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|[ Engrossed ]||[ House Amendment 001 ]|
91_HB0650 LRB9104312SMdv 1 AN ACT to amend the Illinois Public Aid Code by adding 2 Section 1-12. 3 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, 4 represented in the General Assembly: 5 Section 5. The Illinois Public Aid Code is amended by 6 adding Section 1-12 as follows: 7 (305 ILCS 5/1-12 new) 8 Sec. 1-12. Family violence option. 9 (a) Findings. The General Assembly finds that: 10 (1) domestic violence may make it difficult for 11 some individuals to attain economic self-sufficiency, 12 because the physical and mental effects of past or 13 present abuse may hinder job performance; because abusive 14 partners may attempt to sabotage their victims' 15 education, training, and employment to keep them 16 economically dependent; or because the demands of court 17 intervention, criminal prosecution, or safety planning 18 may interfere with work, education, or training; 19 (2) attempts to escape violent living arrangements 20 may disrupt work or require relocation from another 21 state or both; 22 (3) in situations where there is a risk of domestic 23 violence, cooperation with child support and paternity 24 establishment may increase the risk to individuals and 25 their children; 26 (4) no individual should be forced to remain in a 27 violent living situation or place themselves or others at 28 risk in order to attain or retain assistance, for 29 economic survival, or because any applicable time limit 30 has expired; and 31 (5) no individual should be unfairly penalized -2- LRB9104312SMdv 1 because past or present domestic violence or the risk of 2 domestic violence causes them to fail to comply with 3 requirements for assistance. 4 (b) Definition of domestic violence. For purposes of 5 this Section, the term "domestic violence" means battering or 6 subjecting a person to extreme cruelty by (i) physical acts 7 that resulted in or threatened to result in physical injury; 8 (ii) sexual abuse; (iii) sexual activity involving a child in 9 the home; (iv) forcing the person to participate in 10 nonconsensual sexual acts or activities; (v) threats of, or 11 attempts at, physical or sexual abuse; (vi) mental abuse; 12 (vii) neglect or deprivation of medical care. 13 (c) Protection of applicants and recipients who are 14 victims of domestic violence. In recognition of the reality 15 of family violence for many individuals who may need 16 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the State of 17 Illinois adopts the Family Violence Option of Section 18 402(a)(7) of the Social Security Act. 19 Adoption of the Family Violence Option shall increase the 20 State's flexibility in moving Illinois families from welfare 21 to work to ensure that applicants and recipients who are past 22 or present victims of domestic violence or those at risk of 23 further domestic violence are not placed at risk or unfairly 24 penalized, and to ensure that victims of domestic violence 25 remain on the path to economic self-sufficiency while 26 preserving the safety and well-being of the victims and 27 their children. 28 All State agencies responsible for the operation and 29 implementation of any portion of the TANF program under 30 Article IV and child support programs under Articles IV and X 31 shall: 32 (1) screen and identify applicants and recipients 33 of assistance for TANF who are past or present victims of 34 domestic violence or at risk of further domestic -3- LRB9104312SMdv 1 violence, while protecting confidentiality; 2 (2) refer these individuals for counseling and 3 supportive services; and 4 (3) waive, for so long as necessary, pursuant to a 5 determination of good cause, any program requirements 6 that would make it more difficult for these individuals 7 to escape domestic violence or unfairly penalize past or 8 present victims of domestic violence or those at risk of 9 further domestic violence, such as time limits on receipt 10 of assistance, work requirements, paternity establishment 11 and child support cooperation requirements, residency 12 requirements, family cap provisions, budgeting an 13 abuser's income as countable income, limitations on 14 emergency assistance, or any penalty or sanction, 15 including reduction or termination of assistance, for 16 failure to comply with a program requirement. 