Illinois TANF Application Information

The state of Illinois with the assistance of the federal government has instituted several programs aimed at providing cash assistance, for the financially underprivileged residents of the states. These Illinois cash assistance programs include:


TANF is a financial assistance program, by the federal government and state of Illinois that helps financially challenged residents to pay for food, shelter, utilities and other non medical fees. The services offered through TANF include:

  • Cash assistance to residents of Illinois, aimed at helping them meet their basic needs of food, shelter and clothing.
  • Services tailored to make families become independent. These are transitory in nature and include: vocational training, Basic English classes, child care help, and services that strengthen an individual's job retention ability among others.
  • TANF also provides screening for cases that stem from substance abuse, domestic violence and mental health. This involves providing the necessary referrals required to address these issues.

It should be noted that if one qualifies for TANF, he or she is also eligible for medical care and SNAP services.


The state of Illinois provides financial help to the Aged, Blind or Disabled through AABD. The services offered by AABD are basically in form of cash and medical care. However individuals who are eligible to AABD are also eligible for SNAP and they have access to the benefits of this program.


This is a tax refund that is meant to encourage hard workers in the state of Illinois. It can be thought of as money back in the pocket.

The services offered under EITC include:

  • State and federal Tax refunds
  • General tax help


The state of Illinois link card, helps individuals that receive cash and food assistance access their benefits. Every beneficiary is issued with one Illinois link card which can access all the benefits he or she is entitled to.

Eligibility Requirements


For one to be eligible for TANF, he or she must meet the following requirements:

  • Should live in the State of Illinois. However, homeless people in the State of Illinois still qualify.
  • Should be a US citizen, however, if your children are US citizens and you are an immigrant, you still qualify.
  • Should be pregnant or should have a minor (19 years and below) living with him or her.
  • Should be in possession of a responsibility and services plan (RSP)

It is important to note that even though some people meet all of the above requirements, they are still denied eligibility if:

  • They have been convicted of certain crimes or violated probation or parole.
  • They are proven to have withheld information relating to eligibility.
  • The person has exhausted five years worth of TANF benefits.

AABD Eligibility Requirements

One is eligible for AABD if:

  • He or she lives in the State of Illinois.
  • He or she is a US citizen or fulfills the special conditions for non-citizens.
  • He or she is either blind, older than 65 years, or disabled

EITC Eligibility Requirements

One is eligible for EITC if:

  • He or she meets the specified household earnings restrictions (see these restrictions on the DHS website)
  • Meets the condition set to determine which children qualify and household members that have social security number

TANF Application Instructions

There are three basic application methods for the Illinois Cash Assistance (TANF). These are:

Online Applications

Here the applicant visits the department of human services website, where he or she fills an online application form. The form is then processed and checked for eligibility. The application forms of the various financial assistance programs can be found at the Department of Human Services Website (

Apply in Person

One can go to the Illinois DHS where he or she will be given information on the available programs and would be provided with the requisite application forms to fill. This is helpful as you are able to get direct one-one help from the resourceful staff at the DHS.

You can locate your local Illinois Department of Human Services office at this site:

Apply by Phone

One can request information about the cash assistance program, and also request for application forms to be sent to him or her by calling the DHS's toll free number, given below:

1 (800) 843-6154 (voice) or 1 (800) 447-6404 (TTY)

These applications are followed by a request to the applicant to come to the family community resource centre (FCRC) for an interview. During the interview, your case worker asks you questions which are inputted into a computer. The case worker proceeds to print your responses and asks you to append a signature. This case worker is also entitled to ask for supporting documents such as child's birth certificate, in order to prove relations.

Typically, DHS takes about 45 days to process a cash assistance request.

Illinois TANF Office

Department of Human Services
100 South Grand Avenue East
3rd Floor
Springfield, IL 62762
(217) 557-1601