Senior Citizens Handbook - Supportive Living Program

Senior Citizens Handbook - Supportive Living Program

Last updated: March 2009

(Chapter 4 Section 4 of Senior Citizens Handbook)

What It Is: Supportive Living Facilities (SLFs) provide an alternative to nursing home care for low-income frail elderly (age 65 and older) or persons with disabilities (age 22 and older). They combine apartment-style housing with personal care and other services. The aim of the Program is to preserve privacy and promote independence, personal choice and dignity, while emphasizing the health of each individual. For Medicaid-eligible seniors, Medicaid pays for all facility services except room and board, and SLF’s cannot charge more than the SSI rate (minus a personal allowance) for room and board.

Where To Apply: Contact the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) for more information or if you have questions regarding a supportive living facility. See contact information and website listed at the end of this Section. The website has a list of operating SLFs.

Who May Be Eligible: Any resident of Illinois, who meets the age requirement, who does not have tuberculosis or a primary or secondary diagnosis of a developmental disability or a serious and persistent mental illness, and who undergoes pre-admission screening and is found in need of nursing facility level of care (Medicaid-eligible residents). The resident must have income of at least the current allowable amount of SSI.

What is a Supportive Living Facility?

A Supportive Living Facility (“SLF”) is a residential setting that meets certain legal requirements. In order to operate, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) (formerly, Department of Public Aid) must approve and certify the facility.

The supportive living program is designed to offer assisted living to the elderly and to persons with physical disabilities, both from the private sector and those who are Medicaid-eligible. SLFs are designed for those who do not need the full spectrum of nursing facility care, but who may find it difficult to live safely in their own home. Supportive living offers a special combination of housing, meals and activities, as well as health-related and personalized care services, supervised on a 24-hour basis.

The SLF’s must design their mission, their service programs and the physical environment to maximize residents’ dignity, privacy, personal choice and independence. They must encourage residents’ involvement with both family and community.

Residents pay for the housing component with Social Security or other personal funds. Currently, the state’s Medicaid program pays for the medical care (and other services) component for about 60% of the residents. The rest are considered “private pay.”

If an SLF has different rates for Medicaid and private pay, the SLF must reserve not less than 25% of its apartments for Medicaid residents. If the rate is the same for both private pay and Medicaid residents, the SLF is not required to reserve apartments for Medicaid residents but must accept Medicaid residents on a first come, first served basis.

ADVOCACY TIP
The level of care provided by a supportive living facility (SLF) is very similar to the level of care provided in an assisted living facility (ALF). The primary difference between them is that there is no source of public payment available for care in an ALF.

An SLF can be for persons 65 and older, or for persons with disabilities between ages 22 and 64. No single facility can have both populations. At the time this Section was written, there were 100 operating SLFs in the State, with about 7,800 units. Of these, only three (3) operating SLFs are for the age 22-64 group. The rest are for the age 65 and older group. There were an additional 57 approved sites still under development.

Who Is Eligible to Live in an SLF?

An SLF may admit or retain you as a resident if you meet the following requirements:

  • You must be 22 years or over with a disability (as determined by the Social Security Administration) or elderly (age 65 years or over).
  • You must be pre-screened by HFS to make sure that you are in need of nursing facility level of care and that your needs can be met through the services the SLF provides. In order to be admitted, you typically will have a score of between 29-47 on the Determination of Need (DON) screening tool and need assistance in one or more activities of daily living.
  • HFS will then conduct Level of Care Reviews on an annual basis using a somewhat different tool. If you do not meet the score of at least “10” on that tool, you must be discharged.

Private pay individuals may choose to be admitted into an SLF when the screening assessment does not justify nursing facility level of care. However, HFS must use the DON to screen private pay residents who want convert to Medicaid while living in an SLF and must find them to be in need of nursing facility level of care before Medicaid payment can be authorized.
 

