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Public Act 096-0866


 

Public Act 0866 96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY



 


 
Public Act 096-0866
 
HB1800 Enrolled LRB096 05473 DRJ 15539 b

    AN ACT concerning public aid.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 5. The Illinois Public Aid Code is amended by
changing Sections 4-1, 4-1.6, 4-12, 4-22, and 9A-8 and by
adding Sections 2-18 and 4-1.6b as follows:
 
    (305 ILCS 5/2-18 new)
    Sec. 2-18. Domestic or sexual violence. "Domestic or sexual
violence" means domestic violence, sexual assault, or
stalking. Domestic or sexual violence may occur through
electronic communication.
    "Domestic violence" means "abuse" as defined in Section 103
of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 by a "family or
household member" as defined in Section 103 of the Illinois
Domestic Violence Act of 1986.
    "Sexual assault" means any conduct proscribed by Sections
12-13, 12-14, 12-14.1, 12-15, and 12-16 of the Criminal Code of
1961.
    "Stalking" means any conduct proscribed by Sections
12-7.3, 12-7.4, and 12-7.5 of the Criminal Code of 1961.
    "Electronic communication" includes communications via
telephone, mobile phone, computer, e-mail, video recorder, fax
machine, telex, or pager, or any other "electronic
communication" as defined in Section 12-7.5 of the Criminal
Code of 1961.
 
    (305 ILCS 5/4-1)  (from Ch. 23, par. 4-1)
    Sec. 4-1. Eligibility requirements. Financial aid in
meeting basic maintenance requirements for a livelihood
compatible with health and well-being shall be given under this
Article to or in behalf of families with dependent children who
meet the eligibility conditions of Sections 4-1.1 through
4-1.11. It shall be the policy of the Illinois Department to
provide aid under this Article to all qualified persons who
seek assistance and to conduct outreach efforts to educate the
public about the program. The Department shall provide timely,
accurate, and fair service to all applicants for assistance.
Persons who meet the eligibility criteria authorized under this
Article shall be treated equally, provided that nothing in this
Article shall be construed to create an entitlement to a
particular grant or service level or to aid in amounts not
authorized under this Code, nor construed to limit the
authority of the General Assembly to change the eligibility
requirements or provisions respecting assistance amounts. The
General Assembly recognizes that the need for aid will
fluctuate with the economic situation in Illinois and that at
times the number of people receiving aid under this Article
will increase.
    The Illinois Department shall advise every applicant for
and recipient of aid under this Article of (i) the requirement
that all recipients move toward self-sufficiency and (ii) the
value and benefits of employment. As a condition of eligibility
for that aid, every person who applies for aid under this
Article on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act
of 1995 shall prepare and submit, as part of the application or
subsequent redetermination, a personal plan for achieving
employment and self-sufficiency. The plan shall incorporate
the individualized assessment and employability plan set out in
subsections (d), (f), and (g) of Section 9A-8. The plan may be
amended as the recipient's needs change. The assessment process
to develop the plan shall include questions that screen for
domestic violence issues and steps needed to address these
issues may be part of the plan. If the individual indicates
that he or she is a victim of domestic violence, he or she may
also be referred to an available domestic violence program.
Failure of the client to follow through on the personal plan
for employment and self-sufficiency may be a basis for sanction
under Section 4-21.
(Source: P.A. 92-111, eff. 1-1-02.)
 
    (305 ILCS 5/4-1.6)  (from Ch. 23, par. 4-1.6)
    Sec. 4-1.6. Need. Income available to the family as defined
by the Illinois Department by rule, or to the child in the case
of a child removed from his or her home, when added to
contributions in money, substance or services from other
sources, including income available from parents absent from
the home or from a stepparent, contributions made for the
benefit of the parent or other persons necessary to provide
care and supervision to the child, and contributions from
legally responsible relatives, must be insufficient to equal to
or less than the grant amount established by Department
regulation for such a person. For purposes of eligibility for
aid under this Article, the Department shall disregard all
earned income between the grant amount and 50% of the Federal
Poverty Level.
    In considering income to be taken into account,
consideration shall be given to any expenses reasonably
attributable to the earning of such income. Three-fourths of
the earned income of a household eligible for aid under this
Article shall be disregarded when determining the level of
assistance for which a household is eligible. The Illinois
Department may also permit all or any portion of earned or
other income to be set aside for the future identifiable needs
of a child. The Illinois Department may provide by rule and
regulation for the exemptions thus permitted or required. The
eligibility of any applicant for or recipient of public aid
under this Article is not affected by the payment of any grant
under the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Property Tax
Relief and Pharmaceutical Assistance Act" or any distributions
or items of income described under subparagraph (X) of
paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Section 203 of the Illinois
Income Tax Act.
    The Illinois Department may, by rule, set forth criteria
under which an assistance unit is ineligible for cash
assistance under this Article for a specified number of months
due to the receipt of a lump sum payment.
(Source: P.A. 91-676, eff. 12-23-99; 92-111, eff. 1-1-02.)
 
