February 2015 - Just the Facts

February 2015 - Just the Facts (pdf)


Total cases receiving Public Assistance in Illinois rose by 11,786 in February 2015. Family Health Plan cases were responsible for the increase. The number of persons rose by 16,887. Aided cases numbered 2,081,102 (3,499,209 persons), up 26.4 percent from year-earlier totals.

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)


  • Total TANF Benefits: A 686 case (2,399 person) increase resulted in a total 47,286 families (126,129 persons) receiving TANF benefits in February. The caseload was 5.8 percent lower than the February 2014 total.
  • "0" Grant Cases: There were 4,178 "0" grant cases (11,665 persons) included this month, up 74 cases and 137 persons from January 2015.
  • TANF-Basic: TANF-Basic (primarily single-parent) families rose by 601 (2,010 persons) in February to 45,461 cases (118,195 persons).
  • Two-Parent Cases: Two-parent cases rose by 85 to a 1,825 total in February 2015. The number of persons increased by 389 to 7,934.

TANF Program Detail

  • Applications: The number of TANF applications received in February rose by 136 to a total of 9,319. New applications increased while re-applications decreased. Receipts included 7,917 applications for the Basic sector and 1,402 applications for the two-parent sector. There were 3,035 applications pending for the combined program this month, an increase of 226 from January levels.
  • Approvals: There were 2,092 assistance approvals this month, including 1,372 new grants (down 180 from January 2015) and 720 reinstatements (down 93). A reinstatement is defined as approval of any case that was active within the previous 24 months.

Reasons for Case Openings

There were 2,390 February 2015 TANF openings for which reasons were available, down 71 from the January level. This total includes 2,244 cases from the Basic sector and 146 cases from the two-parent sector. Reasons for opening cases included the following:

Reinstatement after remedying Previous non-cooperation 2.2
Living below agency standards 78.6
Loss of employment 0.5
Loss of other benefits 5.9
Parent leaving home 0.2
Increased medical needs 4.3
Loss of unemployment benefits 0.2
All other reasons 8.2

Reasons for Case Closings

Reasons were available for 4,290 February 2015 TANF case closings - up by 3,619 cases from January. Closing numbers for February are higher than normal due to possible processing changes. This total includes 4,063 cases from the Basic sector and 227 cases from the two-parent sector. Reasons for closing cases included the following:

Earned Income 30.3
Other Financial 5.6
Non-compliance* 36.9
Non-financial 27.2

*52 cases canceled in January 2015 for non-compliance related reasons were reinstated by February after complying. These cases had no break in assistance.

Assistance to the Aged, Blind or Disabled (AABD)

The total number of February 2015 AABD cases was down 1,038 or 3.8 percent from the number of cases a year earlier. The decrease was largely attributable to Disability Assistance, where the number of cases fell 823 or 3.7 percent from February 2014 levels.

  • One-Person AABD Cases: One-person cases receiving grants through AABD fell by 185 in February to a total of 26,598. This total includes 4,780 persons who qualified for Old Age Assistance; 103 persons who qualified for Blind Assistance; and 21,715 persons who qualified for Disability Assistance.
  • "0" Grant Status: The number of persons in "0" grant status fell by 30 to 1,523.
  • State Supplemental Payments: The number of individuals receiving State Supplemental Payments fell by 155 to 25,075.

Medical Assistance - No Grant

Family Health Plan customers were responsible for a monthly increase of 17,229 cases receiving Medical Assistance in February 2015. Persons increased by 21,942. This resulted in a program total of 1,786,621 cases (3,059,035 persons). Of the total, 70,930 MANG cases and 106,195 MANG persons were in Kid Care, Disabled Worker, Breast and Cervical Cancer, and Department of Correction offices first included in July 2014. AABD MANG cases in these offices totaled 12,543. Additional FHP cases totaled 58,387. Additional FHP persons totaled 93,652.

