What is PUNS?

The Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services (PUNS) database marks the beginning of the journey to seek out services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Illinois children, adolescents, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who want or need services and/or Medicaid Waiver funding, may enroll in the PUNS database. Community Alternatives Unlimited is here to assist with the enrollment process into the PUNS database.

Enrolling in PUNS

If you’re interested in having you or a family member enrolled in the PUNS database, contact Community Alternatives Unlimited. A Case Manager will conduct a PUNS interview to help categorize your need for services and support. This categorization can determine the prioritization for your placement in service programs.

It’s worth noting that completion of a PUNS does not guarantee your eligibility or funding for services. However, it ensures that the State of Illinois and the Department of Human Services know your need for assistance.

Once enrolled, PUNS information is updated annually, if service needs change, or if contact or caregiver information changes.

PUNS selections are based upon funding availability and the ability to fill program vacancies. Individuals are selected from the PUNS database based on their age, their status (planning or seeking), and their time on PUNS. Individuals selected from the PUNS database will receive a letter directly from the Department of Human Services announcing their selection and inviting them to apply for services by contacting Community Alternatives Unlimited.

Contact Community Alternatives Unlimited today to learn more and get started!

Checking Your Status in PUNS

All requests for a status update on the PUNS list must be sent via email to DHS.DDD.PUNS@illinois.gov. The state allows one inquiry per registrant every six months. Please note, CAU is unable to provide information regarding your exact placement in the waiting list.

A Guide to PUNS

Read the Understanding PUNS information and frequently asked questions on the Illinois Department of Human Services website.

See Your Next Steps


PUNS Update

A staff member conducts a PUNS update with a client who currently receives services. This includes reviewing an individual’s information and current situation to determine if any needs have changed, and if updates need to be made to their care plan or “category” within the PUNS system.


PUNS Intake Interview

A staff member conducts an initial PUNS intake interview. The staff member explains what PUNS is, how it works, and why it is important to keep it updated annually. The staff member gathers documentation from the client to help establish eligibility to enroll on the PUNS list. In addition, the client, and the staff member review existing supports, discuss what supports may be needed going forward, and establish a category to place the client in when they are enrolled in the PUNS database.

Contact Community Alternatives Unlimited today to learn more and get started!

CAU interfaces with various state agencies and a wide variety of organizations and vendors to better serve our families and individuals.

Community Alternatives Unlimited
8765 West Higgins Road, Suite 300
Chicago, Illinois 60631