    (305 ILCS 5/4-1.6b new)
    Sec. 4-1.6b. Date for providing aid; employability
assessment.
    (a) The Department shall provide financial aid no more than
30 days after the date of application.
    (b) During the first 30 days after the date of application,
the applicant shall undergo a thorough employability
assessment, in accordance with subsection (d) of Section 9A-8
of this Code, and shall prepare a personal plan for achieving
employment and self-sufficiency in accordance with Section 4-1
of this Code. The requirement to engage in work-related
activity may commence 30 days after the date of application.
    (c) Financial aid under this Article shall be authorized
effective on the date of application, provided that the
applicant is eligible on that date.
 
    (305 ILCS 5/4-12)  (from Ch. 23, par. 4-12)
    Sec. 4-12. Crisis assistance. Where a family has been (1)
rendered homeless or threatened with homelessness by fire,
flood, other natural disaster, eviction or court order to
vacate the premises for reasons other than nonpayment of rent,
or where a family has spouse and child have become homeless
because they have left their the residence due to domestic or
sexual violence occupied by a spouse who was physically abusing
the now homeless spouse or child; (1.5) deprived of the
household's income as a result of domestic or sexual violence;
(2) deprived of essential items of furniture or essential
clothing by fire or flood or other natural disaster; (3)
deprived of food as a result of actions other than loss or
theft of cash and where the deprivation cannot be promptly
alleviated through the federal food stamp program; (4) as a
result of a documented theft or documented loss of cash,
deprived of food or essential clothing or deprived of shelter
or immediately threatened with deprivation of shelter as
evidenced by a court order requiring immediate eviction due to
nonpayment of rent; or (5) rendered the victim of such other
hardships as the Illinois Department shall by rule define, the
Illinois Department may provide assistance to alleviate such
needs. The Illinois Department shall verify need and determine
eligibility for crisis assistance for families already
receiving grants from the Illinois Department within 5 working
days following application for such assistance and shall
determine eligibility for all other families and afford such
assistance for families found eligible within such time limits
as the Illinois Department shall by rule provide. The Illinois
Department may, by rule, limit crisis assistance to an eligible
family to once in any 12 consecutive months. This limitation
may be made for some or all items of crisis assistance.
    The Illinois Department by regulation shall specify the
criteria for determining eligibility and the amount and nature
of assistance to be provided. Where deprivation of shelter
exists or is threatened, the Illinois Department may provide
reasonable moving expenses, short term rental costs, including
one month's rent and a security deposit where such expenses are
needed for relocation, and, where the Department determines
appropriate, provide assistance to prevent an imminent
eviction or foreclosure. These amounts may be described in
established amounts or maximums. The Illinois Department may
also describe, for each form of assistance authorized, the
method by which the assistance shall be delivered, including
but not limited to warrants or disbursing orders.
    Annual expenditures under this Section shall not exceed
$2,000,000. The Illinois Department shall review such
expenditures quarterly and shall, if necessary, reduce the
amounts or nature of assistance authorized in order to assure
that the limit is not exceeded.
(Source: P.A. 90-17, eff. 7-1-97.)
 
    (305 ILCS 5/4-22)
    Sec. 4-22. Domestic and sexual violence.
    (a) The assessment process to develop the personal plan for
achieving self-sufficiency shall include questions that screen
for domestic and sexual violence issues. If the individual
indicates that he or she is the victim of domestic or sexual
violence and indicates a need to address domestic or sexual
violence issues in order to reach self-sufficiency, the plan
shall take this factor into account in determining the work,
education, and training activities suitable to the client for
achieving self-sufficiency. In addition, in such a case,
specific steps needed to directly address the domestic or
sexual violence issues may also be made part of the plan,
including referral to an available domestic or sexual violence
program. The Department shall conduct an individualized
assessment and grant waivers of program requirements and other
required activities for victims of domestic violence to the
fullest extent allowed by 42 U.S.C. 602(a)(7)(A), and shall
apply the same laws, regulations, and policies to victims of
sexual violence. The duration of such waivers shall be
initially determined and subsequently redetermined on a
case-by-case basis. There shall be no limitation on the total
number of months for which waivers under this Section may be
granted, but continuing eligibility for a waiver shall be
redetermined no less often than every 6 months.
    (b) The Illinois Department shall develop and monitor
compliance procedures for its employees, contractors, and
subcontractors to ensure that any information pertaining to any
client who claims to be a past or present victim of domestic
violence or an individual at risk of further domestic violence,
whether provided by the victim or by a third party, will remain
confidential.
    (c) The Illinois Department shall develop and implement a
domestic violence training curriculum for Illinois Department
employees who serve applicants for and recipients of aid under
this Article. The curriculum shall be designed to better equip
those employees to identify and serve domestic violence
victims. The Illinois Department may enter into a contract for
the development of the curriculum with one or more
organizations providing services to domestic violence victims.
The Illinois Department shall adopt rules necessary to
implement this subsection.
(Source: P.A. 90-17, eff. 7-1-97; 91-759, eff. 1-1-01.)
 
