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91_SB0882 LRB9105063WHdv 1 AN ACT to amend the Illinois Public Aid Code by changing 2 Sections 9A-8 and 11-20.1 and adding Section 9A-8.1. 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 changing Sections 9A-8 and 11-20.1 and adding Section 9A-8.1 7 as follows: 8 (305 ILCS 5/9A-8) (from Ch. 23, par. 9A-8) 9 Sec. 9A-8. Operation of Program. 10 (a) At the time of application or redetermination of 11 eligibility
or sanction or termination of eligibilityunder 12 Article IV, as determined by rule, the Illinois Department 13 shall provide information in writing and orally regarding the 14 education, training and employment program to all applicants 15 and recipients. The information required shall be 16 established by rule and shall include, but need not be 17 limited to , including: 18 (1) education (including literacy training), 19 employment and training opportunities available, the 20 criteria for approval of those opportunities, and the 21 right to request changes in the personal responsibility 22 and services plan to include those opportunities; 23 (1.1) a complete list of all activities that are 24 approvable activities, and the circumstances under which 25 they are approvable, including work activities, substance 26 abuse or mental health treatment, activities to escape 27 and prevent domestic violence, caring for a medically 28 impaired family member, and any other approvable 29 activities, together with the right to and procedures for 30 amending the responsibility and services plan to include 31 these activities; -2- LRB9105063WHdv 1 (1.2) the rules concerning the lifetime limit on 2 eligibility, including the current status of the 3 applicant or recipient in terms of the months of 4 remaining eligibility, the criteria under which a month 5 will not count towards the lifetime limit, and the 6 criteria under which a recipient may receive benefits 7 beyond the end of the lifetime limit; 8 (2) supportive services including child care and 9 the rules regarding eligibility for and access to the 10 child care assistance program, transportation, initial 11 expenses of employment, job retention, books and fees, 12 and any other supportive services; 13 (3) the obligation of the Department to provide 14 supportive services; 15 (4) the rights and responsibilities of 16 participants, including exemption, sanction, 17 reconciliation, and good cause criteria and procedures, 18 termination for non-cooperation and reinstatement rules 19 and procedures, and appeal and grievance procedures; and 20 (5) the types and locations of child care services. 21 (b) The Illinois Department shall notify the recipient 22 in writing of the opportunity to volunteer to participate in 23 the program. 24 (c) (Blank). 25 (d) As part of the personal plan for achieving 26 employment and self-sufficiency, the Department shall conduct 27 an individualized assessment of the participant's 28 employability. Except as to participation in the Get-A-Job 29 Program, no participant may be assigned to any component of 30 the education, training and employment activity prior to such 31 assessment, provided that a participant may be assigned up to 32 4 weeks of Job Search prior to such assessment. The plan 33 shall include collection of information on the individual's 34 background, proficiencies, skills deficiencies, education -3- LRB9105063WHdv 1 level, work history, employment goals, interests, aptitudes, 2 and employment preferences, as well as factors affecting 3 employability or ability to meet participation requirements 4 (e.g., health, physical or mental limitations, child care, 5 family circumstances, domestic violence, substance abuse, and 6 special needs of any child of the individual). As part of 7 the plan, individuals and Department staff shall work 8 together to identify any supportive service needs required to 9 enable the client to participate and meet the objectives of 10 his or her employability plan. The assessment may be 11 conducted through various methods such as interviews, 12 testing, counseling, and self-assessment instruments. The 13 assessment process shall include standard literacy testing 14 and a determination of English language proficiency for those 15 who display a potential need for literacy or language 16 services. For those individuals subject to a job search 17 demonstration, there may be an abbreviated assessment, as 18 defined by rule. Based on the assessment, the individual will 19 be assigned to the appropriate activity. The decision will 20 be based on a determination of the individual's level of 21 preparation for employment as defined by rule. 22 (e) Recipients determined to be exempt may volunteer to 23 participate pursuant to Section 9A-4 and must be assessed. 24 (f) As part of the personal plan for achieving 25 employment and self-sufficiency under Section 4-1, an 26 employability plan for recipients shall be developed in 27 consultation with the participant. The Department shall have 28 final responsibility for approving the employability plan. 29 The employability plan shall: 30 (1) contain an employment goal of the participant; 31 (2) describe the services to be provided by the 32 Department, including child care and other support 33 services; 34 (3) describe the activities, such as component -4- LRB9105063WHdv 1 assignment, that will be undertaken by the participant to 2 achieve the employment goal; and 3 (4) describe any other needs of the family that 4 might be met by the Department. 