  • MANG: MANG recipients represent 86 percent of total cases and 87 percent of total persons. MANG cases increased 40.0 percent from their February 2014 levels, when they represented 78 percent of all cases.
  • Family Health Plans: Families increased by 20,627 to 1,278,838 from January to February 2015. Persons increased by 25,340 to 2,551,252. Two groups newly-eligible under the Affordable Care Act are responsible for much of the increase. The first group is Single Adults age 19 through 64, not otherwise eligible for other Medical Assistance with income at or below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Also added are Persons age 18 through 26 who were receiving Medicaid benefits when aged out of State Foster Care and who are not otherwise FHP or AABD clients.
  • AABD Clients: AABD customers who were categorically qualified for Medical Only fell by 3,572 to 466,921 one-person cases. AABD Group Care clients totaled 62,026.
  • Foster Care: Foster Care Assistance aided 40,862 children during this time period.

Applications - All Programs

In February 2015, application receipts for all programs excluding SNAP increased by 20,369 to a total of 154,594. This count includes: 144,673 applications for Medical Assistance, 9,319 for TANF, and 602 for AABD grants. SNAP applications received through Intake and Income Maintenance decreased by 16,620 to 134,806.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

  • SNAP Assistance was given to 1,064,507 Illinois households (2,048,833 persons) in February 2015. This is an increase of 6.8 percent (68,231 households) from February 2014 levels.
  • Of this total, 844,890 households (1,762,077 persons) also received cash or medical benefits through other public assistance programs. This is an increase of 20.0 percent (141,079 households) from February 2014 levels.
  • A total of 219,617 households (286,756 persons) received Non-Assistance SNAP in February 2015. This is a 24.9 percent (72,848 household) decrease from February 2014 levels.

All Kids (KidCare)

  • All Kids, which began in January 1998, extends Medical coverage by expanding income eligibility standards (based upon the Federal Poverty Level) for pregnant women, infants born to Medical-eligible pregnant women, and certain other children under the age of 19.
  • Between January 5, 1998 and February 1, 2015 a total of 99,110 TANF-Medical Only persons were enrolled in All Kids Phase I due to this expansion of eligibility. Included in this total are 6,344 in the Moms and Babies program and 92,766 in the Assist program.
  • Cases ineligible for Medicaid due to excess income may be eligible for All Kids Phase II. October 1998 was the first month of enrollment. Phase II also requires co-pays and sometimes premiums. All Kids Share and All Kids Premium provide essentially the same benefits as Medical Assistance. A total of 17,912 Share and 31,204 Premium persons had enrolled by February 1.


Program Cases Persons
TANF (PAYMENT CASES) 43,108 114,464
ZERO GRANTS TANF 4,178 11,665
ZERO GRANTS AABD 1,523 1,523
FAMILY HEALTH PLANS 1,278,838 2,551,252
AABD MANG 466,921 466,921
NON-ASSISTANCE SNAP 219,617 286,756
FOSTER CARE 40,862 40,862
TOTAL 2,080,802 3,499,209

Child Care

Child Care Services are available to families with income below 50 percent of the state median. Families must be working or enrolled in approved education or training activities. Families cost-share with co-payments based on income, family size and number of children in care. 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 2015, an estimated 110,033 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 2015, an estimated 7,135 children were served by contract.
  • The Migrant Head Start Program provides child care and health and social services for preschool children of migrant and seasonal farm workers. Services are provided by local community based agencies. The program is federally funded and serves approximately 450 children during the harvest season.

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 5,461 households in shelters during October-December 2014. Of those 970 were households with children.
  • The Emergency Food Program served 1,155,361 households from October-December 2014.
  • The Homeless Prevention Program helps families in existing homes and helps others secure affordable housing. During October-December 2014, 1,331 households were served. Of those, 866 were families (Households with children under age 18).
  • The Supportive Housing Program funds governments and agencies which serve families and transitional facility residents. In October-December 2014, 611,357 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. During October-December 2014, 1,272 clients had received instruction and 1,170 were assisted with their citizenship applications.
  • Of the refugees served, 371 entered employment, and 388 retained jobs 90 days. The average wage earned was $9.41 an hour.
  • The Outreach and Interpretation project assures access to IDHS benefits. In the October-December 2014 quarter, 18,255 clients received case management, 2,964 received interpreter service, and 9,538 received translation service.

