Skip to main content

HFS Privacy Statement

Pursuant to the fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of government, it is declared to be the public policy of the state of Illinois that all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts and policies of those who represent them as public officials and public employees. The access to this information is not intended to be used to violate individual privacy, nor to further a commercial enterprise, nor to disrupt the duly-undertaken work of any public body independent of the fulfillment of any of the rights of the people to have access to information.

Privacy Statement

The Department Web site is composed of public informational areas and protected, private areas providing transactional assistance and business services to clients and related service partners.

Information collected and received through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (Department) Web site may become public record and therefore subject to disclosure under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/1 et seq.). It is the policy of the Department that no personal information you provide to it, including, but not limited to, your name, address, telephone number, drivers license number, Social Security Number and e-mail address will be sold or rented to any entity or individual or disclosed to any unauthorized entity or individual. No entity other than the Department will collect information from the Department Web site. The release of personal information by the Department shall be limited, according to Illinois law, to the state of Illinois government agencies and/or to authorized Department contractors or grantees. If the Department transmits personal information over the Internet, it will employ security measures, including, but not limited to, encryption, to ensure the privacy of the data.

Personal Information and Choice

"Personal information" is information about an individual that is readily identifiable to that specific individual. Personal information includes personal identifiers such as an individual's name, address, phone number, drivers’ license number and Social Security Number. A domain name or Internet Protocol address is not considered personal information. The Department will collect no personal information about you unless you voluntarily participate in an activity that asks for information (e.g., sending an e-mail or participating in a survey). If you choose not to participate in these activities, your choice will in no way affect your ability to use any other feature of the Department Web site. If personal information is requested on the Web site or volunteered by the user, state law and the federal Privacy Act of 1974 may protect it. However, this information is a public record once you provide it, and may be subject to public inspection and copying if not protected by federal or state law.

You will not be required to provide information unless:

You choose to participate in an online survey, which may require you to provide certain information; or

You are inquiring about your services funded by the Department, which will require you to provide information to obtain a digital certificate; or

At such time as the Department is able to provide such case information online, you are inquiring about your child support case, which will require you to provide information to obtain a digital certificate.

Policies for Individuals Under 13 Years of Age

The Department is committed to complying fully with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. Accordingly, if you are under the age of 13, you are not authorized to provide the Department with personally identifying information, and the Department will not use any such information in its database or other data collection activities. The Department appreciates your cooperation with this federally mandated requirement. Users are cautioned that the collection of personal information volunteered by children online or by e-mail will be treated the same as information given by an adult and may be subject to public access.

Web Logs

The Department analyzes its Web site logs to continually improve the value of the materials available on its site and to improve the secure exchange of information. The Department Web site logs are not personally identifiable.

Our Policy for Protecting Your Online Privacy

This Web site uses Google Analytics to help analyze how visitors use the site. The tool uses "cookies," which are text files placed on your computer, to collect standard Internet log information and visitor behavior information in an anonymous form. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the Web site (including IP address) is transmitted to Google. This information is then used to track and analyze visits to the Web site.

Information Retained and How it is Used

If, during your visit to the Department Web site, you just browse or download information, the following information about your visit will be retained:

Your Internet Protocol address (not the e-mail address): Unique IP addresses may be counted to determine the number of visitors to each Web page during specific time frames. Analysis of the number of visitors helps to determine how, where or if the page will be delivered in the future.

The type of Web browser used (Internet Explorer, Netscape, etc.): Web pages do not always display the same on every type or version of Web browser and thus must be coded for appropriate access.

In addition, within areas secured to protect information exchanged with the Department over the Internet, information may be collected which includes:

The domain from which access is made to the Internet (for example,, if you are connecting from an America Online account);

The date and time access to the site is made; 

The pages, files, documents and links visited to improve functionality and tailor the presentation to enhance usage;

The Internet address of the Web site from which a link to the Department Web site is made; and,

The personal identity of the person conducting a secure transaction with the Department.

The Department will collect information from the Web site only for these purposes and for purposes related to the services the Department is required by law to provide.


If during your visit to the Department Web site you participate in a survey or send an e-mail, the following additional information will be collected:

E-mail correspondence: The e-mail address and contents of the e-mail. The Department may use your e-mail to respond appropriately. This may be to respond to you, to address issues you identify, to further improve the Department Web site, or to forward the e-mail to another agency for appropriate action.

Surveys: Any information you volunteered in response to a survey. Survey information is used for the purpose designated. The information collected is not limited to text characters and may include audio, video, and graphic information formats that you have provided.


Within areas of the Department Web site, secured to protect information exchanged with the Department over the Internet, cookies may be used depending upon the type of business conducted. Cookies are small pieces of information distributed to the browser by Web sites visited. Cookies can be used to track usage patterns, traffic trends and verify identity for the secure exchange of information. Cookies may be used to store information, for example, to allow future use without having to re-enter information or for verification of identity to allow business to be conducted with a high level of security and privacy, preventing information from being intercepted when communicating with the Department Web site. Cookies collected will not be used to create profiles of users or to track Internet usage outside of the Department Web site.

