JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Community Behavioral Health Care Professional Loan Repayment Program – Coming Soon

Below is information about the Community Behavioral Health Care Professional Loan Repayment Program, anticipated to be launched later this summer. This page will be updated when the application is available, and as more details about the program are finalized.

The Community Behavioral Health Care Professional Loan Repayment Program provides loan repayment assistance to qualified mental health and substance abuse professionals. The program was designed as incentive for recruitment and retention of those who practice in underserved or rural areas. It seeks to help address the shortage of Illinois community-based behavioral workers that causes disparities in access to critical mental health and substance use services. The amount of the annual award to qualified applicants to repay their student loan debt is based on their position and may be received for up to four years.

Eligibility

To be eligible, you must:

How to Apply – Application Coming Late Summer

Once the application is available – anticipated for late summer, 2022 - it will be accessed via the Program Applications & Status Checks area of the Student Portal. The online application has built-in edits to prevent errors, and we will send immediate confirmation to your e-mail address that your application has been received. If your application, including required documentation, is incomplete, you will receive a letter from ISAC explaining the reason(s) and advising how to resolve the issue.

Each year you wish to apply for this program, you must submit an application. Qualified applicants will be sent a Notice of Eligibility letter from ISAC.

The application will have a priority consideration date, the date by which complete applications must be submitted in order to be considered timely. Each year’s priority consideration date will be announced when the application is made available.

How Funds Are Awarded and Disbursed

Recipients are selected from among qualified new and renewal applicants. The total number of awards each year is contingent on available funding. If funding in any given year is insufficient to pay all eligible applicants, awarding will be determined in the following order:

  • renewal applicants, in the order in which their applications were received
  • new applicants, using the mental health portion of the HPSA database to rank eligible rural and underserved applications, giving priority to those in the areas with the highest degree of shortage (score) for that applicant’s profession. If multiple applicants receive the same score, applications will be given consideration in the order in which they were received.
    • If an applicant works for an organization located in an HPSA mental health discipline that has satellite clinics and the applicant more than one of the clinics, the highest HPSA score where the applicant works will apply.
    • If an applicant works for different employers in multiple HPSA mental health disciplines having different degrees of shortage, the location having the highest HPSA mental health discipline score will apply.

The award amount is based on the applicant’s remaining balance on eligible education loans, not to exceed:

  • $35,000 per year for a psychiatrist
  • $15,000 per year for an advanced practice registered nurse or a physician assistant
  • $12,000 per year for a psychologist who holds a doctoral degree
  • $6,500 per year for a licensed clinical social worker or a licensed clinical professional counselor and
  • $2,500 per year for a substance abuse professional.

There is a minimum of 4-5 weeks turnaround from the date approved recipients are notified by ISAC to when funds are disbursed. Depending on the volume of payment vouchers being processed by the State of Illinois Comptroller’s Office, this timeframe may increase. Proceeds will be remitted directly to the holder of the loan(s) to be repaid.