(305 ILCS 5/9A-7) (from Ch. 23, par. 9A-7)
    Sec. 9A-7. Good Cause and Pre-Sanction Process.
    (a) The Department shall establish by rule what constitutes good cause for failure to participate in education, training and employment programs, failure to accept suitable employment or terminating employment or reducing earnings.
    The Department shall establish, by rule, a pre-sanction process to assist in resolving disputes over proposed sanctions and in determining if good cause exists. Good cause shall include, but not be limited to:
        (1) temporary illness for its duration;
        (2) court required appearance or temporary
        (3) (blank);
        (4) death in the family;
        (5) (blank);
        (6) (blank);
        (7) (blank);
        (8) (blank);
        (9) extreme inclement weather;
        (10) (blank);
        (11) lack of any support service even though the
necessary service is not specifically provided under the Department program, to the extent the lack of the needed service presents a significant barrier to participation;
        (12) if an individual is engaged in employment or
training or both that is consistent with the employment related goals of the program, if such employment and training is later approved by Department staff;
        (13) (blank);
        (14) failure of Department staff to correctly forward
the information to other Department staff;
        (15) failure of the participant to cooperate because
of attendance at a test or a mandatory class or function at an educational program (including college), when an education or training program is officially approved by the Department;
        (16) failure of the participant due to his or her
        (17) failure of the participant because it is
determined that he or she should be in a different activity;
        (18) non-receipt by the participant of a notice
advising him or her of a participation requirement. If the non-receipt of mail occurs frequently, the Department shall explore an alternative means of providing notices of participation requests to participants;
        (19) (blank);
        (20) non-comprehension of English, either written or
oral or both;
        (21) (blank);
        (22) (blank);
        (23) child care (or day care for an incapacitated
individual living in the same home as a dependent child) is necessary for the participation or employment and such care is not available for a child under age 13;
        (24) failure to participate in an activity due to a
scheduled job interview, medical appointment for the participant or a household member, or school appointment;
        (25) the individual is homeless. Homeless
individuals (including the family) have no current residence and no expectation of acquiring one in the next 30 days. This includes individuals residing in overnight and transitional (temporary) shelters. This does not include individuals who are sharing a residence with friends or relatives on a continuing basis;
        (26) circumstances beyond the control of the
participant which prevent the participant from completing program requirements; or
        (27) (blank).
    (b) (Blank).
    (c) (1) The Department shall establish a reconciliation
procedure to assist in resolving disputes related to any aspect of participation, including exemptions, good cause, sanctions or proposed sanctions, supportive services, assessments, responsibility and service plans, assignment to activities, suitability of employment, or refusals of offers of employment. Through the reconciliation process the Department shall have a mechanism to identify good cause, ensure that the client is aware of the issue, and enable the client to perform required activities without facing sanction.
        (2) A participant may request reconciliation and
receive notice in writing of a meeting. At least one face-to-face meeting may be scheduled to resolve misunderstandings or disagreements related to program participation and situations which may lead to a potential sanction. The meeting will address the underlying reason for the dispute and plan a resolution to enable the individual to participate in TANF employment and work activity requirements.
        (2.5) If the individual fails to appear at the
reconciliation meeting without good cause, the reconciliation is unsuccessful and a sanction shall be imposed.
        (3) The reconciliation process shall continue after
it is determined that the individual did not have good cause for non-cooperation. Any necessary demonstration of cooperation on the part of the participant will be part of the reconciliation process. Failure to demonstrate cooperation will result in immediate sanction.
        (4) For the first instance of non-cooperation, if the
client reaches agreement to cooperate, the client shall be allowed 30 days to demonstrate cooperation before any sanction activity may be imposed. In any subsequent instances of non-cooperation, the client shall be provided the opportunity to show good cause or remedy the situation by immediately complying with the requirement.
        (5) The Department shall document in the case record
the proceedings of the reconciliation and provide the client in writing with a reconciliation agreement.
        (6) If reconciliation resolves the dispute, no
sanction shall be imposed. If the client fails to comply with the reconciliation agreement, the Department shall then immediately impose the original sanction. If the dispute cannot be resolved during reconciliation, a sanction shall not be imposed until the reconciliation process is complete.
(Source: P.A. 95-331, eff. 8-21-07.)