  • You cannot have been diagnosed as having a primary or secondary “developmental disability” or a serious and persistent mental illness.

A “developmental disability” is defined as a disability which is attributable to mental retardation or a related condition.

  • You must be tested to make sure you do not have tuberculosis.

If you are a Medicaid recipient living in an SLF, you cannot also receive services from the Department on Aging’s Community Care Program or the Department of Human Services’ Home Services Program.

Physical Requirements for Supportive Living Facilities

Structural Requirements

SLF’s must be safe and comfortable. To be certified by HFS, they must meet acceptable standards, as discussed below.

In terms of building construction, they must conform to applicable building and fire codes. They must meet the accessibility standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. There cannot be any apartments below grade level. Any facility with 2 or more stories must have one elevator available for your use. If there are more than 75 units in the building, there must be at least 2 elevators.

Apartments can be for single occupancy or double occupancy. Each apartment in an SLF must have:

• Individually controlled heating and air conditioning;
• Sufficient lighting (including well-lit corridors and stairwells);
• A door that locks from the inside;
• A separate private bathroom that includes a toilet with grab bars, a sink, a bathtub or shower stall with grab bars, hot and cold water;
• Private telephone lines;
• Access to cable TV or a satellite dish;
• A kitchen sink, microwave oven or stove and refrigerator with a separate freezer compartment;
• Locked mailboxes;
• Closet space of given dimensions;
• Doors that are wheelchair accessible, and entrance doors that lock from the outside, open onto a public corridor and are equipped with an Eye-viewer;
• Windows large enough to permit viewing outside and at least one with a sill height that permits viewing from a seated position; and
• An Emergency Call System, with at least two electronic devices available in each apartment to enable the resident to get help in an emergency. A device must be located in each bathroom and each bedroom.

The SLF also must have electronic devices available in each common area, each public restroom, each common bathing room and each resident laundry room to enable residents to secure help in an emergency.

A nursing home can operate an SLF, but if they do, they must use a distinct part of the existing facility, separate and apart from the rest of the nursing home, and must operate the SLF as a distinct entity. In all other SLFs, all of the apartments must be devoted to SLF residents.

For SLFs approved after October 18, 2004, facilities must offer a separate bedroom for each unrelated occupant.

Requirements for Common Areas

Each SLF must comply with requirements for social and recreation areas, kitchen and dining areas, public restrooms, laundry rooms and housekeeping/ maintenance areas. Each SLF must have:

  • Common areas that are all designed to meet resident needs, and available to all residents for use at any time;
  • Free ice in at least one common area;
  • At least one common bathing room with door locks to ensure privacy;
  • At least one public restroom that is clean and well-supplied;
  • At least one common area with a telephone that allows residents and others to conduct private conversations;
  • At least two common areas;
  • A clean and sanitary, full on-site service kitchen where food is prepared each day and served at appropriate temperatures in a clean and sanitary central dining area;
  • A laundry room with a hand-washing sink and at least one clothes washer and dryer for resident use at no cost, and which supplies detergent and fabric softener to the residents at no cost; and
  • A well-ventilated smoking area separate from other common areas (unless smoking is prohibited) that assures that non-smoking areas remain smoke-free.

All of the above common areas must be handicapped accessible, including for persons in wheelchairs.

What Does It Cost?

In addition to the costs for room and board, there is a separate rate for the other services that the SLF provides. This rate is based on the geographic location of the SLF and is paid by HFS.

Room and Board

For Medicaid residents, the SLF cannot charge more for room and board than the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) rate, minus a $90 personal allowance. This charge can be increased only when the SSI amount is increased, and in an amount no greater than the amount of the SSI increase.

In Single Occupancy Units

The SLF must give each Medicaid resident $90 per month as a deduction from his or her income, for the resident’s personal use. The SLF may charge each Medicaid resident no more than the current SSI rate for a single individual, minus the $90.