17 (4) For purposes of this Section, a victim of 18 domestic violence is someone who has been battered or 19 subject to extreme cruelty as that term is defined in 20 Section 408(a)(7)(C)(iii) of the Social Security Act. 21 (d) Identification of victims of domestic violence. The 22 Department of Human Services and the Department of Public Aid 23 shall jointly develop and monitor compliance with procedures 24 for identifying victims of domestic violence for State 25 agencies and their employees, contractors, and 26 subcontractors. Those procedures shall provide for a 27 universal screening process with interview questions that 28 screen for issues of domestic violence and universal 29 notification to all applicants and recipients of aid under 30 Article IV of the following: 31 (1) that referrals to counseling and supportive 32 services as detailed under subsection (f) are available 33 for past or present victims of domestic violence or those 34 at risk of further domestic violence; -4- LRB9104312SMdv 1 (2) that all past or present victims of domestic 2 violence or those at risk of further domestic violence 3 shall, upon showing of good cause, receive waivers of any 4 program requirements that will make it more difficult for 5 them to escape from domestic violence or unfairly 6 penalize them for being victims or potential victims of 7 such violence; and 8 (3) the procedures for voluntarily and 9 confidentially identifying eligibility for referrals to 10 supportive services and waivers and the procedures for 11 obtaining services or applying for waivers. 12 Notification shall be both in writing and orally at the 13 time of application for benefits and recertification, during 14 the development of the personal plan for achieving employment 15 and self-sufficiency, also referred to as the individual 16 responsibility plan (IRP) or the responsibility and services 17 plan (RASP), at the beginning of any job training or work 18 placement assistance program, and at any other time at which 19 a determination is being made concerning the individual's 20 progress, eligibility, or status under the TANF program, 21 prior to any information for the purpose of establishing 22 paternity or child support enforcement being requested from 23 the applicant or recipient, and at the point of referral to 24 the child support or Medicaid agency. Screening and 25 notification procedures shall allow applicants and recipients 26 to voluntarily and confidentially disclose their eligibility 27 for services or waivers at any time. At no time shall an 28 applicant or recipient's decision not to disclose eligibility 29 for services or waivers due to domestic violence preclude 30 disclosure at a later date, nor shall it preclude future 31 access to services or waivers. 32 (e) Confidentiality. The Department of Human Services 33 and the Department of Public Aid shall jointly develop and 34 monitor compliance procedures for the agencies and their -5- LRB9104312SMdv 1 employees, contractors, and subcontractors to ensure that any 2 information pertaining to any applicant or recipient of aid 3 who claims to be a past or present victim of domestic 4 violence or an individual at risk of further domestic 5 violence, whether provided by the victim or by a third party, 6 shall remain confidential. This information shall be used by 7 the Department of Human Services and the Department of Public 8 Aid solely for the purpose of referral to services under 9 subsection (f) or determining eligibility for waivers under 10 subsection (g). Information with respect to victims of 11 domestic violence or anyone who claims to be a victim of 12 domestic violence shall not be released to any outside party 13 or parties or other governmental agencies, unless the 14 information is required to be disclosed by law, or unless 15 authorized in writing by the applicant or recipient. This 16 includes but is not limited to information on the applicant 17 or recipient's current address, workplace or work placement, 18 that the individual has been identified as the victim of 19 domestic violence, or any details concerning the domestic 20 violence. 21 (f) Procedures for referral to services. The Department 22 of Human Services and the Department of Public Aid shall 23 jointly develop and monitor compliance with procedures for 24 the agencies and their employees, contractors, and 25 subcontractors for referring victims of domestic violence to 26 appropriate services. Whenever an applicant or recipient of 27 aid self-identifies, or is otherwise identified, as a past or 28 present victim of domestic violence or a person at risk of 29 further domestic violence, the Department of Human Services 30 and the Department of Public Aid shall refer that individual 31 to an employee trained in domestic violence issues who shall 32 provide information about how to contact local services. 