5 (g) The employability plan shall take into account: 6 (1) available program resources; 7 (2) the participant's support service needs; 8 (3) the participant's skills level and aptitudes; 9 (4) local employment opportunities; and 10 (5) the preferences of the participant. 11 (h) A reassessment shall be conducted to assess a 12 participant's progress and to review the employability plan 13 on the following occasions: 14 (1) upon completion of an activity and before 15 assignment to an activity; 16 (2) upon the request of the participant; 17 (3) if the individual is not cooperating with the 18 requirements of the program; and 19 (4) if the individual has failed to make 20 satisfactory progress in an education or training 21 program. 22 Based on the reassessment, the Department may revise the 23 employability plan of the participant. 24 (Source: P.A. 89-6, eff. 3-6-95; 89-289, eff. 1-1-96; 89-626, 25 eff. 8-9-96; 90-17, eff. 7-1-97.) 26 (305 ILCS 5/9A-8.1 new) 27 Sec. 9A-8.1. Improvement of information to applicants 28 and recipients. The Illinois Department shall annually 29 review all procedures and written materials that it has in 30 place for purposes of compliance with subsection (a) of 31 Section 9A-8 and Section 11-20.1 requiring the Illinois 32 Department to provide full and timely information to 33 applicants and recipients of aid under Article IV of this -5- LRB9105063WHdv 1 Code about their opportunities, rights and responsibilities 2 under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and 3 related programs. As part of this annual review, the 4 Illinois Department shall provide copies of all procedures 5 and materials to the Family Self Sufficiency Advisory Council 6 or any successor advisory body containing a similar number 7 and assortment of advocates, providers, contractors, clients, 8 and citizens. The Family Self Sufficiency Advisory Council 9 or successor advisory body shall review the existing 10 procedures and materials in light of program rules, recent 11 changes in the law or rules, and experience in the field, and 12 it shall suggest changes to the Illinois Department. The 13 Illinois Department shall produce new or revised procedures 14 and materials, or ratify the existing ones, for use beginning 15 each October 1. If the Illinois Department rejects changes 16 suggested by the Family Self Sufficiency Advisory Council, it 17 shall explain the reasons in a written response. 18 (305 ILCS 5/11-20.1) (from Ch. 23, par. 11-20.1) 19 Sec. 11-20.1. Employment; Rights of recipient and 20 obligations of Illinois Department when recipients become 21 employed; Assistance when a recipient has employment or 22 earned income or both. 23 (a) When a recipient reports employment or earned 24 income, or both, or the Illinois Department otherwise learns 25 of a recipient's employment or earned income, or both, the 26 Illinois Department shall provide the recipient with: 27 (1) An explanation of how the earned income will 28 affect the recipient's eligibility for a grant, and 29 whether the recipient must engage in additional work 30 activities to meet the recipient's monthly work 31 activities requirement and what types of activities may 32 be approved for that purpose, and whether the employment 33 is sufficient to cause months of continued receipt of a -6- LRB9105063WHdv 1 grant not to be counted against the recipient's lifetime 2 eligibility limit will continue to receive a grant and,3 if so, the amount of the grant, and, if not, whether the4 recipient would be eligible for a cash grant under5 another public assistance program. 6 (2) An explanation of the Work Pays budgeting 7 process, and an explanation of how the first month's 8 income on a new job will be projected, and how the 9 recipient should report the new job to avoid the 10 Department overestimating the first month's income 11 including the application of the earned income and child12 care disregards. 13 (3) An explanation of how the earned income will 14 affect the recipient's eligibility for food stamps, 15 whether the recipient will continue to receive food 16 stamps, and, if so, the amount of food stamps. 17 (4) The names and telephone numbers of all 18 caseworkers to whom the recipient's case or cases are 19 assigned or will be transferred, an explanation of which 20 type of case each worker will be handling, and the 21 effective date of the transfer. 22 (5) An explanation of monthly reporting, including23 the recipient's responsibilities to report income and 24 household circumstances on a monthly basis, the process 25 by which quarterly monthlyreporting forms are sent to 26 recipients, where and to whom the reports should be 27 returned, the deadline by which reports must be returned, 28 instructions on how to fill out the reports, an 29 explanation of what the recipient should do if he or she 30 does not receive the form, advice on how to prove the 31 report was returned by the recipient such as by keeping a 32 copy, and an explanation of the effects of failure to 33 file reports. 34 (6) If the recipient will continue to receive a -7- LRB9105063WHdv 1 grant, an explanation of the recipient's new fiscal month 2 and a statement as to when the recipient will receive his 3 or her grant. 