Frequently Asked Questions

You may be wondering...

What Illinois state agency funds/oversees services for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities?

Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities (IDHS): This is the state agency responsible for overseeing services for people with developmental disabilities in Illinois.

How do I get services?

In Illinois, you will first need to get on a PUNS waiting list.

What is the PUNS list?

The PUNS list stands for Prioritization for Urgency of Need for Services. It’s a statewide database maintained by the IDHS that registers people with developmental disabilities who are seeking Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILA), Home Based Supports (HBS), or Child Group Homes (CGL) funded by the IDHS Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).

Essentially, PUNS acts as a waiting list for these Developmental Disability Waiver Services. It’s important to note that there is no set time frame for how long you might wait on the PUNS list. Funding fluctuates, and the severity of needs varies among those on the list.

Who do I contact to enroll on the PUNS list?

You will need to contact your local ISC to enroll.

What is an ISC, and how do I contact them for services?

The ISC in Illinois stands for Independent Service Coordination. These agencies act as advocates and support systems for people with developmental disabilities seeking services through the state’s Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).

Here’s a breakdown of the key roles ISCs play in Illinois:

Assisting with PUNS: ISCs can help you navigate the PUNS enrollment process, including gathering necessary documentation and understanding the assessment procedures. They can’t expedite your movement on the list, but they can ensure your information is accurate and up-to-date.

Service Planning: If you are eligible for waiver services and move off the PUNS list, ISCs play a crucial role in developing your Person-Centered Service Plan (PCSP). This plan outlines your specific needs and the services that will help you achieve your desired outcomes. ISCs will work with you to identify your goals and preferences, and then connect you with the appropriate service providers.

Advocacy and Coordination: ISCs act as advocates on your behalf, ensuring you receive the services you qualify for and that your PCSP is followed. They can also help coordinate communication between you, your service providers, and the DDD.

Information and Referral: ISCs are a wealth of information on available services and resources for people with developmental disabilities in Illinois. They can help you connect with support groups, independent living programs, and service providers.

Here are some resources for more information on ISCs in Illinois:

What are the types of residential services for adults with developmental disabilities in IL?

CTF Illinois (CTF) has 40 CILA homes throughout Illinois and ICILA supports in Charleston, IL

Home Based Services: This is where the person with a disability remains at home with their family and supports are provided in their home.

Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA): CILAs are regular homes in every neighborhood around the state where a small group of adults with disabilities live together. They offer various levels of support, from intermittent to 24hr supports depending on the individual’s needs. Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/DD): These are licensed facilities that provide 24/7 care and supervision in a more structured setting.

Finding the Right Option:
The best residential option will depend on the individual’s specific needs and level of disability. Here are some resources that can help you find information and connect with service providers in Illinois:

Illinois Department of Human Services
CTF Illinois:

What is a CILA home?

CILA homes aim to provide a supportive and inclusive living environment for people with developmental disabilities in Illinois. CTF has 40 CILA homes located in Chicago south suburbs, Lincoln, Olney, and Charleston.

CILA (Community Integrated Living Arrangement) homes in Illinois are a shared living environment for adults (18+) with developmental disabilities. Here’s a breakdown of key features:

House Setting: CILAs are designed to feel like regular homes, typically single-family houses or apartments, integrated into neighborhoods.
Residents: Up to 8 unrelated adults with developmental disabilities live together in a CILA. Most CTF homes are 4 or less.
Supervision: The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) licenses CILA providers who ensure supervision by trained staff. The level of supervision can vary depending on the needs of the residents, ranging from 24/7 to intermittent support.
Support Services: Residents receive individualized support services like residential habilitation and personal assistance to help them develop daily living skills and maintain independence.

Here are some resources for more information on CILA homes:

Illinois Department of Human Services

What types of services are available for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities in Illinois?

