093_HB3023 LRB093 10034 DRJ 10285 b 1 AN ACT in relation to public aid. 2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, 3 represented in the General Assembly: 4 Section 5. The Illinois Public Aid Code is amended by 5 changing Sections 11-1, 11-4, 11-6, 11-7, 11-16, and 11-20.1 6 as follows: 7 (305 ILCS 5/11-1) (from Ch. 23, par. 11-1) 8 Sec. 11-1. No discrimination). There shall be no 9 discrimination or denial of financial aid and social services 10 on account of the race, religion, color, national origin, 11 sex, marriage status, or political affiliation of any 12 applicant or recipient. 13 Where financial aid or social services are granted to 14 certain classes of persons under a program for which federal 15 funds are available, nothing in this Section shall require 16 granting of financial aid or social services to other persons 17 where federal funds would not be available as to those other 18 persons. 19 (Source: P.A. 80-354.) 20 (305 ILCS 5/11-4) (from Ch. 23, par. 11-4) 21 Sec. 11-4. Applications; assistance in making 22 applications. An application for public assistance or 23 recertification for public assistance shall be deemed an 24 application for all such benefits to which any person may be 25 entitled except to the extent that the applicant expressly 26 declines in writing to apply for particular benefits and 27 identifies in writing by name of benefit program the benefits 28 that are declined. Upon filing an application, an applicant 29 must be given a copy of his or her application with a cover 30 sheet identifying whether the applicant has applied for cash -2- LRB093 10034 DRJ 10285 b 1 assistance, medical assistance, or Food Stamp benefits, or 2 any combination of those. Within 21 days after filing his or 3 her original application, an applicant may request assistance 4 under additional programs based on his or her original 5 application date. The Illinois Department shall provide 6 information in writing about all benefits provided under this 7 Code to any person seeking public assistance. The Illinois 8 Department shall also provide information in writing and 9 orally to all applicants about an election to have financial 10 aid deposited directly in a recipient's savings account or 11 checking account or in any electronic benefits account or 12 accounts as provided in Section 11-3.1, to the extent that 13 those elections are actually available, including information 14 on any programs administered by the State Treasurer to 15 facilitate or encourage the distribution of financial aid by 16 direct deposit or electronic benefits transfer. The Illinois 17 Department shall determine the applicant's eligibility for 18 cash assistance, medical assistance and food stamps unless 19 the applicant expressly declines in writing to apply for 20 particular benefits. The Illinois Department shall adopt 21 policies and procedures to facilitate timely changes between 22 programs that result from changes in categorical eligibility 23 factors. 24 The County departments, local governmental units and the 25 Illinois Department shall not discourage persons from making 26 applications for benefits and shall assist applicants for 27 public assistance to properly complete their applications. 28 Such assistance shall include, but not be limited to, 29 assistance in securing evidence in support of their 30 eligibility. 31 (Source: P.A. 88-232.) 32 (305 ILCS 5/11-6) (from Ch. 23, par. 11-6) 33 Sec. 11-6. Decisions on applications. Within 10 days -3- LRB093 10034 DRJ 10285 b 1 after a decision is reached on an application, the applicant 2 shall be notified in writing of the decision. The Department 3 shall consider eligibility for, and the notice shall contain 4 a decision on, each of the following assistance programs for 5 which the client may be eligible based on the information 6 contained in the application: Temporary Assistance to Needy 7 Families, Medical Assistance, Aid to the Aged, Blind and 8 Disabled, General Assistance (in the City of Chicago), and 9 food stamps. No decision shall be required for any 10 assistance program for which the applicant has expressly 11 declined in writing to apply. If the applicant is determined 12 to be eligible, the notice shall include a statement of the 13 amount of financial aid to be provided and a statement of the 14 reasons for any partial grant amounts. The written notice 15 must include the calculations used by the Department to 16 arrive at its decision. If the applicant is determined 17 ineligible for any public assistance the notice shall include 18 the reason why the applicant is ineligible. The written 19 notice must include the calculations used by the Department 20 to arrive at its decision. If the application for any public 21 assistance is denied, the notice shall include a statement 22 defining the applicant's right to appeal the decision. The 23 Illinois Department, by rule, shall determine the date on 24 which assistance shall begin for applicants determined 25 eligible. That date may be no later than