In Double Occupancy Units

If a Medicaid eligible resident shares an apartment, the Medicaid resident must be given $90 per month as a deduction from his or her income for personal use. The SLF may charge each Medicaid resident no more than the resident’s share of the current SSI rate for a couple, minus the $90.

The room and board rate for two Medicaid eligible individuals sharing an apartment cannot be more than the SSI rate for a married couple. This is true even if the two people sharing an apartment are unrelated.

If one or both of the people sharing an apartment is not Medicaid eligible, the SLF may negotiate its own room and board rate with any non-Medicaid individual.

All residents continue to be responsible for room and board charges during any absence from the facility, even those for hospitalizations or vacations.

Charges for Other Services

The SLF can negotiate a rate for services with “private pay” residents. However, the SLFs often offer the same rate as they impose for Medicaid residents.

Medicaid will pay the SLFs for services provided to Medicaid residents. SLFs must accept the Medicaid rate as payment in full for all services provided to Medicaid residents (except meals). Meals are included in the room and board amount paid by the resident. SLFs are not allowed to accept any additional payment, except as noted below.

Whether the Medicaid resident lives in a single occupancy unit or a double occupancy unit, the SLF will apply any extra income of the resident as follows: If the Medicaid resident has any income left after deduction of the $90 personal allowance and the room and board charges, the SLF must first apply that income towards medical expenses not covered by Medicaid. If there is still any income left after that, the remaining income is retained by the SLF to offset HFS’s payment.

If a Medicaid resident is working, the resident may keep $50 per month of employment income, in addition to the $90 personal allowance. Any additional monthly employment income must be turned over to the facility.

If a Medicaid resident receives food stamps, the SLF can require that the food stamps be turned over to the facility.

If a Medicaid resident is temporarily absent from the SLF for reasons such as vacations or hospitalizations, HFS will continue to pay the SLF for services. However, HFS will pay for no more than 30 days per State fiscal year (July 1 -June 30) during a Medicaid resident’s temporary absence from the SLF. If the absence extends beyond that time, the resident must pay for services. In the discretion of the SLF, they may allow a Medicaid resident additional days before the resident must pay for services. If so, those additional days should be stated in the contract.

What Services Must the SLF Provide?

In General

An SLF must combine housing with personal and health related services and both community and social activities, in response to your individual needs. Supportive services must be available 24 hours per day to meet both scheduled and unscheduled needs. SLFs must provide these services in a way that promotes resident self-direction and participation in decision-making. They must also provide services in a way that emphasize independence, individuality, privacy, dignity and autonomy.

Assessment and Service Plan

Interview

The SLF must conduct a standardized interview to determine your service needs at or before the time you first move in.

Initial Assessment

The SLF must complete an initial assessment and service plan within 24 hours after you move in. This is done to identify potential immediate problems. A registered nurse must complete or co-sign each assessment.

Comprehensive Resident Assessment

The SLF must complete a Comprehensive Resident Assessment Investment (RAI) within 14 days after you move in. Thereafter, the SLF must complete a new RAI every year. A registered nurse must complete or co-sign each RAI.

Service Plan

Within 7 days after the SLF completes an RAI, a registered nurse must develop or co-sign a written service plan. The nurse should get input from you and your designated representative. The Plan should identify:

  • All services you are to receive, including those delivered by an outside entity;
  • A description of expected outcomes, approaches, frequency and duration of services and whether the services will be provided by licensed or unlicensed staff; and
  • Any services recommended by the SLF that you have refused.
Quarterly Evaluation

A registered nurse must complete or co-sign a quarterly evaluation of your health status. The nurse must use a specific HFS form.

The SLF must review and update the service plan every quarter and whenever your needs or preferences change. If the SLF staff observes any change in your mental or physical status, the SLF manager or licensed nurse must alert you, your physician, and your designated representative, within 24 hours after the observation. Serious or life-threatening situations should be reported to the physician and designated representative immediately.

