The kinds of General Assistance (GA) payments and the amount of payments depends on the local township rules.
The amount of payment changes depending on the township’s rules. Some townships give a small monthly payment by check. Some give vouchers for vendors. Monthly payments go up depending on family size. For example, if there are children.
General Assistance is sometimes given as vouchers instead of cash payments
The township can give assistance in the form of vouchers that you can use to pay for your basic needs. The township will look at certain basic needs that you must show you can’t pay for without help. The monthly payment level for each voucher may not meet all of your needs.
Examples of basic needs are:
- Shelter costs like rent
- Household supplies
- Personal essentials
Emergency financial assistance
A township may provide emergency assistance:
- In life-threatening situations
- To help someone take care of themselves
If you already get GA, you can’t get emergency assistance. You can get emergency assistance only one time per year.
Payments for special needs, funeral, and medical costs
Many townships will give more assistance if there are special needs. For example, if you are diabetic or need childcare while you go to school or job training. But this doesn’t apply to employment.
In some cases, a township may help pay for funeral and burial costs.
Townships must pay for pressing medical needs if you have no other way to pay. Townships will only pay for medical care that you have to get. Townships usually won’t pay for:
- Preventative medical care
- Non-emergency dental care
For non-emergency dental care, you must get approval from the GA office before you get the care.
Medical assistance in the General Assistance programs
If you have children, you should apply for AllKids medical coverage from DHS. You can get more information on applying for AllKids on the Application for Benefits Eligibility website.
If you are between the ages of 19 and 64 years old, you should apply for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Adult Medicaid program. ACA Medicaid provides medical coverage for most adults who are eligible for GA. You can find more information on applying for ACA Adult Medicaid on the Application for Benefits Eligibility website or at Get Covered Illinois.
If you can’t get ACA Medicaid but you can get GA, you might be able to get medical assistance from the township. But medical assistance from the township will be less than ACA Medicaid. Townships may provide either:
- Necessary treatment, care, and supplies required because of illness or disability; or
- Acute medical treatment, care, and supplies only.