What Programs Are Available To Assist People With Disabilities in Illinois?

Is there a Medicaid waiver program? Illinois has several waivers including:

  • Supported Living Program
  • Waiver For Adults with DD
  • HCBS Waiver for Persons with Brain Injury
  • Waiver for Children that are Medically Fragile, Technology Dependent
  • HCBS Waiver for Persons with HIV or AIDS
  • HCBS Waiver for Persons Who are Elderly
  • Persons with Disabilities
  • Support Waiver for Children and Young Adults
  • Residential Waiver for Children and Young Adults with DD

What state department handles the Medicaid waiver program in Illinois? The Illinois Department of Human Services handles the med waiver program in Illinois.

What programs assist people who have developmental disabilities in Illinois? There are several med waivers to assist persons with disabilities in Illinois.

  • Children and Young Adults with Developmental Disabilities Support Waiver is available for persons age 3-21.
  • Persons with Disabilities Waiver is available for people under the age of 60. Individuals 60 years or older, who began services before age 60, may choose to remain in this waiver.
  • Adults with Developmental Disabilities Waiver is available to persons age 18 or older with developmental disabilities who are at risk of placement in an Intermediate Care Facility for persons with Developmental Disabilities (ICF/DD).

What is the best number to call to get started with the med waiver program in Illinois? Call the Developmental Disabilities help line at 1-888-DD-PLANS or 1-866-376-8446 (TTY).

Is there a website?
http://www.dhs.state.il.us and


Who Qualifies For Assistance?

What is considered a developmental disability in Illinois?
The Council follows the federal definition of developmental disability, which is:
A severe, chronic disability of an individual that: is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments; is manifested before the person attains age twenty two; is likely to continue indefinitely; results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity: self care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self direction, capacity for independent living and economic self sufficiency; and reflects the individual's need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, individualized supports, or other forms of assistance that are of life long or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated; except that such term, when applied to infants and young children means an individual from birth to age 9, inclusive, who has a substantial developmental delay or specific congenital or acquired condition may be considered to have a developmental disability without meeting three or more of the criteria described above if the individual, without services and supports, has a high probability of meeting those criteria later in life.

Are there income limits to receive services in Illinois? Individuals must meet Medicaid financial eligibility criteria.

How old do you have to be to start receiving services in Illinois? Medicaid waiver services in Illinois start at age three. However, early intervention services are available to children ages 0-3.

Is There a Waiting List For Services?

How long is the waiting list in Illinois for the Medicaid Waiver? You can expect to wait 5-7 years before receiving med waiver services in Illinois.

How many people are on the waiting list in Illinois for the med waiver? There are about 24,000 on the Illinois Medicaid waiver waiting list.

How many people are currently receiving med waiver services in Illinois? There are about 20,000 people currently receiving Medicaid Waiver services in Illinois.

Is there priority preference for people who are in crisis in Illinois? If you are in crisis you may get priority placement onto the waiver. Examples of crisis include abuse and homelessness.

What Services Are Offered in Illinois & What Are The Service Limitations?

What services does the Medicaid waiver program offer in Illinois? Possible services include: in-home independent living supports, respite care, training programs for life and work skills job coaching, residential living arrangements, and adaptive equipment.

Does Illinois offer community group homes? Residential Living Arrangements - Services that are provided in homes with staff available 24 hours per day.

Does Illinois offer supported living? In-Home Supports - Services and supports that will help people with developmental disability live more independently in their home.

Are there still state owned institutions in Illinois? Illinois has 8 state institutions called Developmental Centers. There are about 1,823 people in these institutions. It costs $142,533 annually to house a developmentally disabled individual in an Illinois state developmental center. By comparison, the annual cost of community care is about $53,291, for a savings of nearly $100,000, or 63 percent, according to a report by the governor’s Taxpayer Action Board.

  • Choate Developmental & Mental Health Center
  • Ludeman Developmental Center
  • Fox Developmental Center
  • Mabley Developmental Center
  • Jacksonville Developmental Center
  • Murray Developmental Center
  • Kiley Developmental Center
  • Shapiro Developmental Center

How Do You Select A Provider?

Do waiver providers in Illinois work for the state? No, providers in Illinois work as independents or for a private agency.

About how many providers are there in the state of Illinois? There are about 100 waiver providers in Illinois.

Do you have a choice in providers in Illinois? Yes, you can choose your own providers. The Pre-Admission Screening organizations will provide you with factual and objective information about the service providers in your area. They will also help you contact the providers to learn more about them. You, along with your family or guardian, if you have one, are the one who decides which providers you wish to serve you. If you are not satisfied or think another provider could do a better job, you can always change providers.

How Do You Become A Provider?

Is There A Fee to become a provider in Illinois? No, there is not a fee to become a provider in Illinois.

To become a provider, call (217) 557-9282.

Additional Information

Registering with the Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services (PUNS) database is the first and most important step you and your family can take to receive assistance now or within the next five years. PUNS (Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services) is a database of Illinois infants, children, adolescents, and adults with developmental disabilities who have needs for developmental disability services or supports. The PUNS database helps us identify and plan for your immediate needs. Individuals, along with their primary care giver and/or guardian, must meet face-to-face with a pre-admission screener at their local coordination agency to fill out an Illinois PUNS registration form.

Early Intervention services are available in Illinois for children from birth through age three, who demonstrate a developmental delay or are diagnosed with a developmental disability. These services are accessed through Child & Family Connections (CFC) agencies located throughout the state to connect children to Service Providers. These providers include physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and many other professionals to help the child develop in delay areas.

IL Providers

Illinois Providers


Association House (773) 772-7170
Serving Illinois
We promote health and wellness and create opportunities for educational and economic advancement.

Aspire 708.547.3550
Serves Cook & DuPage Counties & the greater Chicago area
Aspire is a leader in services for children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.