Tannika M. Hughes

General Assistance is a locally administered welfare program providing financial assistance to persons who are not eligible for any other state or federal assistance and do not have income or resources to provide for their basic needs. Basic needs may include shelter, food, household supplies, utilities, personal essentials, medical and other expenses deemed essential to the health and well-being of the family or individual.

Persons interested in additional information may contact a General Assistance Representative at 708-596-6040, Ext. 3184.

Persons may apply at our township office. Those potentially eligible for services at other agencies may be referred to a more appropriate agency suited to meet their needs. Agency referrals may include the following: The Social Security Administration, Illinois Department of Public Aid, Family Service and Mental Health Clinics, and many others. By state statute, township government is responsible for the administration of public aid programs such as General Assistance. For more information call 596-6040, Ext. 3132.

In addition, General Assistance provides a range of other activities including:

Access to Care

A program targeting low-income, uninsured residents in obtaining primary health care, including: pharmacy, laboratory, and radiology services. The program provides diagnosis and treatment for a small nominal fee per visit.

A trained medical caseworker will conduct an eligibility screening and enrollment can then occur through our offices here at the township. 708-596-6040 Ext: 3137.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

The Illinois Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is designed to assist eligible low income households pay for winter energy services. LIHEAP will provide a one-time benefit to eligible households to be used for energy bills. The amount of payment is determined by income, household size, fuel type, and geographic location.

LIHEAP is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the state of Illinois. The program is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCEO). Energy Assistance is provided by local community action agencies or not-for-profit agencies throughout the state. You may contact the agency provider in your area to apply for assistance.

General Assistance Social Worker

A Social Worker assists applicants in their efforts to apply for Social Security Benefits and for Public Aid including those with literacy and other problems. In addition, the Social Worker helps place homeless and abused individuals in safe and secure shelters, referring clients with substance abuse and mental illness to the proper agencies, and help applicants and recipients fill out complicated forms and applications. Finally, our social worker works with the Salvation Army in helping individuals, who do not fit into the other assistance programs, obtain a one-time emergency subsidy in comparison to general assistance which is an on-going program.


A program in which general assistance recipients earn their benefits by performing work for taxing districts. Recipients are not paid but receive credit for hours worked based on the federal minimum wage level. Credit is then offset against the amount of their basic maintenance grants (the amount of assistance given not counting medical payments or the value of food stamps).


Thornton Township sponsors a General Education Diploma to help students get their high school equivalency degree. They meet Monday through Friday. To find out more information about the program, call 708-596-6040 ext. 3180.