Free Tax Help for Illinois Residents With Disabilities, Others in Need

March 18th, 2024

The display screen of a calculator with the text, "Tax Hep"

Programs offering free tax preparation and help filing tax returns are available to eligible individuals and families across Illinois.

People with disabilities, families with low income, taxpayers who speak limited English, and individuals over the age of 50 can receive tax help through in-person and online programs.

Many of the programs will provide help through April 15, the deadline for filing your 2023 tax return. The type of services and programs available will vary by region.

The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals.

VITA sites offer free tax help to individuals, including:

  • People who genrally make $64,000 or less
  • People with disabilities
  • Taxpayers who speak limited English
  • People 60 years of age or older

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Service focuses on providing in-person and online tax help to people over the age of 50 or who have low-to-moderate income. You do not need to be an AARP member to receive assistance.

The AARP Tax-Aide Site Locator can help you find a site where an IRS-certified volunteer can help you prepare and file your taxes.

Tax-Aide also offers free virtual coaching and software for state and federal returns if you prefer to do your own taxes. You must:

  • Have an income between $16,000 and $79,000
  • Be an active-duty military member making $79,000 or less

In the Chicagoland area, taxpayers can also access the Ladder Up Tax Assistance Program (TAP). The program provides free basic tax return preparation for:

  • Families earning up to $64,000 and individuals earning up to $32,000 per year
  • Full-year Illinois residents

You can also contact your local library and government offices for information about free tax preparation services in your area.

Affordable Connectivity Program Helps Lower Internet Costs

May 13th, 2022

Affordable Connectivity Program graphic

Eligible families can receive discounts on internet service and devices in their homes

Having affordable and reliable internet service at home is more important than ever.

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a federal program to help families afford the cost of internet service and devices in their homes.

Households can qualify in a number of ways. Eligibility can be based on income, participation in other assistance programs or if anyone in the household already receives a Lifeline benefit.

Under the ACP program, eligible households may receive:

  • Up to $30 per month discount for broadband service
  • Up to $75 per month discount for households on qualifying tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer or tablet purchased through a participating provider. The household must contribute more than $10 but less than $50 toward the purchase price.

The ACP is a program of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

To apply, go to You may submit your application online or print a mail-in application in English or Spanish.

Applicants also must contact their existing or preferred provider to select a plan and have the discount applied to their bill.

For complete details and to access American Sign Language videos about the program, visit

The ACP Support Center is also available to answer your questions daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at (877) 384-2575 or

For more utility and financial assistance programs, visit our online Resource Directory.

Low-Cost Internet Program Expands Eligibility

September 6th, 2019

Three kids looking at a laptop together while sitting on a porch

More low-income households, including those with people with disabilities, are now eligible for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program.

Comcast is expanding eligibility for its Internet Essentials program, giving more low-income households the opportunity to receive low-cost internet access.

Internet Essentials provides high-speed internet service for $9.95 a month, plus tax. Program participants also have the option to buy an internet-ready computer for less than $150 and access free digital literacy training.

Individuals who participate in Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other government assistance programs are now eligible to apply for Internet Essentials. The full list of eligible programs is available at

Comcast estimates that more than three million additional low-income households, including those with people with disabilities, are now eligible to apply.

The program already accepts applications from households that:

  • Have a student eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program
  • Live in public housing or receive HUD Housing Assistance, including Section 8 vouchers
  • Participate in the Veterans Pension Program

Low-income senior citizens and community college students in select pilot markets are also eligible.

For more information or to apply for the Internet Essentials program, visit or call (855) 846-8376. Spanish-only speakers can also call (855) 765-6995.

Additional details are also available in the Internet Essentials press release.

A list of the government assistance programs that are eligible for Comcast's Internet Essentials program.
Eligible programs for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program include: Medicaid, National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, HUD Housing Assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, Head Start or Early Head Start, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Tribal Assistance, WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and Veterans Pension.