Illinois Department of Human Services asking for all contact by phone or computer    

Illinois Department of Human Services asking for all contact by phone or computer    

The Illinois Department of Human Services is asking those who need assistance with all nutritional and medical benefits to call or manage their benefits online.

The Department says effective Monday only 14 of 75 Family Community Resource Centers will remain open and will have reduced staff.

All nutritional and medical benefits remain available to the public; consumers still urged to stay home; open offices will operate with reduced onsite staff; staff available to respond in-person for emergencies IDHS urges all customers to apply for and manage their benefits online at  ABE.illinois.gov or by calling the IDHS Help is Here toll-free line at 1-833-2-FIND-HELP.

IDHS’s ultimate goal is to have as few FCRC offices open as possible, while still ensuring that all customers are able to receive their life-sustaining benefits.  For those offices that remain open, IDHS will continue to take steps to ensure social distancing, customer and employee safety.

IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou.says every local office has an urgent call team available to respond right away to emergency cases – and anyone who needs benefits can still use ABE.Illinois.Gov or call their hotline for support.

Staff who are not working at the public-facing offices will continue working remotely to process important benefits, and over 80 in-person local office caseworkers will become statewide ABE (Access to Benefits Electronically) call center agents in addition to the nearly 100 call center agents that are already in place.

The department developed these changes in partnership with AFSCME Council 31, other bargaining units, and advocacy organizations across the state.

Programs impacted by the change of service include SNAP emergency food relief, TANF cash assistance, and Medicaid among other critical human services.

On March 19, all Division of Rehabilitation Services’ (DRS) Offices were closed to the public and all Home Services and Vocational Rehabilitation programs were shifted to remote access.

IDHS continues preparing to broaden and strengthen all of its remote options for consumers – and will use every available resource to ensure that residents of Illinois are not harmed by this temporary reorganization.