30 days afterthe 26 date of theapplication. 27 Under no circumstances may any application be denied 28 solely to meet an application-processing deadline. 29 (Source: P.A. 90-17, eff. 7-1-97.) 30 (305 ILCS 5/11-7) (from Ch. 23, par. 11-7) 31 Sec. 11-7. Notice of decisions to terminate aid - 32 determination and notice of other medical assistance 33 available - additional notice in cases of blind persons. -4- LRB093 10034 DRJ 10285 b 1 The Department shall establish procedures for review of 2 any case in which it proposes to terminate benefits for 3 reasons other than financial eligibility or the death of the 4 recipient to determine whether the proposed termination 5 complies with Department policies and procedures. After that 6 review and before issuing a notice of termination, the 7 Department must advise the recipient of the reason or reasons 8 for the proposed termination and offer the recipient an 9 opportunity to provide information regarding eligibility, to 10 show good cause for failure to comply with eligibility or 11 program requirements, and to bring himself or herself into 12 compliance with those requirements. If the recipient shows 13 eligibility, good cause, or compliance, the Department may 14 not proceed with the termination process. 15 Whenever decision is made to terminate aid, the recipient 16 shall be notified in writing within 10 days following the 17 decision. The notice shall set out the specific reasons for 18 the termination. In the case of a blind person, the notice 19 and statement of reasons shall be sent whenever aid is 20 withdrawn, suspended, revoked, or in any way changed. 21 The notice shall include a statement defining the 22 recipient's right to appeal. 23 Before any notice to terminate medical assistance is 24 issued, the Illinois Department shall determine whether the 25 recipient is newly eligible for any other medical assistance 26 offered by the Illinois Department. For all recipients found 27 eligible as a result of this determination for other medical 28 assistance offered by the Illinois Department, the Illinois 29 Department shall provide other medical assistance effective 30 as of the date of the termination of the prior medical 31 assistance. 32 Before a notice to terminate cash assistance is issued, 33 the Department of Human Services must determine whether the 34 recipient is newly eligible for any other cash assistance -5- LRB093 10034 DRJ 10285 b 1 offered by the Department. For all recipients found eligible 2 as a result of this determination, the Department must 3 provide other cash assistance effective as of the date of the 4 termination of the prior cash assistance. 5 Before a notice to terminate cash assistance is issued, 6 the Department of Human Services must determine whether the 7 recipient is eligible for an increase in Food Stamp 8 assistance due to the termination of cash assistance. For all 9 recipients found eligible for a Food Stamp assistance 10 increase as a result of this determination, the Department 11 must provide increased Food Stamp assistance effective as of 12 the date of the termination of the cash assistance. 13 (Source: P.A. 87-630.) 14 (305 ILCS 5/11-16) (from Ch. 23, par. 11-16) 15 Sec. 11-16. Changes in grants; cancellations, 16 revocations, suspensions. 17 (a) All grants of financial aid under this Code shall be 18 considered as frequently as may be required by the rules of 19 the Illinois Department. The Department of Public Aid shall 20 consider grants of financial aid to children who are eligible 21 under Article V of this Code at least annually and shall take 22 into account those reports filed, or required to be filed, 23 pursuant to Sections 11-18 and 11-19. After such 24 investigation as may be necessary, the amount and manner of 25 giving aid may be changed or the aid may be entirely 26 withdrawn if the County Department, local governmental unit, 27 or Illinois Department finds that the recipient's 28 circumstances have altered sufficiently to warrant such 29 action. Financial aid may at any time be increased, reduced, 30 canceled, or revoked for cause or suspended for such period 31 as may be proper. At least 10 days before any change takes 32 effect, the recipient must be notified in writing of the 33 impending change in benefits and the reasons for the change. -6- LRB093 10034 DRJ 10285 b 1 The written notice must include the calculations used by the 2 Department to arrive at its decision. 3 (b) Whenever any such grant of financial aid is 4 cancelled, revoked, reduced, or terminated because of the 5 failure of the recipient to cooperate with the Department, 6 including but not limited to the failure to keep an 7 appointment, attend a meeting, or produce proof or 8 verification of eligibility or need, the grant shall be 9 reinstated in full, retroactive to the date of the change in 10 or termination of the grant, provided that within 10 working 11 days after the first day the financial aid would have been 12 available, the recipient cooperates with the Department and 13 is not otherwise ineligible for benefits for the period in 14 question. This subsection (b) does not apply to sanctions 15 imposed for the failure of any recipient to participate as 16 required in the child support enforcement program or in any 17 educational, training, or employment program under this Code 18 or any other sanction under Section 4-21, nor does this 19 subsection (b) apply to any cancellation, revocation, 20 reduction, termination, or sanction imposed for the failure 21 of any recipient to cooperate in the monthly reporting 22 process or the quarterly reporting process. 23 (Source: P.A. 91-357, eff. 7-29-99; 92-597, eff. 6-28-02.) 