Cunningham Township

205 West Green Street, , Urbana, Illinois 61801
217.384.4144 | |

General Assistance

General Assistance (GA) is temporary support up to $300 per month for Urbana residents who are out of work or disabled. You will not qualify if you receive any other cash benefit such as SSI/SSDI, TANF, or AABD. Assistance is provided regardless of immigration or criminal conviction status to the extent allowed by law.

To apply:

  1. Fill out the application either online or download and print it.

    If you need help, call us 217-384-4144 or ring the doorbell and ask.

  2. Collect all paperwork, and turn in the application with all paperwork included.

    This checklist has what we need and how to get it.


    There is FREE printing, scanning and help at the Urbana Library across the street from Township.

After you have turned in your completed application:

  1. We review your application and paperwork. If we have questions or need documents, we will contact you. We need a working phone number and/or email address for you. If you don’t have either, let us know.

  2. Your application will expire after 30 days - so make sure you respond to us quickly.

  3. You will receive an approval or denial letter within 30 days of turning in your complete application.

  4. We will mail your approval or denial letter to you OR, if you do not have an address, we will send your letter to CU at Home/Phoenix at 70 E. Washington St., Champaign.

If you are approved:

  1. You will be assigned to one of these tracks:

    • Employment Track is for those able to work.

      To receive assistance: You will serve 12 hours every two weeks at Salt and Light or another community work site, which is $12.50 an hour for your service.
      NOTE: Due to COVID, our work requirement is suspended through September.

    • Disability Track is for those not able to work due to a permanent disability.

      To receive assistance you must regularly go to the doctor, provide medical verification, and apply for Social Security Disability (SSI/SSDI).


  2. Benefits are issued as a check payable to you and sent to your verified Urbana address on the first day of the month. You can cash the check for free at any Busey Bank.

  3. If you do not have an address, you can pick up your check second Tuesdays of the month at the Phoenix Center/CU at Home at 70 East Washington Street, Champaign between 1 and 4:30pm.

  4. With your first check, you will receive an update appointment and a list of any additional paperwork. You must attend this first appointment and submit the requested paperwork, or your case will be closed and you will need to reapply and submit new paperwork. THE FIRST APPOINTMENT IS VERY IMPORTANT. It is how we get to know you and support you.

To continue to receive General Assistance you must:

  1. Let us know of ANY changes within 5 days. This includes: address change, income change, change in household size, and any changes to your social security case.

  2. Attend ALL scheduled appointments (every 2-3 months).

  3. Submit all paperwork as requested to your case manager.

  4. Complete your monthly community work assignment.

  5. If the Supervisor is concerned about drug or alcohol abuse, you may be required to get an evaluation and seek treatment to continue to receive assistance.

If your application is denied:

You have a right to understand the reason for your denial. The reason will be on your denial letter but if you have questions, call us. If you disagree, you have a right to appeal and submit additional documentation to the Supervisor. We can take your appeal over the phone or you can fill out an input form we provide. We will respond to you within 2 weeks. 

Applicants have the right to appeal decisions by the Supervisor and be given a fair hearing by the Champaign County Public Aid Committee. An appeal must be in writing and submitted within 60 calendar days of the decision of this office. The Cunningham Township Office or the County Board Office (1776 E. Washington, Urbana) can provide an appeal form and help with completion. Those appealing may represent themselves at the fair hearing or be represented by a person or persons of their choice, such as a lawyer, relative or friend. If the appeal is filed within 10 days of the date of change (or within 10 calendar days of notice when there is no date of change), benefits may be continued at the present level pending the result of the appeal.