General Assistance (GA) is a program of “last resort.” This means that you can get GA only if you can’t get any other form of public benefits. GA programs must help people meet their basic living requirements. To qualify for GA, you must have very little income and assets.
The specific rules for your GA program depend on where in Illinois you live. Different local townships and county governments run GA programs. Each township has its own GA program and its own rules for its GA program. These rules decide who can get assistance and how much assistance a person can get.
Most of the townships follow a set of rules which you can find in the General Assistance Handbook for Local Governments. The handbooks are not available online but can be viewed at the local township GA office. To find your township, check the Illinois Township Supervisors website. Some townships follow Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) rules even though IDHS no longer pays for any GA programs.
Some counties may provide GA for veterans and their families. This is done through a county Veteran’s Assistance Commission. Check with your county government for more information.