Illinois Compiled Statutes
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305 ILCS 5/12-4.4
(305 ILCS 5/12-4.4)
(from Ch. 23, par. 12-4.4)
Administration of federally-aided programs.
County Departments of Public Aid in the administration of
funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) Program, programs to aid refugees and Articles III,
IV, and V of this Code.
Illinois Department of Human Services
shall operate a SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) program in
compliance with federal law. The SNAP E&T program may only be mandatory in counties where the Department can show that there are sufficient program slots for at least the majority of the county's current non-exempt work registrants as described in Section 11-20 of this Code. Nothing in this Section shall prevent the Department from operating a fully voluntary SNAP E&T program. The SNAP E&T program will have an Earnfare
component. The Earnfare component shall be available in selected geographic
areas based on criteria established by the Illinois Department of Human
Services by rule.
Participants in Earnfare will, to the extent resources allow, earn their
assistance. Participation in the Earnfare program is voluntary, except when
ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction. Eligibility for Earnfare may
be limited to only 6 months out of any 12 consecutive month period. Clients are
not entitled to be placed in an Earnfare slot. Earnfare slots shall be made
available only as resources permit. Earnfare shall be available to persons
receiving SNAP benefits who meet eligibility criteria established by the Illinois
Department of Human Services by rule.
The Illinois Department may, by rule, extend the Earnfare Program to clients
who do not receive SNAP benefits.
Receipt of SNAP benefits is not an
eligibility requirement of
Earnfare when a court of competent jurisdiction orders an individual to
participate in the Earnfare Program. To
the extent resources permit, the Earnfare program will allow participants
to engage in work-related activities to earn monthly financial assistance
payments and to improve participants' employability in order for them to
succeed in obtaining employment. The Illinois Department of Human Services may enter into
contracts with other public agencies including State agencies, with local
governmental units, and with not-for-profit community based organizations
to carry out the elements of the Program that the Department of Human Services deems appropriate.
The Earnfare Program shall contain the following elements:
(1) To the extent resources allow and slots exist,
the Illinois Department of Human Services shall refer recipients of SNAP benefits who meet eligibility criteria, as established by rule. Receipt of SNAP benefits is not an eligibility requirement of Earnfare when a court of competent jurisdiction orders an individual to participate in the Earnfare Program.
(2) Persons participating in Earnfare shall engage in
employment assigned activities equal to the amount of the SNAP benefits divided by the State or federal minimum wage, whichever is higher, and subsequently shall earn minimum wage assistance for each additional hour of performance in Earnfare activity. Earnfare participants shall be offered the opportunity to earn up to $154. The Department of Human Services may establish a higher amount by rule provided resources permit. If a court of competent jurisdiction orders an individual to participate in the Earnfare program, hours engaged in employment assigned activities shall first be applied for a $50 payment made to the custodial parent as a support obligation. If the individual receives SNAP benefits, the individual shall engage in employment assigned activities equal to the amount of the SNAP benefits divided by the State or federal minimum wage, whichever is higher, and subsequently shall earn State or federal minimum wage assistance, whichever is higher, for each additional hour of performance in Earnfare activity.
(3) To the extent appropriate slots are available,
the Illinois Department of Human Services shall assign Earnfare participants to Earnfare activities based on an assessment of the person's age, literacy, education, educational achievement, job training, work experience, and recent institutionalization, whenever these factors are known to the Department of Human Services or to the contractor and are relevant to the individual's success in carrying out the assigned activities and in ultimately obtaining employment.
(4) The Department of Human Services shall consider
the participant's preferences and personal employment goals in making assignments to the extent administratively possible and to the extent that resources allow.
(5) The Department of Human Services may enter into
cooperative agreements with local governmental units (which may, in turn, enter into agreements with not-for-profit community based organizations): with other public, including State, agencies; directly with not-for-profit community based organizations, and with private employers to create Earnfare activities for program participants.
(6) To the extent resources permit, the Department of
Human Services shall provide the Earnfare participants with the costs of transportation in looking for work and in getting to and from the assigned Earnfare job site and initial expenses of employment.
(7) All income and asset limitations of the Federal
SNAP Program will govern continued Earnfare participation, except that court ordered participants shall participate for 6 months unless the court orders otherwise.
(8) Earnfare participants shall not displace or
substitute for regular, full time or part time employees, regardless of whether or not the employee is currently working, on a leave of absence or in a position or similar position where a layoff has taken place or the employer has terminated the employment of any regular employee or otherwise reduced its workforce with the effect of filling the vacancy so created with a participant subsidized under this program, or is or has been involved in a labor dispute between a labor organization and the sponsor.
(9) Persons who fail to cooperate with the SNAP E&T
program in counties where available program slots exist for at least the majority of that county's current work registrants shall become ineligible for SNAP benefits according to SNAP regulations, and for Earnfare participation. Failure to participate in Earnfare for all of the hours assigned is not a failure to cooperate unless so established by the employer pursuant to Department of Human Services rules. If a person who is ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction to participate in the Earnfare Program fails to cooperate with the Program, the person shall be referred to the court for failure to comply with the court order.
(Source: P.A. 101-566, eff. 8-23-19.)