33 Services include but are not limited to: shelters for 34 battered individuals, medical services, domestic abuse -6- LRB9104312SMdv 1 hotlines, emergency aid for individuals fleeing domestic 2 violence, legal counseling and advocacy, initiation of 3 criminal proceedings, mental health care, counseling, support 4 groups, and financial assistance for victims of crime. 5 (g) Waivers. 6 (1) The Department of Human Services and the 7 Department of Public Aid shall jointly develop and 8 monitor compliance with procedures for the agencies and 9 their employees, contractors, and subcontractors for 10 waivers of program requirements. Whenever an applicant 11 or recipient of aid self-identifies, or is otherwise 12 identified as a past or present victim of domestic 13 violence or a person at risk of further domestic 14 violence, the agencies shall notify that individual that 15 they may be eligible for a good cause waiver of any 16 potentially applicable program requirements or penalty 17 provisions, including, but not limited to: 18 (A) time limits on receipt of assistance; 19 (B) work requirements; 20 (C) paternity establishment and child support 21 cooperation requirements; 22 (D) residency requirements; 23 (E) family cap provisions; 24 (F) budgeting an abuser's income as countable 25 income; 26 (G) limitations on emergency assistance; 27 (H) any other program requirements that will 28 make it more difficult to escape violence or further 29 penalize past or present victims of domestic 30 violence or those at risk of further domestic 31 violence; or 32 (I) any penalty or sanction, including denial, 33 reduction, or termination of assistance, for failure 34 to comply with one of the above requirements. -7- LRB9104312SMdv 1 With the applicant or recipient's informed consent, the 2 agencies shall determine whether good cause exists for a 3 waiver of any potentially applicable program requirement 4 or penalty provision. 5 (2) Good cause for waiver of program requirements 6 or penalty provisions shall be found whenever imposition 7 of the requirement or penalty would: 8 (A) make it more difficult for an applicant or 9 recipient to escape domestic violence; or 10 (B) unfairly penalize applicants or recipients 11 of aid who are past or present victims of, or at 12 risk of further domestic violence. 13 (3) Examples of situations that require the 14 Department of Human Services and the Department of Public 15 Aid to waive specific program requirements include but 16 are not limited to: 17 (A) waivers of work requirements or penalties 18 for failing to comply with work requirements where: 19 (i) the applicant or recipient has 20 difficulty engaging in work activity, because 21 of physical injuries caused by abuse or 22 psychological effects of abuse; 23 (ii) work activity is disrupted due to 24 domestic violence, including civil or criminal 25 legal proceedings related to the domestic 26 violence; 27 (iii) the abuse actively interferes with 28 the applicant or recipient's work activity, 29 with that individual's attendance at work 30 activity, or with that individual's child care 31 arrangement; or 32 (iv) the individual's work activity 33 location puts the individual at risk. 34 For purposes of this subdivision (3)(A), work -8- LRB9104312SMdv 1 activity includes but is not limited to subsidized 2 or unsubsidized employment or any job training, 3 education, job readiness, work placement assistance, 4 or community service program. 5 (B) temporary suspension of time limits where 6 the applicant or recipient has exhausted the time 7 limit for receiving aid but needs continuing 8 financial aid to escape domestic violence, or 9 tolling of time limits where domestic violence has 10 prolonged the applicant or recipient's need for 11 assistance before the time limit has been reached; 12 (C) waivers of requirements of disclosure of 13 information, such as paternity, where the applicant 14 or recipient is afraid such disclosure will increase 15 the danger of abuse to the applicant or recipient or 16 that individual's children; 17 (D) waiver of paternity and child support 18 cooperation requirements or penalties for failure to 19 cooperate with child support determination and 20 paternity establishment, where the applicant or 21 recipient reasonably believes that cooperation would 22 put the applicant or recipient or that individual's 23 children at risk; and 24 (E) waiver of residency requirements when an 25 applicant or recipient flees to the State of 26 Illinois to escape domestic violence. 27 (4) Waivers shall be automatically offered to 28 applicants or recipients upon a showing of good cause, 29 for as long as necessary. An applicant or recipient is 30 free to decline an offer of a waiver, or terminate an 31 existing waiver at any time, without penalty. Granting 32 of a waiver does not restrict otherwise qualified 33 applicants and recipients from voluntary participation in 34 any work, job training, education, job readiness, work -9- LRB9104312SMdv 1 placement assistance, or community service program. 