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Cash Assistance: Crisis Assistance

How can the Crisis Assistance Program help me?

If your family is in an immediate crisis situation and is eligible for or already receives TANF benefits, you may be able to get Crisis Assistance, which can provide you with a onetime limited payment for rent, food, clothes, household supplies, and essential furniture.

Who is eligible for Crisis Assistance?

You may qualify for Crisis Assistance if your family is eligible for or already receives TANF benefits and is:

  • Homeless or may become homeless because you’ve left or you need to leave your home due to domestic or sexual violence; because you’ve been evicted for any reason; or because a fire, flood, or other natural disaster has occurred; and/or
  • Deprived of food, essential clothing or furniture, or income because of domestic or sexual violence; because your cash is lost or stolen; or because a fire, flood, or other natural disaster has occurred.

How do I apply for Crisis Assistance?

You can apply for Crisis Assistance at an IDHS Family and Community Resource Center (FCRC). To locate an FCRC, call the automated helpline 24 hours a day at 1-800-843-6154 (TTY 1-800-447-6404) or visit IDHS.

You need to fill out a paper application for Crisis Assistance. The Crisis Assistance–only application can be found in English and Spanish, or at a local FCRC. If you are not already enrolled in TANF, you must fill out a separate TANF application also. The TANF cash assistance application can be found online. You can download, print, and fill out the application forms and bring them to the FCRC to expedite your application. If you are eligible, your benefits will be issued within 10 days after you apply.

Crisis Assistance is an underutilized program, and IDHS staff may not always have the best information readily available. If you have a problem at a local office, see Legal Services for advice.

More Information and Resources

Visit IDHS.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, the Illinois Domestic Violence Help Line is toll-free, confidential, 24 hours, and multilingual. To get help, call 1-877-863-6338 (TTY 1-877-863-6339).

You can find additional domestic violence and sexual assault services at and the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

For information about temporary emergency child care for families in crisis, see this guide’s section on Maryville Crisis Nursery.

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