The State of Illinois has Been Collecting Foster Children’s Benefits to Reimburse Itself; New Legislation Aims to Move the Money to the Children
The state of Illinois has been collecting the financial benefits for abused, neglected and abandoned children in foster care as state revenue rather than providing the benefits to the children. Last year, the benefits collected totaled over $14.2 million from sources such as disabilities or monies owed deceased parents from places like social security or veterans’ benefits. Many of the children are unaware of the benefits they qualify for because state agencies manage and collect the sums before the children ever find out. In 2018, the state of Illinois collected $13 million from foster children’s benefits to reimburse itself for things like food, clothing, and medical care. “The state already has a responsibility to provide those things, and it does not have to take this money,” said Congressman Danny Davis, who has proposed legislation that would allow the benefits to accumulate in an account that the children could access upon leaving the system.