Income Supports for Families

Alleviate financial constraints of families by simplifying access to income support programs through policy change, investment & collaboration.

Parents of infants and toddlers in Illinois face far too many barriers to accessing income support and public benefit programs, often due to eligibility restrictions and complicated application and redetermination processes. As a result, safety net programs, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and nutrition benefit programs, are not being used to their full potential.

Achieving financially secure outcomes for all families

Only 43% of eligible families in Illinois accessed the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in 2018, a program that safeguards the health of low-income women and their young children with supplemental foods, nutrition education and health care support.  

In Illinois, we can achieve financially secure outcomes for all families through the expansion of public benefit services, changes to existing policy and investment in and collaboration across programs.  


43% of eligible families

accessed public



How to Get There

  • Expand efforts to streamline eligibility across multiple benefit programs and utilize strategies that support families accessing public benefits 
  • Increase public communication to families that helps prevent Public Charge from dissuading eligible families from enrolling in public benefits 
  • Enact strategies to increase usage of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for WIC, including expanding food options, particularly those that are allergy-friendly, and providing same- or next-day appointments 
  • Increase impact of Earned Income Tax Credit by increasing the amount of the payment, making the payment monthly rather than in one lump sum and expanding eligibility to include unpaid caregivers 
  • Explore efficacy and feasibility of a Universal Basic Income program 
  • Increase collaboration across the early childhood system and WIC 
Little boy in blue jacket

Projected Outcome

  • Increased awareness of existing public benefit programs and how to access programs  
  • Increased enrollment rates for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for WIC by 10%, reaching nearly 19,000 more people 
  • More easily navigable pathways for families to access public benefit programs, resulting in increased usage of programs 

Raising Illinois is a collective effort to close the opportunity gap. Learn more.

Are you ready? Learn how you can get involved.