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 an estimated 496 customers during the October-December 2014 quarter.
  • The Estimated Donated Funds Initiative aided 12,625 customers with 73,230 rides provided for Seniors during the October-December 2014 quarter.

Early Intervention (EI)

The Illinois Early Intervention (EI) program serves infants and toddlers birth to 3 years old with developmental delays or disabilities and their family in 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 20,000 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 with Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs).

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 assistive technology. Evaluations, assessments, service plan development and service coordination are provided to families as no cost. Ongoing EI services are paid for by public insurance (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

Indicator December 2014 SFY 2015 Average SFY 2014 Average SFY 2013 Average
Referrals 2,356 2,754 2,839 2,592
Active IFSP's 21,249 20,925 20,342 19,662
0-3 Participation Rate 4.17% 4.10% 3.99% 3.96%
Under 1 Participation Rate 1.24% 1.25% 1.24% 1.07%
% With Medicaid 60.1% 60.3% 61.1% 48.90%
% With Insurance 35.4% 35.5% 34.5% 36.70%
% With Fees 28.0% 28.2% 27.7% 27.40%

What's New in EI

As part of the Part C (Early Intervention) Annual Performance Report (APR) submission for February 2015, a new Indicator calls for states to develop a State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP). The SSIP is a comprehensive, multi-year plan based upon detailed data and infrastructure analysis. The plan will identify a focus for improvement and describe improvement strategies that will lead to a measurable child-based result. Strategies will support CFC offices and early intervention providers in implementing, scaling-up, and sustaining evidence-based practices that will result in improved outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. In February 2016, the EI Program will report on Phase II of the SSIP, which will identify changes to infrastructure, resources needed, expected outcomes, timeliness for completing improvement activities, and an evaluation plan.

Women Infants and Children (WIC)

The purpose of WIC is to provide nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and support, nutritious food 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 for the last 16 years. In order 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

Eligibility Category Clients in December 2014
Pregnant Women 26,815
Breastfeeding Women 17,015
Postpartum Women 17,706
Infants 70,269
Children 126,988

What's New in WIC

Participant Centered Services (PCS) are being cultivated throughout the Illinois WIC Program. PCS is a comprehensive, outcome-based model developed by Altarum Institute to promote the adoption of positive nutrition- and health-related behaviors by Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) families. PCS is a comprehensive systems change model for participant interaction that touches upon all aspects of WIC functions and service delivery. PCS puts the participant at the core of WIC service delivery and targets the most important determinants of behavior change: self-efficacy, skill building, and readiness to change. PCS focuses on a person's capacities, strengths and developmental needs, rather than solely on problems, risks or negative behaviors.

Within the PCS framework, the participant and the WIC staff form a partnership to engage in interactive discussions based on the particular needs and circumstances of the participant. This approach contrasts with the traditional, didactic WIC assessment and education model, which places the nutrition educator in an authoritative position, providing information and direction to the participant. Although the didactic approach is somewhat successful in delivering information and increasing nutrition knowledge, it is less effective at promoting real behavior change.

Family Case Management

The program target population is low income families (below 200% of the federal poverty level) with a pregnant woman, an infant or a child with a high-risk condition. 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-child care. The program works with community agencies to address barriers to accessing medical services, such as child care, 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 a public health nurse are provided to the families of infants with medical problems.

Program Statistics

Category Medicaid Non-Medicaid
Cook County
Children 7,694 1,081
Infants 20,538 2,825
Pregnant 10,522 1,356
Children 9,511 1,119
Infants 34,572 3,718
Pregnant 16,598 1,603
Children 17,205 2,200
Infants 55,110 6,543
Pregnant 27,120 2,959

Program Accomplishments

Family Case Management has contributed to the overall reduction in the state's infant mortality and has reduced expenditures for medical assistance during the first year of life. Program outcomes are more effective in the integrated system of Family Case Management and WIC. Recent statistics show:

  • The infant mortality rate is 50 to 70% lower
  • The rate of premature birth is 60 to 70% lower
  • Medicaid expenditures for health care in the first year of life are up to 50% lower
  • Participation in WIC and FCM saves Illinois an average of $200 million each year in Medicaid expenses

Bureau of Program & Performance Management

April 2015