March 2015 - Just the Facts

March 2015 - Just the Facts (pdf)


Total cases receiving Public Assistance in Illinois rose by 18,344 in March 2015. Family Health Plan cases were responsible for the increase. The number of persons rose by 14,546. Aided cases numbered 2,099,146 (3,513,755 persons), up 26.0 percent from year-earlier totals.

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)


  • Total TANF Benefits: A 866 case (2,146 person) decrease resulted in a total 46,420 families (123,984 persons) receiving TANF benefits in March. The caseload was 6.0 percent lower than the March 2014 total.
  • "0" Grant Cases: There were 4,133 "0" grant cases (11,696 persons) included this month, down 45 cases and up 31 persons from February 2015.
  • TANF-Basic: TANF-Basic (primarily single-parent) families fell by 812 (1,994 persons) in March to 44,649 cases (116,201 persons).
  • Two-Parent Cases: Two-parent cases fell by 54 to a 1,771 total in March 2015. The number of persons decreased by 151 to 7,783.

TANF Program Detail

  • Applications: The number of TANF applications received in March fell by 826 to a total of 8,493. Both new applications and re-applications decreased. Receipts included 7,338 applications for the Basic sector and 1,155 applications for the two-parent sector. There were 2,095 applications pending for the combined program this month, a decrease of 940 from February levels.
  • Approvals: There were 1,843 assistance approvals this month, including 1,245 new grants (down 127 from February 2015) and 598 reinstatements (down 122). A reinstatement is defined as approval of any case that was active within the previous 24 months.

Reasons for Case Openings

There were 2,039 March 2015 TANF openings for which reasons were available, down 351 from the February level. This total includes 1,931 cases from the Basic sector and 108 cases from the two-parent sector. Reasons for opening cases included the following:

Reinstatement after remedying Previous non-cooperation 2.6
Living below agency standards 76.7
Loss of employment 0.5
Loss of other benefits 7.7
Parent leaving home 0.0
Increased medical needs 5.3
Loss of unemployment benefits 0.4
All other reasons 6.7

Reasons for Case Closings

Reasons were available for 2,983 March 2015 TANF case closings - down by 1,307 cases from February. Closing numbers for February were higher than normal due to possible processing changes. This total includes 2,817 cases from the Basic sector and 166 cases from the two-parent sector. Reasons for closing cases included the following:

Earned Income 35.5
Other Financial 3.1
Non-compliance* 35.6
Non-financial 25.8

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

Assistance to the Aged, Blind or Disabled (AABD)

The total number of March 2015 AABD cases was down 761 or 2.8 percent from the number of cases a year earlier. The decrease was largely attributable to Disability Assistance, where the number of cases fell 612 or 2.7 percent from March 2014 levels.

  • One-Person AABD Cases: One-person cases receiving grants through AABD fell by 76 in March to a total of 26,522. This total includes 4,768 persons who qualified for Old Age Assistance; 105 persons who qualified for Blind Assistance; and 21,649 persons who qualified for Disability Assistance.
  • "0" Grant Status: The number of persons in "0" grant status rose by 45 to 1,568.
  • State Supplemental Payments: The number of individuals receiving State Supplemental Payments fell by 121 to 24,954.

Medical Assistance - No Grant

Family Health Plan customers were responsible for a monthly increase of 22,934 cases receiving Medical Assistance in March 2015. Persons increased by 20,963. This resulted in a program total of 1,809,555 cases (3,079,998 persons). Of the total, 71,787 MANG cases and 106,880 MANG persons were in Kid Care, Disabled Worker, Breast and Cervical Cancer, and Department of Correction programs first included in July 2014. AABD MANG cases in these offices totaled 12,608. Additional FHP cases totaled 59,179. Additional FHP persons totaled 94,272.

  • MANG: MANG recipients represent 86 percent of both total cases and total persons. MANG cases increased 39.0 percent from their March 2014 levels, when they represented 78 percent of all cases.
  • Family Health Plans: Families increased by 26,495 to 1,305,333 from February to March 2015. Persons increased by 24,524 to 2,575,776. 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 3,799 to 463,162 one-person cases. AABD Group Care clients totaled 61,653.
  • Foster Care: Foster Care Assistance aided 41,060 children during this time period.

Applications - All Programs

In March 2015, application receipts for all programs excluding SNAP decreased by 40,091 to a total of 114,503. This count includes: 105,341 applications for Medical Assistance, 8,493 for TANF, and 669 for AABD grants. SNAP applications received through Intake and Income Maintenance increased by 14,695 to 149,501.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

  • SNAP Assistance was given to 1,069,312 Illinois households (2,060,572 persons) in March 2015. This is an increase of 5.3 percent (54,291 households) from March 2014 levels.
  • Of this total, 853,322 households (1,777,995 persons) also received cash or medical benefits through other public assistance programs. This is an increase of 17.2 percent (125,577 households) from March 2014 levels.
  • A total of 215,990 households (282,577 persons) received Non-Assistance SNAP in March 2015. This is a 24.8 percent (71,226 household) decrease from March 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 March 1, 2015 a total of 102,072 TANF-Medical Only persons were enrolled in All Kids Phase I due to this expansion of eligibility. Included in this total are 6,679 in the Moms and Babies program and 95,393 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 17,090 Share and 31,264 Premium persons had enrolled by March 1.


Program Cases Persons
TANF (PAYMENT CASES) 42,287 112,288
ZERO GRANTS TANF 4,133 11,696
ZERO GRANTS AABD 1,568 1,568
FAMILY HEALTH PLANS 1,305,333 2,575,776
AABD MANG 463,162 463,162
NON-ASSISTANCE SNAP 215,990 282,577
FOSTER CARE 41,060 41,060
TOTAL 2,099,146 3,513,755

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 March 2015, an estimated 165,997 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 March 2015, an estimated 7,201 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 21,000 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 March 2015 SFY 2015 Average SFY 2014 Average SFY 2013 Average
Referrals 3,205 2,754 2,839 2,592
Active IFSP's 21,405 20,925 20,342 19,662
0-3 Participation Rate 4.20% 4.10% 3.99% 3.96%
Under 1 Participation Rate 1.35% 1.25% 1.24% 1.07%
% With Medicaid 59.4% 60.3% 61.1% 48.90%
% With Insurance 35.9% 35.5% 34.5% 36.70%
% With Fees 27.1% 28.2% 27.7% 27.40%

What's New in EI

Illinois submitted the first State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) this spring. 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 January 2015
Pregnant Women 26,372
Breastfeeding Women 16,746
Postpartum Women 17,600
Infants 69,599
Children 123,487

What's New in WIC

In preparation for WIC Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), which USDA has mandated by 2020, readiness activities are underway. Training is being provided to all WIC local agency providers on MIS changes which will allow grouping of WIC participants in the same family and synchronization of base dates. Both of these changes will facilitate readiness for EBT. Procurement for an EBT developer is in process.

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

FCM Active Participant Counts for March 2014

Category Medicaid Non-Medicaid
Cook County
Children 7,218 1,123
Infants 20,264 2,614
Pregnant 10,443 1,244
Children 9,346 1,198
Infants 34,883 3,403
Pregnant 16,554 1,665
Children 16,564 2,321
Infants 55,147 6,017
Pregnant 26,697 2,909

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

May 2015