The personal browser can be set to not accept cookies and access to the Department Web site will not be denied if cookies are not accepted. Access to certain secure information, however, may not be allowed if cookies are rejected as this is integral to providing secure connectivity and protecting the information you provide.

Further Information about Cookies

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is an industry body that develops standards and guidelines to support online business processes. It has produced a series of Web pages that explain how cookies work and how they can be managed.

If you have questions concerning our privacy policy, please use our contact details to discuss them.

Link Disclaimer

The Department has links to other Web sites. These include links to Web sites operated by other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private businesses. When you link to another site, you are no longer on a site covered by this Privacy Notice. When you link to another Web site, you are subject to the privacy policy of that new site. Please see the information below for a complete list of those URLs that are covered by this privacy policy.

Legal Notices Access to the Department Web site is provided subject to the following terms and conditions. Please read these terms carefully as use of these sites constitutes acceptance of all of the following terms and conditions.

Disclaimer of Liability

Neither the state of Illinois, the Department, nor any state employee shall be held liable for a Web site user's improper or incorrect use of the information described and/or contained herein and assumes no responsibility for anyone's use of the information. In no event shall the Department Web site or state employees be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, or consequential damages (including, but not limited to, procurement or substitute goods or services; loss of use, data, or profits; or business interruption) however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability, or tort (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the use of this system, even if advised of the possibility of such damage. This disclaimer of liability applies to any damages or injury, including, but not limited to, those caused by any failure of performance, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, computer virus, communication line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, alteration of, or use of record, whether for breach of contract, tortious behavior, negligence or under any other cause of action.

Disclaimer of Warranties and Accuracy of Data

Although the data found using the state of Illinois access systems have been produced and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made regarding accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information. This disclaimer applies to both isolated and aggregate uses of the information. The state provides this information on an "as is" basis. All warranties of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, freedom from contamination by computer viruses and non-infringement of proprietary rights are disclaimed. Changes may be periodically made to the information herein; these changes may or may not be incorporated in any new version of the publication. If you have obtained information from any of the state's Web pages from a source other than the state pages, be aware that electronic data can be altered subsequent to original distribution. Data can also quickly become out of date. It is recommended that careful attention be paid to the contents of any data associated with a file, and that the originator of the data or information be contacted with any questions regarding appropriate use. If you find any errors or omissions, the Department encourages you to report them to

Disclaimer of Endorsement

The Department is a distributor of content sometimes supplied by third parties and users. Any  opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or distributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of the state of Illinois and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes. Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the Department.

Disclaimer of External Links

The Department Web site contains links to other related World Wide Web Internet sites and resources. Neither the state of Illinois in general nor the Department in particular is responsible for the contents of any off-site pages referenced. The user specifically acknowledges that neither the state nor the Department is liable for the defamatory, offensive, or illegal conduct of other users, links, or third parties and that the risk of injury from the foregoing rests entirely with the user. Links from the Department Web page on the World Wide Web to other sites do not constitute an endorsement from the Department. These links are provided as an information service only. It is the responsibility of the Web surfer to evaluate the content and usefulness of information obtained from other sites. Since the Department Web site is not responsible for the availability of these outside resources or their contents, you should direct any concerns regarding any external link to its site administrator or Webmaster.

Disclaimer of Duty to Continue Provision of Data

Due to the dynamic nature of the Internet, resources that are free and publicly available one day may require a fee or restricted access the next, and the location of items may change as menus, home pages, and files are reorganized. The user expressly agrees that use of the Department Web site is at the user's sole risk. The Department does not warrant that the service will be uninterrupted or error free. The documents and related graphics published on this server could contain technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. The Department may make improvements or changes in the information or programs described herein at any time.

Disclaimer of Legal Advice

The information contained in this Web site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Individuals should use this site only as a starting point for their research and should not assume that any information contained herein has not been updated and that other information not contained here may exist. Use of this Web site does not create a relationship, including but not limited to an attorney-client relationship, between the user and the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) or any employee of HFS. The user should not act or rely on the information in this site regarding the application of the information provided to the facts of particular situations.


The Department, as developer and manager of this Web site, has taken several steps to safeguard the integrity of its communications and computing infrastructure, including but not limited to authentication, monitoring, auditing, and encryption. Security measures have been integrated into the design, implementation and day-to-day practices of the entire Department operating environment as part of its continuing commitment to risk management.

This information should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal, or other advice, or warranting as fail proof, the security of information provided via department supported Web sites.

Choice of Law

Construction of the disclaimers above, and resolution of disputes thereof, is governed by the laws of the state of Illinois. The laws of the state of Illinois, U.S.A., shall apply to all uses of this data and this system. By use of this system and any data contained therein, the user agrees that use shall conform to all applicable laws and regulations and user shall not violate the rights of any third parties.
This privacy notice applies to the following Department site URLs: