The program is for persons who are aged, blind, or disabled and who need money. A person may be eligible for AABD if they:
- Receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or are ineligible for SSI due to income or are ineligible for SSI due to the expiration of federal time limit on assistance to certain immigrants who have not yet become U.S. citizens.
- Are a U.S. citizen or meet specific requirements for noncitizens
- Live in Illinois
- Are 65 years or older, blind, or disabled
When determining eligibility for AABD, the Department exempts certain assets up to a specific dollar amount. The Department also exempts:
- Burial space, such as crypt, casket, vault, marker, the lot, or opening/closing the grave
- Certain funds and prearranged plans for burial, cremation, or funeral expenses
The Department of Human Services has the legal right to recover the amount of assistance a person receives through the AABD program.
DHS compares your income and needs to decide if you are eligible to get AABD, and what your payment amount will be.
DHS does not look at what you pay for your needs but has set allowances for certain kinds of needs, like shelter, utilities, food, clothing, and others. You may qualify for one or more of these allowances if you pay for these costs.
DHS then add your sources of income. Certain payments do not count as income, like earned income tax credit and energy assistance payments.
After adding up income from countable sources, DHS subtracts $25 from the total, and if you work, DHS will subtract work-related other work-related expenses as income.
Whatever is left after subtracting expenses will be considered your countable income.
If the total needs allowances you qualify for are greater than your countable income, you may be eligible for an AABD cash grant.
Assets and eligibility for AABD
DHS will also decide if your assets, or property, are below the allowable limits. You are not eligible if you own assets worth $2,000 or more. The asset limit amount is increased to $3,000 if you are living with a spouse or other dependent person and is further increased by $50 for each additional dependent.
DHS will not count certain assets at all. These are called exempt assets, and include the following:
- The family home
- Clothing, personal effects, and household furnishings (up to $2,000 total equity value)
- One automobile
- Life insurance policies with a total face value of $1,500 or less, and all term life insurance policies
- Burial spaces which are intended for the use of the adult, his or her spouse, and another immediate family member, and
- Funds set aside for the burial expenses of the adult and his or her spouse (up to a limit of $1,500 each)
Regulations establish the minimum prices, called allowances, which you need to meet the costs of housing, utilities, clothing, laundry, household supplies, personal essentials, food, and transportation. If your income is not enough to meet these minimum living expenses, then DHS will give you an AABD grant to make up the difference.
Assistance amounts vary based on income and needs, but the minimum payment is $1, and generally, payments do not exceed around $70 if the person is receiving SSI.
Updated: May 2018