CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — To help pay for adaptive equipment, residential living arrangements and other support, the Illinois Department of Human Services offers waivers to help individuals with developmental disabilities.

The first step is signing up for the Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Service (PUNS) database. Then individuals need to be selected from a waiver as funding comes, but many individuals are stuck waiting.

Currently, almost 15,000 individuals are on the PUNS waitlist across the state. A new bill by Sen. Paul Faraci (D-Champaign) aims to include more funding for the program to expediate the long wait.

The Champaign state senator has said the long waitlist has been a concern of his.

“Every person on the list is someone who needs help, and it’s our duty to ensure that they receive the support they require to live a happy and fulfilling life,” Faraci said.

The bill would increase money for the program by applying for more federal funding under the Social Security Act. If passed, it would fund 800 individuals on the database by the end of June. And by July 2026, the goal is to have under 800 people on the waiting list.

“This is the right thing to do for children and families that deserve better,” Faraci said.

More information about the PUNS database, including signing up for the program, can be found on IDHS’s website.