Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

FOIA Requests

Under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act ("the Act") (5 ILCS 140/1 et seq.), certain public records in possession of public agencies may be accessed by the public upon written request. Section 2(c) of the Act (5 ILCS 140/2(c)) defines a public record is include any record, report, form, writing, letter, memoranda, book, paper, map, photograph, card, tape, recording, electronic data processing record, recorded information, and all other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been prepared, or having been or being used, received, possessed or under the control of any public body.

Some records are, however, not subject to release via the FOIA process; these types of records are described under section 7 of the Act (5 ILCS 140/7) and section 7.5 of the Act (5 ILCS 140/7.5). Some records may also be subject to confidentiality provisions imposed by other state or federal statutes or court orders. The FOIA process for disclosure of information does not supersede these other applicable statutory and judicial mandates.

List of Records Maintained by Illinois Department of Human Services. Some of the records maintained by this office are considered to be of a confidential nature and therefore not available under the provisions of FOIA.

How to submit a FOIA request

To access information from the Illinois Department of Human Services, please submit a written request to:

FOIA Officer
Office of the General Counsel
Illinois Department of Human Services
69 West Washington Street, 9th Floor
Chicago, IL 60602
Fax:  312-814-6693


IDHS does not accept requests via telephone. Facsimile requests and e-mail requests will be honored.

When submitting a FOIA request, please be as specific as possible and clearly describe the documents being sought, or documents you wish to inspect. Please include your name, affiliation, address and phone number.

Upon receipt of your request, the FOIA Officer will review your request and respond within 5 business days of receipt of the request. Responses may include but are not limited to a full disclosure of documents, a disclosure of documents with certain information redacted, a notification that IDHS needs up to an additional 5 business days to respond, or a denial or partial denial of your request due to certain exemptions under the Act.

Fees Associated with FOIA

The first 50 pages of black and white, letter or legal sized copies (8 1/2 x 11) of records requested are free. Anything that surpasses 50 pages is generally 15 cents per page. For color copies or abnormal size copies, IDHS may charge fees reasonably calculated to reimburse its actual cost for reproduction and for the use by any person of the equipment of the public body to copy records. The cost for electronic records is the actual cost of the recording medium.

For more information on the guidelines used to charge fees related to FOIA, please see Section 6 of the Act (5 ILCS 140/6).