Nursing and Personal Care Services

A licensed nurse must provide the following services when needed:

  • Administering your medications when you are unable to administer them yourself;
  • Medication set-up (such as preparing weekly pill caddies with that week’s medication) and follow-up care; and
  • Removing medication from the container and helping you take or apply the medication when you ask for this help.

Example: placing a dose in a container and placing the container to your mouth.

Other nursing services can be done by other staff under the supervision of a registered nurse. Those services include:

  • Giving you helpful health information and disease prevention counseling; and
  • Teaching self-care in meeting routine and special health care needs.

Certified nursing assistants can deliver certain personal care services without supervision. These services include bathing, eating, ambulation, transfer, as well as personal hygiene, grooming and toileting.

Medication Oversight and Assistance in Self-Administration

An SLF must also do the following:

  • Remind you to take your medications;
  • Take medication from where it is stored in the apartment and hand it to you when you so request; and
  • Open or uncap medication containers for physically impaired residents.

Only a licensed nurse can actually help you take or apply the medication. Certified nursing assistants are not permitted to do so under the law.

Meals

An SLF must provide the following to you:

  • At least 3 meals per day, or 2 meals per day (noon and evening meals) and a breakfast bar, and must include therapeutic diets ordered by your doctor;
  • A daily food allowance that follows the recommendations of the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council;
  • Beverages, including coffee, fruit juice and snack foods, at no cost;
  • Written menus with the same menu options as are offered to all residents regardless of payment source, and on cycles that are not repeated within one week’s time;
  • Food that is stored, prepared, and served in a way to protect against spoilage and served at safe and palatable temperatures; and
  • A sanitary and adequate supply of eating and drinking utensils.

If you want to store and prepare food in your own apartment, you have the right to do so, as long as that does not represent a health or safety hazard to others. If you have a documented period of illness, the SLF must provide you with a meal service in your apartment for a limited time.

Laundry

If you so request, the SLF must provide laundry services to Medicaid-eligible at no charge. The SLF must provide for the appropriate handling, cleaning and storage of not just of routine personal laundry, but also laundry soiled with body secretions and all other laundry. Laundry service does not include dry cleaning services.

If you want to do your own laundry, the SLF must provide on-site laundry equipment for your use that meets the requirements noted above. Laundry detergent and fabric softener must also be supplied by the SLF at no cost to the resident. 

Social and Recreational Programs

Each SLF must provide the following services:

  • Involving residents to do volunteer work or otherwise to become integrated into their communities;
  • Hold social or recreational programs at least twice weekly, both on-site as well as off-site trips, providing transportation for scheduled activities off-site; and
  • Access to opportunities for scheduled and unscheduled individual and group social activities within the SLF and in the larger community.

24 Hour Response/Security Staff

The SLF must have response/security staff, as follows:

  • They must be awake and available on the premises 24 hours a day to respond to scheduled or unpredictable needs and emergency calls;
  • They must have certification in emergency resuscitation; and
  • There must be at least one security staff person if the SLF has up to 75 apartments, but two security staff if the SLF has more than 75 apartments.

Other Services

Each SLF must provide other services, as well, including:

Housekeeping

Each SLF must provide general housekeeping services at least weekly (house cleaning, bed making, changing of linens, dusting and vacuuming). It must also maintain all public areas and common bath rooms in a clean and orderly condition.

Maintenance

Each SLF must keep all apartments in good repair, and the building and grounds clean and free of hazards, with all systems kept in good working order.

Ancillary Services

The SLF must provide transportation for scheduled group shopping. If you are temporarily unable to shop, the SLF must provide shopping help. At your request, they must also help you to get any needed services offered outside the SLF, to make medical appointments and to arrange for transportation to and from the doctor’s office.

Health Promotion and Exercise Programming

The SLF must offer and encourage the use of health and exercise programs for its residents. The SLF must develop programs to be held at least 3 times per week geared toward promoting better health and fitness of the residents. These programs are in addition to the social and recreational programming described above.

