Medical Assistance for Asylum Applicants and Torture Victims

Illinois provides up to 24 months of health coverage for persons who have applied for asylum in the United States. Coverage is also available for non-citizen victims of torture who are receiving treatment at federally-funded torture treatment centers.

Who is Eligible

  • Persons/immigrants who have applied for aslyum in the United States; and
  • Non-citizen torture victims who are receiving treatment at a federally funded torture treatment center

Note: The Marjorie Kovler Center for Treatment of Survivors of Torture, a program of Heartland Alliance located at 1331 W. Albion Ave., Chicago, is the only agency in Illinois that currently receives federal funds to provide torture treatment services.

Why Apply

Eligible persons are encouraged to apply as torture victims, as asylees may have suffered significant physical traumas and may be in need of immediate medical care.

To Apply For

Applicants should contact their local Department of Human Services Office to obtain services. Cook County residents should apply via the DHS Special Units Center at 5050 N. Broadway St., Suite 400, Chicago, IL 60640 or by phone at (773) 907-4100.

Read More

In order to qualify, applicants must allow the State to:
  1. Verify the status of an individual who claims to have an application for asylum pending before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) or an appeal pending regarding a decision on an asylum petition by providing any one of the following six documents:
    1. I-589 asylum application Acknowledgment of Receipt issued by BCIS;
    2. I-589 Asylum Interview Notice issued by BCIS; 
    3. Referral Notice regarding I-589 request for asylum to an immigration judge issued by BCIS, or
    4. Form I-589 Application for Asylum stamped as received by the Court; 
    5. Form EOIR-26 Notice of Appeal with Filing Receipt for Appeal, both issued by the U.S. Department of Justice and Board of Immigration Appeals; or
    6. Petition for Review of a Board of Immigration Appeals decision stamped by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
  2. To verify that an individual is receiving torture treatment services from a federally funded torture treatment center, the applicant must provide a statement from an authorized staff member, on treatment center letterhead, attesting to the individual's participation in the torture treatment program.

Links to Important Resources

Learn more about the Medical Assistance for Asylum Applicants and Torture Victims Program.


Topics: Public Insurance Coverage, Non-citizens
Tags: Healthcare Coverage, Asylum Applicants, Torture Victims, Immigration
Last updated September 22, 2016

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