4 (7) An explanation of Kidcare and the automatic12 5 month extension of medical assistance that is available 6 when a grant is cancelled due to earned income. 7 (8) An explanation of the medical assistance the 8 person may be eligible for when the 12 month extension 9 expires and how to request or apply for it. 10 (9) An explanation of the availability of a child 11 care subsidy to all families below the child care 12 assistance program's income limit, how to apply for the 13 benefit through the Child Care Resource and Referral or 14 site-administered child care program or both, the nature 15 of the child care program's sliding scale co-payments, 16 the availability of the 10% earned income disregard in 17 determining eligibility for child care assistance and the 18 amount of the parent co-payment, the right to use the 19 subsidy for either licensed or license exempt legal care, 20 and the availability of benefits when the parent is 21 engaged in an education and training program payments to22 supplement the child care disregard and the procedures by23 which they may be obtained. 24 (10) (Blank). An explanation of transitional child25 care benefits, including how to apply for transitional26 child care benefits, how, to whom, and under what27 circumstances transitional child care benefits will be28 paid and an application for transitional child care29 benefits. 30 (11) (Blank). Information concerning the assistance31 available from the Child Care Resource and Referral32 Project and a referral to the local Child Care Resource33 and Referral Project office or phone number if the34 recipient needs help locating child care.-8- LRB9105063WHdv 1 (11a) (Blank). Information regarding the length of2 time the recipient can expect to receive child care3 disregards or child care benefits funded by the Illinois4 Department and an explanation of how and when to apply5 for other sources of publicly funded child care benefits6 to replace child care disregards or child care benefits7 funded by the Illinois Department.8 (12) (Blank). An explanation of Project Chance9 child care benefits and how to request or apply for them.10 11 (13) An explanation of the availability of payment 12 for initial expenses of employment and how to request or 13 apply for it. 14 (14) An explanation of the Project Chancejob 15 retention component and how to participate in it, and an 16 explanation of the recipient's eligibility to receive 17 supportive services to participate in education and 18 training programs while working. 19 (15) A statement of the types of assistance that 20 will be provided to the person automatically or continued 21 and a statement of the types of assistance for which the 22 person must apply or reapply. 23 (16) If the recipient will not continue to receive 24 a cash grant and the recipient has assigned his or her 25 right to child support to the Illinois Department, an 26 explanation of the recipient's right to continue to 27 receive child support enforcement services, the 28 recipient's right to have all current support paid after 29 grant cancellation forwarded promptly to the recipient, 30 the procedures by which child support will be forwarded, 31 and the procedures by which the recipient will be 32 informed of the collection and distribution of child 33 support. 34 (17) An explanation of the availability of -9- LRB9105063WHdv 1 transitionalpayments if the recipient experiences a 2 decrease in or loss of earned income during a calendar 3 quarter as to which the monthly grant was previously 4 budgeted based upon the higher income and the recipient5 is receiving a cash grant. 6 (18) If the recipient will not continue to receive 7 a cash grant, an explanation of the procedures for 8 reapplying for cash assistance if the person experiences 9 a decrease in or loss of earned income. 10 (19) An explanation of the earned income tax credit 11 and the procedures by which it may be obtained and the 12 rules for disregarding it in determining eligibility for 13 and the amount of assistance. 14 (b) The information listed in subsection (a) shall 15 be provided to the recipient on an individual basis during an 16 in-person meeting with a representative of the Illinois 17 Department. The individual in-person meeting shall be held 18 at a time which does not conflict with the recipient's work 19 schedule within 30 days of the date the recipient begins 20 working. If the recipient informs the Illinois Department 21 that an in-person meeting would be inconvenient, the Illinois 22 Department may provide the information during a home visit, 23 by telephone, or by mail within 30 days of the date the 24 recipient begins working, whichever the client prefers. 25 (c) At the conclusion of the meeting described in 26 subsection (b), the Illinois Department shall ensure that all 27 case transfers and calculations of benefits necessitated by 28 the recipient's employment or receipt of earned income have 29 been performed, that applications have been made or provided 30 for all benefits for which the person must apply or reapply, 31 and that the person has received payment for initial expenses 32 of employment. 33 (Source: P.A. 87-630.) -10- LRB9105063WHdv 1 Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon 2 becoming law.
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