Page Reviewed / Updated – April 08, 2021

Program Description

The State of Illinois created the Illinois Community Care Program (CCP) for seniors who are in danger of being placed in a Medicaid-funded nursing home. This program seeks to support the elderly in remaining at home or in the home of caregivers. Thereby they can avoid costly state-funded nursing home care. CCP achieves this goal by paying for a variety of services, supports, and technologies that enable independent living or ease the workload on family caregivers. For example, adult day care and personal care in-home are covered. This allows family members who care for an elderly loved one at home to work during normal business hours.

CCP allows both Medicaid eligible and non-Medicaid eligible persons to receive the services they need to remain living in the community. On average, slightly more than 50% of program participants are enrolled via Medicaid.

Eligibility Guidelines

Illinois residents, including legal aliens, can receive services under the Community Care Program if they meet the following criteria.

  • Be at least 60 years of age.
  • Have less than $17,500 as the value of their total countable resources. The value of one’s home and primary vehicle are not included as “countable”, provided they are used by the applicant and are not held solely for investment purposes.
  • Be assessed by medically qualified professionals and found to need, or be at risk for needing, long term care services equivalent to that provided in a nursing home.

Income level is not an eligibility factor, but it is considered in the cost of services.

Those seniors whose income is below the federal poverty line receive services free of charge. The Federal Poverty Level for 2021 is $12,880 in annual income for a single individual. A couple is considered under the FPL if their annual income is less than $17,420. Calculated monthly, these limits are $1,073 and $1,452 for a single individual and married couple, respectively. For those whose income exceeds the federal poverty line, fees are determined by the participant’s ability to pay, usually on a sliding scale based on one’s income. Care services fees for assistance provided under this program are well below the private market rates for the same services.

Benefits and Services

The Community Care program provides services and supports to the elderly in their homes or communities and includes the following:

  • Adult day care – supervision in a group environment during daytime hours
  • Case management – assistance with coordination and administration of services
  • Homemaker / chore services – laundry, housekeeping, yard work, light home maintenance
  • Personal care – assistance with the activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing
  • Medication management – devices which remind, dispense and track medication usage
  • Personal emergency response services – home safety monitoring and emergency call service
  • Transportation escort – to medical appointments and for errands and shopping for household essentials. Can be on public transportation or in the provider’s vehicle.

Program participants have a degree of “freedom of choice” in vendors (who provides them with services).  However, the level of choice available in the now terminated My Choices Program is not available in CCP.  Vendors must be “authorized” by the department and provide services in the “client’s geographic area of residence.”  The program’s regulations state family members (such as adult children) can be hired as authorized vendors. But spouses and legal guardians cannot be hired.

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How to Apply / Learn More

Families can learn more about the Community Care Program or apply by calling the Illinois Department on Aging Senior Helpline at 800-252-8966 or by contacting their local Illinois Area Agency on Aging office. The state maintains a webpage about the program here, and more information is available on this pdf, starting on page 6.

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