General Assistance

The General Assistance Program provides a monetary award to Rich Township residents of at least 21 years old who are unemployed and not receiving any other form of income.

The maximum assistance is $304 to be used for shelter, utilities, food,  and transportation (in specific situations pre-approved by the Director of General Assistance). We also refer clients to local agencies for assistance with other services including physician and dental services, prescriptions and emergency services.


A husband and wife may be eligible separately if both are unemployed. However, if one spouse is working, a budget will be worked out to determine if the other spouse is eligible.A person age 18, 19, or 20 and not living with a parent, or a person married and living with his or her spouse, residing with a parent, is eligible to apply.

Adults can get General Assistance (GA) if they fall into 1 of 7 “not employable” categories:

Category 1: The applicant is disabled and has a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application pending can get GA under this category if:
• You have applied for SSI disability benefits; and
• The township finds you meet the SSI disability standards.

You must show proof that you have applied for SSI and that your application is pending. If your SSI application is denied, you must appeal the decision. When you appeal the decision, you must show proof to the township that you have filed an appeal. You will have to give the township your medical records and your doctor must fill out forms required by the township. If you are approved for SSI, you must repay the GA you got from the township while you were waiting for the SSI decision. The repayment will come out of your SSI benefits.

Category 2: The applicant is 55 or older and has not earned more than $2,000 per year and you must also have not earned at least $200 a month in 7 of the past 12 months.

Category 3: The applicant is required to take medication to control diabetes, severe high blood pressure or seizure disorders You must show 2 forms of proof:
• A diagnosis from a doctor; and
• A prescription or drug container label or statement from a doctor giving the drug and dosage.
You can get GA for as long as you need to take the medication.

Category 4: The applicant must stay at home to provide full-time medical care to another person who lives with them must give the township office a statement from a medical provider that says you have to stay home to take care of the other person.

Category 5: The applicant is under age 20 and is a full-time high school student or participates in a training program must give the township proof of your enrollment and attendance. You can still get GA during summer vacation. The school must be approved by the Illinois Office of Education. You still stop getting GA the month:
• After you graduate or complete the program; or
• You turn 20, whichever happens first.

Category 6: The applicant is homeless as a result of court-ordered evacuation, domestic violence, fire, or natural disaster within the last six months
• Evacuation means a verified court order or sheriff’s notice for evacuation;
• Domestic violence means an Order of Protection or a police report showing that the violence was done by someone you were living with at the time it happened;
• Fire may be shown by a newspaper or a fire department report;
• Natural disaster must be declared by the Governor or the President. The township should already have proof of this. A newspaper report is sufficient;
• You must have lost your home due to one of these reasons within the last 6 months; and
• You must be homeless at the time you apply. To be considered homeless, you must be in a shelter or on the street. If you are temporarily staying with relatives or friends, you do not qualify for GA under this category; and
• You may have to prove homelessness with a statement from the shelter you are staying at or a statement from a social worker that you are homeless and no shelter is available.
Assistance under this category ends 6 months after the first full month you get GA. But you can still get GA under a different category after the 6 months end.

Category 7: The applicant can’t work because of a medically documented illness or incapacity may be eligible for GA for as long as the illness or incapacity lasts. You must be unable to work at least 30 days from the date you apply. You will need to prove that you are unable to work by providing medical records. The township will then decide if you can get GA under this category.
If you qualify, the township decides how many months the condition will last. If your condition will last longer than the time the township decides you will get GA, you must give more medical records to get an extension. Give the new medical records to the township to keep getting your GA without a break. If you submit the new information to the township office after your GA ends, you will have to reapply. This could delay your benefits for at least a month.

Generally, clients with children under 18 will be eligible only for emergency assistance. They are advised to apply for T.A.N.F. (formerly known as Public Aid). Eligible clients must be recertified on a monthly basis by providing the necessary proof.

To Apply
Applicants may come to the Township office and bring a driver’s license or other form of identification with correct address, and a Social Security card. We also require proof that the applicant has applied for unemployment compensation or disability.

To Recertify
To be re-certified each month, clients must participate in workfare one day a week, show evidence of job hunting, and attend job training workshops and seminars sponsored by the Township.

Helpful resources for low income seniors and their families, provided by Assisted Living.