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) offers a variety of services to support adults with disabilities in Illinois. These services can help adults with disabilities live as independently as possible in their communities. Some services available include:

Independent Living Services: This program provides funding for a variety of services that can help adults with disabilities live independently in their own homes or apartments. These services may include assistance with personal care, housekeeping, transportation, and meal preparation.
Home Services Program (HSP): The HSP provides in-home supports to people with disabilities who are at risk of nursing home placement. These supports can help people with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, and eating.
Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs): CILAs are home-based settings that provide supports to individuals with disabilities. CILAs can be apartments, condominiums, or single-family homes.
CTF Illinois has 40 CILA homes: Our locations include the Chicago south suburban area, Olney, Lincoln, Charleston, and Mattoon
Supported Living Services/ ICILA: Supported living services provide supports to people with disabilities who live in their own homes or apartments. These supports may include assistance with personal care, housekeeping, transportation, and medication management.
CTF Illinois has ICILAS in Charleston, IL
Day Services: Day services programs provide a variety of services to adults with disabilities during the day. These services may include vocational training, social skills development, and recreational activities.
CTF Illinois has day service programs in Charleston, Olney, and Chicago south suburbs
Employment Services: The Illinois Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) provides a variety of employment services to adults with disabilities. These services can help people with disabilities find jobs, develop job skills, and maintain employment.
CTF Illinois offers employment services in Charleston, Olney, Mattoon, and Chicago south suburbs

Additional Resources:
Illinois Department of Human Services

How do I know if my family member is eligible to receive services?

Eligibility for services from the Illinois Department of Developmental Disabilities (IDHS) depends on a few key factors:

Developmental Disability Diagnosis: The core requirement is having a diagnosed developmental disability. This can be an Intellectual Disability (ID) or a related condition causing significant functional limitations in at least three areas of major life activity.
Age: Services are typically available for adults (18+), though some programs may serve children (Early Intervention Services).
Here are some resources to learn more about eligibility:

IDHS Developmental Disabilities Program Manual:
IDHS Eligibility for Waiver Services: This webpage may not directly list eligibility criteria but provides details on various waiver programs offered
Contacting IDHS: If you have specific questions about eligibility or applying for services, you can contact IDHS directly at 1-800-843-6154 or 1-866-324-5553 (TTY).

What is Home-Based Services?

Home-Based Services (HBS) in Illinois is a program funded by the state’s Medicaid Waiver program that helps people with developmental disabilities live safely and independently in their own homes or with family. Here’s a breakdown of the key features:

Self-Directed: HBS is a “self-directed” program, meaning people with developmental disabilities (or their guardians) have the choice and control over the services and supports they receive. This empowers them to choose what best suits their needs.
Funding Allocation: The program provides a monthly budget based on the individual’s needs, assessed in a Personal Plan (PP). This budget can be used to purchase a variety of approved services.
Service Options: HBS funds can cover a wide range of services, including:
Personal Support Workers (PSWs) to assist with daily living activities like dressing, bathing, and meal preparation.
Therapies like speech, occupational, or physical therapy.
Habilitation services to help develop skills for independent living.
Transportation services.
Assistive technology.
Management: Individuals or their guardians manage the HBS budget, hiring and supervising Personal Support Workers and selecting qualified service providers.

Here are some resources for more information on Home-Based Services in Illinois:

Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) – Consumer Handbook for Home-Based Services:
Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) – Home Based Services Program Overview:

What is HCBS?

HCBS stands for Home and Community-Based Services. It’s a program funded by Medicaid that provides support for people with disabilities and older adults who need assistance with daily living activities. The key idea is to enable them to live in their homes and communities, rather than moving to a facility.

Here are some key things to know about HCBS:
Types of Services: HCBS can cover a wide range of services, including help with bathing, dressing, medication management, housekeeping, transportation, and social interaction.
Self-Direction: In some HCBS programs, individuals have control over choosing the services they receive and who provides them.
Eligibility: Eligibility for HCBS varies by state and program, but typically requires a functional limitation and need for assistance, along with qualifying for Medicaid (in some cases).
Benefits: HCBS programs offer several benefits, including promoting independence, dignity, and integration into the community. They can also be a more cost-effective alternative to institutional care.

Here are some resources for more information on HCBS:

Medicaid HCBS Programs: