Student Financial & Other Resources
ACEPT’s Student Financial Concerns Committee has been considering ways that ACEPT can assist graduate students in psychology in the Chicagoland area with financial, housing, medical, and other needs. We have put together this list of resources for students to utilize. ACEPT does not endorse any particular agencies, institutions, or providers listed, but does want to offer a range of options to students in sharing this list. If you have any questions or concerns, please visit our Contact Page and send us a message.
All State of Illinois residents aged 16 years or older are eligible to receive the COVID vaccine. As of March 31, Chicago’s Cook County suburbs will be in Tier 1C of the Department of Public Health distribution plan. To find more information, please visit: Cook County Community Vaccination Program.
For those that are uninsured and need COVID-19 testing or want vaccination: the COVID Claims Reimbursement to Health Care Providers and Facilities for Testing, Treatment, and Vaccine Administration allows providers and facilities to be reimbursed for COVID tests or vaccines that they administer to uninsured individuals for free. The provider collects information from the individual and then makes a claim for their payment from the COVID relief fund. Healthcare providers are not required to report immigration status. For more information about funds and eligibility, please visit: FAQs for COVID-19 Claims Reimbursement to Health Care Providers. Ask your healthcare provider or healthcare facility if they utilize the program
Proof of 1a Status – Several externs have been able to receive a letter as proof of identification as a therapist or as someone who is an essential critical infrastructure worker from supervisors or training directors . This has been an option for students who are located at practicum sites that are not providing the vaccine. This is an excellent avenue as most sites require proof of work/status to satisfy requirements under the Department of Public Health distribution plan. Ask your supervisor or training director to see if this is an option for you.
Oak Street Health – At select locations of this clinic, COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed. Because supply is limited and safety is important, they require that an appointment be made. While signing up, they also provide updates about vaccine availability in your area. If interested, please visit: Oak Street Health.
Loyola University Medical Center – At the medical care center, Loyola is also distributing COVID-19 vaccines. Supply and staff are limited so they ask that registration and an appointment be made before arriving. Their distribution locations are in Maywood, Berwyn, and Oak Park. For registration and more information, please visit: Loyola Medicine.
Walgreens – This widespread pharmacy is one of the many places where one could get tested for COVID-19. Now, your local drug store and pharmacy is a COVID-19 vaccine distributor. To make an appointment, please visit: Walgreens Pharmacy. This site also provides information about the vaccine, eligibility, and possible side effects.
CVS Pharmacy – For those that are uninsured, your local CVS can now offer the COVID-19 vaccine for free through the COVID Claims federal program (see above). For information about what to bring to the appointment, make an appointment, and information about the vaccine, please visit: CVS Pharmacy.
Because no one should go hungry, below is a list of food pantries, soup kitchens, and food assistance programs.
Lakeview Pantry – Located at 3945 W. Sheridan Rd. (with another location in Humboldt Park), Lakeview Pantry offers food services for pick up or delivery so that those who need help putting food on their plate have several choices. They have an online shop so that food can be purchased online and an appointment can be made for pickup. The pantry is open to walk-ins at select times. Through partnerships, deliveries, and store locations, they have fed more than 100,000 clients. For more information about how/when to get food at either location, visit: Lakeview Pantry.
Hugs no Slugs – At the Safe House, founder Aleta Clark provides meals to those in need. She delivers food to individuals living under viaducts and provides groceries to those in need twice a week. They are located at 6427 S. Ashland Ave and 8256 South Shore Drive. They are open Mondays and Fridays from noon-2pm. For more information, visit: Hugs No Slugs.
Marillac St. Vincent Family Services – This family service organization also provides access to their food pantry to select zip codes. Access to the pantry is limited to once a month per household. Proof of address is needed and visitors need to bring their own bags. There are two locations that service different zip codes. For more information, visit: Marillac St. Vincent Family Services.
St. Vincent de Paul Center
Zip Codes served: 6005, 60607, 60610, 60614, and 60654
2145 N. Halsted*
Chicago, IL 60614
Tuesdays & Thursdays: 9:30 am – 12 pm
Marillac Social Center
Zip codes served: 60612, 60624, and 60644
2859 W. Jackson
Chicago, IL 60612
Mondays: 11 am – 1:30 pm
Wednesday: 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Fridays: 10 am – 12:30 pm
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – Previously known as food stamps, SNAP is a federal funded program that can assist in buying food for yourself or your family if you are experiencing food insecurity or if you have a low income. SNAP allows families/individuals to buy healthy meals. Qualifications need to be met for approval. To apply for Illinois SNAP benefits visit: ABE. Upon approval, a plastic card (much like a credit card) will be sent through mail and you can use it at participating grocery stores (i.e. Walmart, Jewel). For more information, visit: USDA – Food Help.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) – The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program, like SNAP, is a federally funded program that helps pregnant women, postpartum women, and infants till age five with food to avoid harm to nutrition. The program also helps each about healthy diets and provides mothers with breastfeeding. To learn more about the program, please visit: USDA – WIC Program.
Find Food – The Greater Chicago Food Depository now has a network of all available food resources (i.e. food pantries, soup kitchens) and created an interactive map/list to find the resource that best fits you. The list can be found here: Chicago Food Bank.
Chicago Food Pantry and Soup Kitchens – Another list of available meals, groceries, and emergency food programs is available at the Homeless Shelter Directory. Please check with each organization’s website to confirm the program’s details. The list can be found here: Homeless Center Directory.
Housing insecurity can be stressful and negatively impacts both physical and mental health. Below is a list of shelters (including domestic violence shelters), and federal rent and housing programs.
Brixbid - Moving to a new city can be quite stressful, especially if that city is unfamiliar. Brixbid claims to be the ultimate guide for students moving to Chicago, providing resources from apartment hunting, to roommate finding, to rent negotiation. This guide can help students who are moving to Chicago for the first time find the right neighborhood and activities to do in that neighborhood. Additionally, Brixbid has a calculator to help students budget for rent.
Rental Assistance Program (RAP) – RAP is a Chicago program that gives funding to those who are at risk of becoming homeless because they will be evicted, experienced loss of income, or other hardships. Qualifications must be met and proof of hardship (i.e. eviction notice) must be provided. The application process is online, occurs once a year and is a lottery process. For more information about eligibility for RAP and about the application process, please visit: Chicago Rental Assistance Program.
Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) – The Housing Choice Voucher program is a federally funded program that assists low income families, disabled, or elderly people by paying 75% of the rent for housing of their choice. Because demand for this program is higher than what is available, it may take long times for acceptance into the program and priority is given to those whose needs are high. While housing options are limited, this program ensures that those who are eligible live in safe and clean homes. The vouchers must be applied for and are given by your local public housing agency. For more information, please visit: Housing Choice Voucher Program.
Community Service Centers – Community centers in the various south and west Chicago neighborhoods provide warming and cooling centers for extreme weather, food, shelter, domestic violence help and other resources. The community service centers also provide referral programs. The center location and contact information are found at the following link: Chicago Community Service Centers.
Shelter List – If there is a need for shelter, please visit: Shelter List – Chicago to find available shelters. There are filters to find shelters that service specific populations (i.e. men only, families) as well as provide specific services (i.e. food services).
Chicago Homeless Shelter Directory – Here is another list for those who are in need of shelter in Chicago and all other surrounding areas. Please check with the organization’s page to confirm openings. Use the link: Homeless Shelter Directory – Chicago.
Live-in Staff- Individual Supports Provider I – New job opportunity that provides free room and board can be found here. JCFS Chicago is opening 3-4 residential homes for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Northshore, Highland Park, and Skokie. Main requirement is that the live-in staff be at home from 11pm to 7 am. The Live-in Staff member will have their own bedroom and can participate in the home as a resident when not working. Married couples can also apply. Please use this link for more details about this unique opportunity.
In times of unfortunate events when legal action is required, it is important that everyone find affordable legal aid and assistance. Within the Chicagoland and Cook County area, there are resources for those with low income so that they may acquire appropriate legal assistance. For detailed information on legal aid in Chicagoland and Cook county, click this link for access to a full guide drawn up by the Circuit Court of Cook County. The highlights are as follows:
CARPLS – As Cook County’s largest legal aid services, Coordinated Advice and Referral Program for Legal Services provides a hotline where one can call and speak directly to attorneys for legal advice. The hotline is recommended as the first step for seeking aid and the number is (312) 738-9200. In addition, CARPLS also offers court based help centers for those who are representing themselves. CARPLS only provides services and does not represent clients in courts. For more information, please visit: CARPLS or see page 6 of the guide.
Court Based Help Centers – The court based help centers are first come first served basis. Be prepared to wait for an appointment once arriving. The centers help those who are representing themselves. There are several types of court based help centers at different locations. For those who are representing themselves, visit the Daley Center Concourse Level 16 (CL-16). It is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more information about the help centers, please visit: Court Base Help Centers.
Lawyers – In civil courts, one does not have the legal right to a free lawyer, but there are other options for those who want lawyers but may not be able to afford them. JEP lawyers provide affordable fees and flexible options (visit JEP Chicago). The Greater Chicago Legal Clinic provides a sliding scale fee for their clients (visit GCC Legal Clinic). There are also referral services for those who need help looking. One of these referral sites is lrs.chicagobar.org. There are other referral sites listed on the guide’s page seven.
List of Services – On page 11 of the guide starts a list of organizations for different types of aid. The list includes: accidents/personal injury, adoption, artists and art organization, bankruptcy/debt collection, child abuse/neglect, child custody, child guardianship, child support, civil rights, consumer law, disability, divorce, domestic violence, employment, eviction, insurance benefits, and much more.
It can be discouraging to not seek medical attention or preventative care because of the inability to pay for medical treatment or because of the challenges to find an affordable insurance plan. Below is a list of resources that will help you find an insurance plan, receive affordable healthcare, or a financial assistance program to help cover costs.
Community Health Center (CHC) – Community health centers will help provide assistance based on your non-emergency needs. With funding from the government, they can charge on a sliding scale fee. This resource is perfect for those who are uninsured or have a low income. Please call your local center so they may help you find the appropriate service. No one will be turned away because of their financial status. To find your local center, visit: Find a Health Center.
Medicaid – Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid is a state and federally funded program that provides assistance in medical payments. In other words, it is government funded medical insurance. To be eligible, one must be either low income, pregnant, the primary caregiver of a parent or child, be 65 years or older, and/or have a disability. For more information, visit: Illinois Medicaid Benefits.
To apply for Medicaid, visit: ABE, or apply at a community health center that provides assistance with the application. Depending on the insurance plan, not all medical providers will accept your insurance. Once you receive your plan, please check on your personal portal to find providers that will accept your plan.
Here are some urgent care facilities who accept Medicaid:
Sites to Find Providers who Accept Medicaid:
- There is a handy tool on the ABE website to help you find a PCP or other medical providers who accept Medicaid.
- Here is another website where you can use filters to find medical providers who accept Medicaid: Zocdoc – Chicago
Health Insurance Marketplace – Created by the Affordable Care Act, the Marketplace (also known as the Exchange) is a service in which individuals can “shop” for and apply for different medical insurance. This service is for those who do not have do not have medical insurance and need assistance finding the right care provider for them. People who enroll in an insurance program through the Marketplace pay a monthly premium. There is an open enrollment period every year and usually ends in December. To find out more about the Marketplace, visit: HealthCare.gov Quick Guide and to find out more about the application process, visit: Health Insurance Plans Estimator. There may also be important tax information regarding the Marketplace that can be found here: Health Insurance Marketplace.
CareLink – It is not an insurance plan, but an assistance program for residents in Cook County who are either uninsured or whose current insurance plan does not cover them fully. This financial assistance program helps cover the cost of services only at Cook County Health facility. In order to be eligible, you must not be qualified for either Medicaid or Medicare. To enroll in the program, call (866)223-2817. For more information about CareLink and insurance coverage at Cook County Health Clinic, please visit: Cook County Health Clinic.
CVS Minute Clinic – Because CVS Health Corporation now owns Aetna, the CVS Minute Clinic now accepts Aetna (a Medicaid health plan). In addition, the CVS Minute Clinic claims to cost 40% less than urgent care and will not turn down anyone for lack of medical insurance. They accept most insurances. They are located inside select CVS Pharmacies. The minute clinics in Chicago have an affiliation with Rush University Medical Center. For more information, please visit: CVS Minute Clinic.
UIC Dental Services – The University of Illinois offers free dental services to those who have Medicaid. Dental students in their final years of training provide the services under the supervision of dentists. The clinics take appointments during certain morning hours depending on the service needed. You can call (312) 996-4958 for the general dentistry line which opens at 9 am. For adult urgent care, call (312) 996-8636 and the line opens at 8 am. Please call as early as possible. For more information, please visit: UIC General Family Dentistry.
Cook County Dental Services – Cook County has many sites that provide dental services and accept Medicaid. The sites take appointments by call during certain morning hours so please call as early as possible and each site has different times of operation. To call the main hospital and for oral surgery, call the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County at (312) 864-6000. For more information on the other sites, please visit: Cook County Dental Services.
New School for Massage – For $40 the New School for Massage Student Clinic can provide massages. The massages are provided by students under the supervision of an instructor. The students in the program’s Diploma track are massage clients for their training. Because they are students in training, they may only be able to provide a relaxing massage and may not be able to provide specific pressures or address certain issues and clients are matched to students at random. The school suggests reading the clinic’s policy before making an appointment. For more information and to book an appointment, please visit: New School for Massage – Student Clinic.
Weil Foot and Ankle - For foot care, immediate or not, some of their providers city wide accept Medicaid. Call and ask about providers in your area. For more info, visit Weil Foot and Ankle.
For those who are low income, uninsured, or have Medicaid, finding mental health providers can be challenging and may even add stress.
For a list of providers that accept Medicaid, have sliding scale fees, or serve those that are uninsured, use this link to find our list with links to websites.
Illinois Action for Children – This goal of IAFC is to provide support to families who need access to childcare and child support by supporting the family. On their website at Illinois Action for Children, is access to information about programs and information about child care options based on your needs. IAFC believes that all families should have access to equitable childcare, especially for those who live in poverty. The IAFC also provides free consultations with a list of child care referrals and all the information needed to make decisions. For the referral program, call (312) 823-1100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, also visit: IAFC Finding Childcare.
Hyde Park Neighborhood Club – For those who are living in or near the Hyde Park area, HPNC hosts early child care and after school programs for children. For more information about their programs, visit: HPNC Programs. For parents who have children between the ages of 0 to 3 years of age, HPNC can provide access to a child care network in Hyde Park called Baby PhD. Through this program, parents can have access to referrals to nannies, and other day care programs. To learn more about Baby PhD, please visit: HPNC Baby PhD.
Bright Horizons – This child care and early child education organization often partners with employers to establish day-care so that parents can focus on their careers knowing that their children are cared for. Bright Horizons also has child care centers throughout Chicagoland like their Lakeview Center, Hyde Park, Evanston, and Rosemont centers. To find locations, contact information, and their prices, use this link. Bright Horizons also has a Back-Up care program through employers that allow parents to use Bright Horizon child care in case of an emergency. For more information visit: Bright Horizons.
College Nannies and Tutors – As a parent, you can navigate College Nannies and Tutors website to find the child care service you need. The organization claims to be the nation’s most respected child care services. They have many locations throughout the Chicagoland area and have a match process so that you and your care-giving option are the right fit. They offer nannies or sitters for whatever fits your needs. For more information, please visit College Nannies and Tutors.
Graduate school can be challenging, especially without the support from people who are also in the profession. Below will be networking resources to help connect students to one another.
Chicago Psychology Student Support Network – The Chicago Psychology SSN is more than a peer-support network. The student support group is available to current students who need emotional support, professional advice, statistics pointers, and dissertation writing help. Currently, support meetings and statistics and dissertation help are virtual. Meeting times can be found on their calendar. For access to the calendar and to find more information, please visit: Chicago Psychology SSN.