Daily Check

Each SLF must have a system to check on the welfare of each resident daily.

The Resident Contract

If you are moving into an SLF, you or your legal representative must sign a contract that specifies the terms of your agreement. The contract must be for a term not greater than one year and may be renewable if both parties agree. The contract must include (but need not be limited to) the following:

  • Information about the SLF services you will receive that are covered under Medicaid;
  • Arrangements for payment;
  • A grievance procedure;
  • The SLF’s agreement to comply with applicable federal, State and local laws and regulations;
  • The conditions under which you or the SLF may terminate the contract;
  • Rules for conduct and behavior of the staff, management and the resident; and
  • A list of resident rights as stated below.

The contract may include the agreement of the SLF to provide (for a fee), additional services such as barber or beauty services, or sundries for personal use and other amenities.

The contract must permit arrangements where two people want to share an apartment. This is true even if one of the two individuals is not eligible for SLF services, or even if the individuals are not married or related. If one of the individuals is not eligible for SLF services, the contract must provide that in the event of the eligible person’s death or discharge, the SLF must offer the ineligible resident the option to be released from the contract immediately or to remain in the SLF until the expiration of the term of the contract.

Resident Rights

As a resident, you have all rights guaranteed under the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Illinois, as well as under all federal, State and local statutes and the HFS administrative rules. Each SLF must inform every resident of all of the following rights.

Although some of these rights depend on your not disturbing or endangering others, you otherwise have the right to:

  • Be free from any kind of abuse, neglect or exploitation;
  • All housing and services for which you contracted and paid;
  • Have your records kept confidential and released only with your consent or by law;
  • Have access to your records with 48 hours notice (excluding weekends/ holidays);
  • Have your privacy respected;
  • Arrange and receive non-Medicaid covered services not available from the SLF at your own expense;
  • Be free of physical restraints unless required during an emergency; 
  • Control your time, space, and lifestyle;
  • Consume alcohol and use tobacco in accordance with SLF policy;
  • Have visitors of your choice;
  • Have roommates only by your choice;
  • Be treated at all times with courtesy, respect and full recognition of personal dignity and individuality;
  • Make and act upon your own decisions (except those to be made by a legal guardian);
  • Participate in developing, implementing and reviewing your service plans;
  • Keep personal possessions;
  • Store/ prepare food in your apartment;
  • Designate or accept a representative to act on your behalf;
  • Not be required to purchase additional services that are not part of the contract;
  • Be free to file grievances and be free from retaliation from the SLF; and
  • Refuse to receive or participate in any service or activity once the potential consequences of such refusal have been explained to you.

If you refuse services that the SLF deems necessary, the SLF may request that you or your designated representative sign a “negotiated risk agreement.” If so, you may request that others be present, such as the Ombudsman or an attorney, during the negotiated risk agreement discussion.

If you refuse to use recommended or needed services, you can stay in the SLF as long as you acknowledge that the decision to forgo those services was made against the advice of the SLF, family or health care professional and you must indemnify the SLF from any liability resulting from your decision.

Staffing

Manager

The SLF must have an experienced manager or a qualified designee present at the SLF during normal business hours. He or she must also be there whenever necessary to manage or administer any resident contracts. Also, the manager must designate a qualified person capable of acting in an emergency during his or her absence from the SLF. All staff must have access to the manager or the designee at all times.

Licensed and Certified Staff

There must be licensed and certified staff sufficient in number to meet the needs of all the residents. Any nurses on staff (employed or subcontracted) must be licensed by the State of Illinois.

The SLF must employ certified nursing assistants who are at least age 18 and have successfully completed no later than 120 days after employment a nursing assistant training course or a Department of Public Health approved equivalent training and competency evaluation.

