Catholic Charities Administrative Offices - (312) 655-7700.

Catholic Charities Social Services - email GetHelp@catholicharities.net, or call (312) 655-7700 in Chicago or (847) 782-4000 in Lake County and someone will assist you. Call volume is extremely high so email is recommended if you are unable to find what you need on the web site.

Need financial assistance?

First, see if you qualify by using our online questionnaire: Rent, SNAP or Utility AssistanceThen Call

311

Chicago

(877) 426-6515

Suburban Cook

(847) 782-4000

Lake County

Government Relations 


 

Advocacy Update 4/6/2020: Urge CMS to Expand Telehealth to Include Audio-Only Devices

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently implemented temporary flexibilities in regulations regarding telehealth in order to ensure that beneficiaries can access health and mental health services during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Clinical social workers can use smartphones with video chat apps such as Skype or Apple Facetime, in addition to video conferencing technology (which was permissible prior to the pandemic), to conduct psychotherapy. However, Medicare will not reimburse for psychotherapy provided via audio-only devices (e.g. landlines).

Many Medicare beneficiaries either do not have access to smartphones, do not know how to use video chat capability, or do not have adequate, reliable internet service to support video communications. With stay at home orders and physical distancing likely to be required for many weeks and months, and with research showing the severe adverse effects of social isolation and loneliness, Medicare beneficiaries need to be able to connect easily with mental health providers, including CSWs. A number of states as well as commercial health plans are allowing the use of audio-only devices; Medicare needs to do the same.

The Mental Health Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives on April 3 sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator, Seema Verma, to urge the agency to include audio-only access as a telehealth flexibility for psychotherapy. Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) has also urged CMS to remove this barrier. Contact HHS today.

Advocacy Update 4/3/2020: Next Emergency Aid Package


Catholic Charities employs nearly 2,000 people in Cook and Lake counties. A majority of these people are on the front lines in this pandemic, helping to feed, shelter, and counsel people with dignity and safety.

While the federal government’s recent disaster aid efforts will benefit many of the nation’s employers, a threshold on the number of an organization’s employees excludes Catholic Charities and other non-profit human services providers from the packages’ benefits. With more than 500 staff, Catholic Charities is not eligible for some of the provisions included for many employers, like assistance with medical leave, increased sick time, and business loans.

As a non-profit, by definition, Catholic Charities has no profit margin to cover costs, let alone meet huge increases during times of crisis. Non-profit organizations responding to immediate community needs have experienced lost and declining revenue due to the pandemic. An infusion of funds will help agencies such as Catholic Charities maintain its staff and continue to engage in the highest quality service delivery.
Please contact your US Senators and US Congressional Representatives with this request:

"In the next emergency aid package, expressly include charitable human services nonprofits in the definition of employers who qualify for benefits meant to help their employees, regardless of the number of people they employ."

To find contact information for your federal legislators, enter your home address on this website.

Please provide Catholic Charities Government Relations staff with feedback regarding any conversations that you have: (312) 655-7930 or agreleck@catholiccharities.net.

 

 

 

 

Stephanie Johnson, Director

721 N. LaSalle St.

Chicago, IL 60654

Phone: (312) 655-7020

 

Ann Grelecki Anderson, Director of Government Grants and Advocacy

Phone: (312) 655-7930


The Office of Government Relations furthers the mission of the agency by working collaboratively with stakeholders to improve the lives of those we serve through advocacy and program sustainability. The primary functions of the Office of Government Relations are:

  1. To develop and maintain positive relationships with policy makers, community leaders, social service providers, and advocacy groups;
  2. To cultivate and maintain relationships with elected officials in order to develop trust and enhance communications;
  3. To identify issues and their potential impact on the agency and its clients that can be modified through the legislative process;
  4. To develop and communicate a consistent, focused message to policymakers on agency positions and legislative priorities at the local, state and federal level;
  5. To present resource assistance on legislative topics, track key legislation and provide strategic assistance and grassroots training; to collaborate with program managers in developing applications for government funding; and
  6. To work with elected officials on community projects of interest to their constituents and to share with them information about agency programs in their district.