for medical assistance
If your AABD Cash application is turned down...
If your application is turned down, you can appeal in writing or by calling toll-free 1-800- 435-0774 (voice) or 1-877-734-7429 (TTY) to ask for a fair hearing. At the hearing, you can explain why you think your application should be approved.
For more information about your right to appeal and receive a fair hearing, ask your caseworker or call the toll-free telephone number listed on the back of this brochure.
To stay eligible for AABD Cash , you must:
- Tell the Illinois Department of Human Services when you move. You must let your caseworker know when you move so your other important information can be sent to your new address. If you are homeless, tell your caseworker how you can be reached. If your caseworker cannot find you, your benefits will stop.
- Tell your caseworker if you do not get the right amount of money. Your caseworker will tell you how much AABD Cash money you should get each month. If you get cash benefits that are too much, you must pay back the extra money to the Illinois Department of Human Services. If you do not pay the money back, the department may take legal steps to get the money.If, however, you get cash benefits for an amount that is less than you are supposed to get, the Illinois Department of Human Services will send you the additional money you should have gotten
- Keep your appointments. You must try to keep all your appointments with your caseworker. If you cannot keep an appointment, be sure to tell your caseworker as soon as possible.
- Report changes in your family situation, income and resources. You must tell your caseworker within ten calendar days if there are any changes in your family situation, the money you receive (income) or the things you own (resources). A change may affect your eligibility for AABD Cash or the amount of money you receive.
The law states that you must tell the Illinois Department of Human Services the truth about your family situation, income or resources so that you don't get more money than you are supposed to get. You may face penalties if you break this law or help others to break it.
What are the benefits under AABD Cash?
Monthly Cash Benefits
The amount of money you get each month is based on your expenses and income. First the Illinois Department of Human Services caseworker adds up the cost of your basic expenses, such as rent and utilities. Your expenses may also include special food for a medically-supervised diet or restaurant or home-delivered meals if you do not have a kitchen or are physically unable to cook.
Then your caseworker adds up your income. If your income is less than the amount you need to pay for your basic expenses, you will receive money from AABD Cash. The amount you receive will be the difference between the cost of your basic needs (up to a maximum cost decided by the Illinois Department of Human Services) and your income.
Your AABD Cash benefit can be issued in one of two ways. Usually, the department issues the benefit electronically through the Illinois Link card. However, if you prefer to have your benefit deposited directly into your bank account, you should contact your caseworker who will help you with your request.
If you are eligible for AABD Cash, you may also be eligible for SNAP benefits that will help you buy food at the grocery store. If you need food immediately, the Illinois Department of Human Services may process your application right away and provide you with SNAP benefits within a few days if you qualify.
In addition to the AABD Cash benefit you get each month, you will get a medical card called the MediPlan card. You will receive a medical card in the mail that shows you are approved for medical benefits.
For more information on the Medical Assistance program, refer to HFS Medical Program Brochure (HFS 591) or call the toll-free telephone number listed on the back of this brochure.
Funeral, Burial, Cremation
The Illinois Department of Human Services may pay funeral, burial and cremation costs when a person who received AABD Cash dies, if responsible relatives cannot afford these expenses and the estate does not cover them. (See the brochure titled "Responsible Relatives.")
For more information:
Call or visit your Illinois Department of Human Services' Family Community Resource Center (FCRC).
If you have questions about any Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) program, call or visit your FCRC. We will answer your questions. If you do not know where your FCRC is or if you are unable to go there, you may call the automated helpline 24 hours a day at:
(866) 324-5553 TTY/Nextalk or 711 TTY Relay
You may speak to a representative between: 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday - Friday (except state holidays)
For answers to your questions, you may also write:
Illinois Department of Human Services
Bureau of Customer Support and Services
600 East Ash, Building 500, 5th Floor
Springfield, Illinois 62703
Visit our web site at:
Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.
DHS 587 (R-05-17) HCD' AABD - Aid to the Aged, Blind or Disabled Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois. 4,000 copies P.O.# 17-1683