The SLF must either employ or contract with a licensed dietitian who must be on-site at least twice per quarter. The SLF must consult the dietician with respect to all menu planning, food preparation and storage procedures, safety and sanitation and management of therapeutic diets.

Other Staff

The SLF must employ a minimum of one cook who shall have at least one year of experience in commercial food preparation. Twenty-four hour security staff must be at least 18 years old and have at least a high school diploma or a GED. Finally, the SLF must designate a trained staff person to be responsible for planning and directing social and recreational activities. This person must be at least 18 years old and have at least a high school diploma or a GED.

Discharge from the Facility

If you are discharged from the SLF, you are no longer bound by the contract. You can discharge yourself voluntarily or under certain circumstances, either the SLF or the HFS can discharge you.

Voluntary Discharges

If you want to discharge on a voluntary basis, you must give the SLF a written notice of your intent to discharge. You must give this notice at least 30 days before you leave, except where a delay would jeopardize your health, safety, and well-being or that of others.

Involuntary Discharge Rules

If the SLF decides to discharge you because you do not meet the terms for occupancy as stated in the contract, the SLF must have a meeting with you and your designated representative to discuss the reasons for the discharge. This meeting must take place before the SLF begins to discharge you. The SLF must document this discussion in your record.

The SLF must also give you a written notice of any proposed involuntary discharge. This notice must be given to you at least 30 days before the discharge goes into effect, unless such a delay might jeopardize your health, safety, and wellbeing or that of others. The SLF must place a copy of this notice in your record and must provide a copy of it to you and to your designated representative.

The notice must be on a specific HFS form and must contain all of the following:

  • The reason for the proposed discharge;
  • The effective date of the discharge;
  • A hearing request form, with a postage paid, pre-addressed envelope to HFS;
  • The name, address, and telephone number of the person charged with the responsibility of supervising the discharge; and
  • A statement in not less than 14-point type that explains your rights to appeal (see explanation of those rights below).

Emergency Discharges

The SLF is not required to send a 30 day notice to you if:

  • An attending physician has provided written orders and a medical justification explaining why an emergency discharge is mandated by your health care or mental health needs; or
  • The SLF deems an emergency discharge necessary to ensure your physical safety or that of other residents, and the SLF documents this need in your record.

Once an SLF decides to discharge you, they must make plans to assure that it is done in a safe and orderly manner and in a way that protects your health, safety, welfare and rights.

Reasons For Discharge

An SLF can discharge you only if one or more of the following occurs:

  • You pose an immediate threat to yourself or others;
  • You need mental health services to prevent harm to yourself or others;
  • You have breached the conditions of the contract;
  • The SLF has had its certification terminated, suspended, not renewed, or has voluntarily surrendered its certification;
  • The SLF cannot meet your needs with available support services;
  • You have been absent from the SLF for more than 30 days or for any longer period of time that the SLF permits; or
  • The SLF has sent you proper notice of failure to pay;

If failure to pay is the reason for discharge, you have the right to stay in the SLF if you make full payment any time up to the date of discharge.

Right to Appeal to HFS

You have the right to appeal the SLF’s decision to discharge you. You make this appeal to HFS on a form that the SLF must give you at the same time they give you the discharge notice. You must file your request for a hearing within ten (10) days after receiving the discharge notice. If you appeal, you have the right to stay in the SLF until HFS holds a hearing and makes a decision on your appeal (unless an emergency discharge situation arises).

HFS will schedule a hearing. An HFS hearing officer will have to determine whether an involuntary discharge is justified. The SLF has the burden of proving it.

If HFS decides the discharge is not justified, you may stay at the SLF. If HFS decides that an involuntary discharge is justified, then you must leave. However, the SLF cannot make you leave before the tenth day after they get the HFS decision (unless an emergency discharge situation arises).

ADVOCACY TIP
If you want assistance or representation in any appeal at HFS, you should contact the Ombudsman’s Office and your local legal services office, such as Prairie State Legal Services.