    (305 ILCS 5/9A-8)  (from Ch. 23, par. 9A-8)
    Sec. 9A-8. Operation of Program.
    (a) At the time of application or redetermination of
eligibility under Article IV, as determined by rule, the
Illinois Department shall provide information in writing and
orally regarding the education, training and employment
program to all applicants and recipients. The information
required shall be established by rule and shall include, but
need not be limited to:
        (1) education (including literacy training),
    employment and training opportunities available, the
    criteria for approval of those opportunities, and the right
    to request changes in the personal responsibility and
    services plan to include those opportunities;
        (1.1) a complete list of all activities that are
    approvable activities, and the circumstances under which
    they are approvable, including work activities, substance
    abuse or mental health treatment, activities to escape and
    prevent domestic violence, caring for a medically impaired
    family member, and any other approvable activities,
    together with the right to and procedures for amending the
    responsibility and services plan to include these
    activities;
        (1.2) the rules concerning the lifetime limit on
    eligibility, including the current status of the applicant
    or recipient in terms of the months of remaining
    eligibility, the criteria under which a month will not
    count towards the lifetime limit, and the criteria under
    which a recipient may receive benefits beyond the end of
    the lifetime limit;
        (2) supportive services including child care and the
    rules regarding eligibility for and access to the child
    care assistance program, transportation, initial expenses
    of employment, job retention, books and fees, and any other
    supportive services;
        (3) the obligation of the Department to provide
    supportive services;
        (4) the rights and responsibilities of participants,
    including exemption, sanction, reconciliation, and good
    cause criteria and procedures, termination for
    non-cooperation and reinstatement rules and procedures,
    and appeal and grievance procedures; and
        (5) the types and locations of child care services.
    (b) The Illinois Department shall notify the recipient in
writing of the opportunity to volunteer to participate in the
program.
    (c) (Blank).
    (d) As part of the personal plan for achieving employment
and self-sufficiency, the Department shall conduct an
individualized assessment of the participant's employability.
No participant may be assigned to any component of the
education, training and employment activity prior to such
assessment. The plan shall include collection of information on
the individual's background, proficiencies, skills
deficiencies, education level, work history, employment goals,
interests, aptitudes, and employment preferences, as well as
factors affecting employability or ability to meet
participation requirements (e.g., health, physical or mental
limitations, child care, family circumstances, domestic
violence, sexual violence, substance abuse, and special needs
of any child of the individual). As part of the plan,
individuals and Department staff shall work together to
identify any supportive service needs required to enable the
client to participate and meet the objectives of his or her
employability plan. The assessment may be conducted through
various methods such as interviews, testing, counseling, and
self-assessment instruments. In the assessment process, the
Department shall offer to include standard literacy testing and
a determination of English language proficiency and shall
provide it for those who accept the offer. Based on the
assessment, the individual will be assigned to the appropriate
activity. The decision will be based on a determination of the
individual's level of preparation for employment as defined by
rule.
    (e) Recipients determined to be exempt may volunteer to
participate pursuant to Section 9A-4 and must be assessed.
    (f) As part of the personal plan for achieving employment
and self-sufficiency under Section 4-1, an employability plan
for recipients shall be developed in consultation with the
participant. The Department shall have final responsibility
for approving the employability plan. The employability plan
shall:
        (1) contain an employment goal of the participant;
        (2) describe the services to be provided by the
    Department, including child care and other support
    services;
        (3) describe the activities, such as component
    assignment, that will be undertaken by the participant to
    achieve the employment goal; and
        (4) describe any other needs of the family that might
    be met by the Department.
    (g) The employability plan shall take into account:
        (1) available program resources;
        (2) the participant's support service needs;
        (3) the participant's skills level and aptitudes;
        (4) local employment opportunities; and
        (5) the preferences of the participant.
    (h) A reassessment shall be conducted to assess a
participant's progress and to review the employability plan on
the following occasions:
        (1) upon completion of an activity and before
    assignment to an activity;
        (2) upon the request of the participant;
        (3) if the individual is not cooperating with the
    requirements of the program; and
        (4) if the individual has failed to make satisfactory
    progress in an education or training program.
    Based on the reassessment, the Department may revise the
employability plan of the participant.
(Source: P.A. 93-598, eff. 8-26-03.)
 
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,
2010.

Effective Date: 7/1/2010