2 Failure to follow through on such voluntary activities 3 when a waiver is in place shall not result in any denial, 4 reduction, or termination of assistance or any other 5 penalty. 6 (5) Denials of requests for waivers of program 7 requirements that would penalize a past or present victim 8 of domestic violence or a person at risk of further 9 domestic violence, or would make it more difficult for 10 that individual to escape domestic violence, shall be in 11 writing and shall state the reason for denial. Denials 12 shall be transmitted to applicants or recipients in 13 accordance with the confidentiality procedures 14 established under subsection (e). Denials may be 15 appealed through the fair hearing procedure applicable to 16 other determinations of TANF eligibility, progress, or 17 status. 18 (6) Nothing in this Section shall be interpreted to 19 require any actions by domestic violence victims such as 20 seeking orders of protection, attending counseling, or 21 other actions that are not required of other applicants 22 or recipients. Nothing in this Section shall be 23 interpreted as allowing denial or reduction of benefits 24 to domestic violence victims because they do not take 25 actions not required of other applicants or recipients. 26 (h) Evidence of domestic violence. Allegations of 27 domestic violence by a victim shall be sufficient to 28 establish domestic violence where the agency has no 29 independent, reasonable basis to find the recipient not 30 credible. Evidence may also include, but is not limited to, 31 police, government agency, or court records; documentation 32 from a shelter worker, legal, clerical, medical, or other 33 professional from whom the applicant or recipient has sought 34 assistance in dealing with domestic violence; or other -10- LRB9104312SMdv 1 corroborating evidence, such as a statement from any other 2 individual with knowledge of the circumstances which provide 3 the basis for the claim, or physical evidence of domestic 4 violence, or any other evidence that supports the statement. 5 Evidence of domestic violence may be established at any 6 time. 7 (i) Domestic violence training. Domestic violence and 8 sexual abuse training programs shall be mandatory for 9 employees, contractors and their employees, and 10 subcontractors and their employees, of the Department of 11 Human Services and the Department of Public Aid who work with 12 applicants and recipients under Article IV. The training 13 shall take place within 180 days after the effective date of 14 this amendatory Act of the 91st General Assembly. Employees, 15 contractors, and subcontractors of both Departments, and the 16 employees of contractors and subcontractors, new to working 17 with applicants and recipients under Article IV, shall 18 participate and complete the training within 45 days of the 19 date of hire or start date for the contract. Within 90 days 20 after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 91st 21 General Assembly, each local office of the Department of 22 Human Services and each Department of Public Aid child 23 support enforcement client service office shall have at all 24 times at least one full-time employee designated as the 25 "domestic violence resource worker". The requirements for a 26 domestic violence resource worker are (1) the employee shall 27 be at a caseworker or higher level, and (2) the employee 28 shall have successfully completed a training program that 29 qualifies the employee as a domestic violence advocate or 30 counselor under Section 227 of the Illinois Domestic Violence 31 Act of 1986. 32 (j) Consultation with domestic violence experts. In 33 establishing procedures under this Section for identification 34 of victims of domestic violence, maintaining confidentiality, -11- LRB9104312SMdv 1 referral to services, granting waivers, and determining 2 evidence of domestic violence, the Department of Human 3 Services and the Department of Public Aid shall consult with 4 experts on battering and advocate organizations, such as 5 shelters for battered individuals, legal services agencies, 6 and State and local domestic violence and sexual assault 7 coalitions and resource centers, to ensure that the 8 procedures protect the safety and confidentiality of 9 victims, and to develop training and education programs under 10 subsection (i). 11 Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon 12 becoming law.
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