(305 ILCS 5/12-4.103a)
Assets for Independence Program.
(a) Program established. Subject to available funding and receipt of a federal Assets for Independence grant award, the Department of Human Services shall establish and administer an Assets for Independence Program (Program). The Program shall be established in accordance with the terms of the Assets for Independence Act (AFIA) as now and hereafter amended (Title IV Community Opportunities, Accountability, and Training and Educational Services Act as amended, Public Law 105-285, 42 U.S.C. 604 note).
(b) Assets for Independence Fund. The Assets for Independence Fund is established. The Fund shall be held by the Secretary or his or her designee as ex-officio custodian thereof separate and apart from all other State funds. The Assets for Independence Fund is authorized to receive grants under AFIA, State moneys appropriated for the Program, and moneys from voluntary donations from individuals, foundations, corporations, and other sources. Moneys in the Assets for Independence Fund shall not be commingled with other State funds, but they shall be deposited as required by law and maintained in a separate account on the books of a savings and loan association, bank, or other qualified financial institution. All interest earnings on amounts within the Assets for Independence Fund shall accrue to the Assets for Independence Fund and shall be used in accordance with the terms of the AFIA. Administrative expenses related to the Program, including the provision of financial education to Program participants, shall be paid from the Assets for Independence Fund in accordance with the terms of AFIA Section 707(c)(3).
(c) Program purpose. The purpose of the Program is to allow eligible low-income Illinois citizens, subject to the availability of State and federal funds and authorization from the Department, to open and maintain an Individual Development Account (IDA) at a federally insured financial institution. Deposits into an IDA that are used for subsequent qualified purchases shall be matched dollar-for-dollar by moneys from the Assets for Independence Fund. Not more than $2,000 of moneys from the Assets for Independence Fund shall be provided to any one individual. Not more than $4,000 of moneys from the Assets for Independence Fund shall be provided to any one household. Assets for Independence Fund moneys not being used to administer the Program shall be used only for qualified purchases, shall be distributed only directly to the vendor of a qualified purchase, and shall require the authorization by signature of the Department's chief financial officer.
(d) Contributions to IDA and use of moneys. An individual may make contributions to his or her IDA only from earned income as defined in Section 911(d)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The moneys deposited into an IDA shall not be commingled with any Assets for Independence Fund moneys. An IDA holder shall have a 36-month period, beginning on the date the Department authorizes the holder to open the IDA, within which to make a qualified purchase. If a qualified purchase is not made within that 36-month period, Assets for Independence Fund moneys earmarked for that individual shall be released, and the Department shall authorize another eligible person to open an IDA. Under no circumstances, and at no time, shall an IDA holder lose the ability to withdraw moneys from his or her IDA.
(e) Qualified purchases. A qualified asset purchase using moneys from an IDA shall be defined in accordance with AFIA Section 404(8) and shall be one or more of the following:
(1) Payment of post-secondary education expenses, if
the expenses are paid directly to an eligible educational institution.
(2) Acquisition of a principal residence, if the
individual is buying a home for the first time and if the funds are paid directly to the person to whom the amounts required for the purchase are due.
(3) Financing of business capitalization expenses, if
the funds are paid directly into a business capitalization account at a federally insured financial institution and are restricted to use solely for qualified business capitalization expenses.
(f) Program eligibility. Program eligibility shall be established by the Department in accordance with AFIA Section 408. Persons eligible to open an IDA and to receive Assets for Independence Fund moneys are Illinois citizens currently residing in Illinois who are (i) able to demonstrate that they are currently eligible for assistance under the State's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program or (ii) able to demonstrate that the adjusted gross income of their household in the calendar year preceding the determination of eligibility was equal to or less than 200% of the poverty line, as determined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget. An individual must further demonstrate that the net worth of his or her household, as of the end of the calendar year preceding the determination of eligibility, does not exceed $10,000, as determined by AFIA Section 408(2)(B). Notwithstanding any other provision of State law, moneys in an Individual Development Account, including accrued interest and matching deposits, shall be disregarded for the purpose of determining the eligibility and benefit levels under this Code in the case of the individual establishing the IDA with respect to any period during which the individual maintains or makes contributions into the IDA. The Department shall approve an individual to open an IDA at a federally insured financial institution upon determining, based on the individual's application, that all eligibility criteria are met and subject to the availability of $2,000 in Assets for Independence Fund moneys.
(Source: P.A. 94-1043, eff. 7-24-06.)