The HFS Can Discharge You Under Limited Circumstances

Under certain circumstances, HFS can discharge you from an SLF, even if the SLF takes no action themselves to discharge you. HFS may discharge you from an SLF only when:

  • HFS has terminated or suspended the SLF certification;
  • The SLF is closing or surrendering its certification and arrangement for your relocation has not been made at least 30 days before closure or surrender; or
  • HFS determines that an emergency exists which requires immediate discharge.

When HFS acts to discharge you for any of these reasons, you do not have the right to further appeals to HFS.

Appeals in Court

If HFS makes a decision that a discharge from an SLF is justified, and you want to further appeal that decision, you can file a lawsuit in Circuit Court. You should file that lawsuit within 35 days from the date of the HFS decision. By appropriate motion, you can ask the Court to allow you to stay in the SLF while the case is pending.

Relocation Assistance

If you get involuntarily discharged, the SLF must offer you relocation assistance. This includes information on available alternative placements. You or your designated representative have the right to be involved in planning the discharge and to choose among the available alternative placements. Where an emergency makes such involvement impossible, the SLF may arrange for a temporary placement until a final placement can be arranged. The SLF may offer assistance in relocating from a temporary to a final placement.

Proposed Amendments to the SLF

At the time of this publication, several proposed amendments to the SLF program rules have been planned, although it is unknown when the proposed rules will be filed. The proposed amendments would impact several sections of the rule including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Require one emergency call device in each bathroom and allow a second device to be located in each bedroom or through a system worn by the resident;
  • Allow unrelated occupants to share a single bedroom apartment if requested, and agreed upon by the occupants as long as minimum square footage required for double occupancy is met;
  • Common bathing room will no longer be required;
  • Require no less than one staff person for facilities with one to 75 residents, a second staff person for facilities with 76 to 150 residents, and a third staff person for facilities with 151 or more residents;
  • Require at least one certified nursing assistant on-site 24 hours a day to respond to resident needs;
  • Require each resident contract to contain provisions concerning food stamps, security deposits and temporary absence, including absences due to nursing facility admission;
  • Clarify discharge procedures; and
  • Add a section to allow SLFs to manage resident accounts.

Where to Go for More Information or to Complain

Statutes and Regulations

The Illinois Public Aid Code calls for the establishment of supportive living facilities (SLFs). 305 ILCS 5/5-5.01a. HFS has been approved for a federal waiver from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to allow for Medicaid to pay for home and community-based services. 305 ILCS 5/5-5a.

The SLF Rules can be found at 89 Illinois Administrative Code, Chapter 1, Sections 146.200 et. seq.

Information About Specific SLFs and Other Questions

If you want more information, or have questions regarding a particular SLF, you can contact the:

Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Bureau of Long Term Care:
Phone: 217-782-0545
Fax: 217-524-7114
Email: hfswebmaster@illinois.gov

To find more detailed information, you may visit the Illinois Supportive Living Program website. There, you will find a listing of approved and operational SLFs, as well as an SLF locator, by county. You may also find Fact Sheets about the Supportive Living Program, and various other information.

If you have a complaint about a specific SLF, your complaint will be investigated by HFS. You can call their Complaint Hotline at: 1-800-226-0768.

The Illinois Department on Aging has a Long Term Care Ombudsman Program that protects and promotes the rights and quality of life for people who reside in long term care facilities. This is done through regional ombudsmen who have a hands-on working relationship with the residents and staff of the facilities within their program areas. You can contact the Ombudsman Program whenever you need to:

  • report a problem or concern;
  • seek information about long term care facilities; or
  • get answers to questions about facility services or standards, resident rights or transfer and discharge.

To find the regional Ombudsman’s office near you, consult the Long Term Care Ombudsman Directory for names, addresses and phone numbers. 

Illinois Legal Aid Online

Legal information and forms are available.

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