State of Illinois
91st General Assembly

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 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 eligibility under
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  the
 4        recipient  would  be  eligible  for  a  cash  grant under
 5        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  child
12        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, including
23        the recipient's responsibilities  to  report  income  and
24        household  circumstances  on a monthly basis, the process
25        by which quarterly monthly reporting 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 automatic 12
 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 to
22        supplement the child care disregard and the procedures by
23        which they may be obtained.
24             (10)  (Blank). An explanation of transitional  child
25        care  benefits,  including  how to apply for transitional
26        child  care  benefits,  how,  to  whom,  and  under  what
27        circumstances transitional child care  benefits  will  be
28        paid  and  an  application  for  transitional  child care
29        benefits.
30             (11)  (Blank). Information concerning the assistance
31        available from  the  Child  Care  Resource  and  Referral
32        Project  and  a referral to the local Child Care Resource
33        and Referral  Project  office  or  phone  number  if  the
34        recipient needs help locating child care.
                            -8-                LRB9105063WHdv
 1             (11a)  (Blank).  Information regarding the length of
 2        time the recipient  can  expect  to  receive  child  care
 3        disregards  or child care benefits funded by the Illinois
 4        Department and an explanation of how and  when  to  apply
 5        for  other sources of publicly funded child care benefits
 6        to replace child care disregards or child  care  benefits
 7        funded by the Illinois Department.
 8             (12)  (Blank).  An  explanation  of  Project  Chance
 9        child care benefits and how to request or apply for them.
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  Chance  job
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        transitional payments  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 recipient
 5        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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