24 (305 ILCS 5/11-20.1) (from Ch. 23, par. 11-20.1) 25 Sec. 11-20.1. Employment; Rights of recipient and 26 obligations of Illinois Department when recipients become 27 employed; Assistance when a recipient has employment or 28 earned income or both. 29 (a) When a recipient reports employment or earned 30 income, or both, or the Illinois Department otherwise learns 31 of a recipient's employment or earned income, or both, the 32 Illinois Department shall provide the recipient with: 33 (1) An explanation of how the earned income will -7- LRB093 10034 DRJ 10285 b 1 affect the recipient's eligibility for a grant, and 2 whether the recipient must engage in additional work 3 activities to meet the recipient's monthly work 4 activities requirement and what types of activities may 5 be approved for that purpose, and whether the employment 6 is sufficient to cause months of continued receipt of a 7 grant not to be counted against the recipient's lifetime 8 eligibility limit. 9 (2) An explanation of the Work Pays budgeting 10 process, and an explanation of how the first month's 11 income on a new job will be projected, and how the 12 recipient should report the new job to avoid the 13 Department overestimating the first month's income. 14 (3) An explanation of how the earned income will 15 affect the recipient's eligibility for food stamps, 16 whether the recipient will continue to receive food 17 stamps, and, if so, the amount of food stamps. 18 (4) The names and telephone numbers of all 19 caseworkers to whom the recipient's case or cases are 20 assigned or will be transferred, an explanation of which 21 type of case each worker will be handling, and the 22 effective date of the transfer. 23 (5) An explanation of the recipient's 24 responsibilities to report income and household 25 circumstances, the process by which quarterly reporting 26 forms are sent to recipients, where and to whom the 27 reports should be returned, the deadline by which reports 28 must be returned, instructions on how to fill out the 29 reports, an explanation of what the recipient should do 30 if he or she does not receive the form, advice on how to 31 prove the report was returned by the recipient such as by 32 keeping a copy, and an explanation of the effects of 33 failure to file reports. 34 (6) If the recipient will continue to receive a -8- LRB093 10034 DRJ 10285 b 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, Family Assist, 5 Family Care, and the 12 month extension of medical 6 assistance that is available when a grant is cancelled 7 due to earned income. 8 (8) An explanation of the medical assistance the 9 person may be eligible for when the 12 month extension 10 expires and how to request or apply for it. 11 (9) An explanation of the availability of a child 12 care subsidy to all families below the child care 13 assistance program's income limit, how to apply for the 14 benefit through the Child Care Resource and Referral or 15 site-administered child care program or both, the nature 16 of the child care program's sliding scale co-payments, 17 the availability of the 10% earned income disregard in 18 determining eligibility for child care assistance and the 19 amount of the parent co-payment, the right to use the 20 subsidy for either licensed or license exempt legal care, 21 and the availability of benefits when the parent is 22 engaged in an education and training program. 23 (10) (Blank). 24 (11) (Blank). 25 (11a) (Blank). 26 (12) (Blank). 27 (13) An explanation of the availability of payment 28 for initial expenses of employment and how to request or 29 apply for it. 30 (14) An explanation of the job retention component 31 and how to participate in it, and an explanation of the 32 recipient's eligibility to receive supportive services to 33 participate in education and training programs while 34 working. -9- LRB093 10034 DRJ 10285 b 1 (15) A statement of the types of assistance that 2 will be provided to the person automatically or continued 3 and a statement of the types of assistance for which the 4 person must apply or reapply. 5 (16) If the recipient will not continue to receive 6 a cash grant and the recipient has assigned his or her 7 right to child support to the Illinois Department, an 8 explanation of the recipient's right to continue to 9 receive child support enforcement services, the 10 recipient's right to have all current support paid after 11 grant cancellation forwarded promptly to the recipient, 12 the procedures by which child support will be forwarded, 13 and the procedures by which the recipient will be 14 informed of the collection and distribution of child 15 support. 16 (17) An explanation of the availability of payments 17 if the recipient experiences a decrease in or loss of 18 earned income during a calendar quarter as to which the 19 monthly grant was previously budgeted based upon the 20 higher income. 21 (18) If the recipient will not continue to receive 22 a cash grant, an explanation of the procedures for 23 reapplying for cash assistance if the person experiences 24 a decrease in or loss of earned income. 25 (19) An explanation of the earned income tax credit 26 and the procedures by which it may be obtained and the 27 rules for disregarding it in determining eligibility for 28 and the amount of assistance. 29 (20) An explanation of the education and training 30 opportunities available to recipients. 31 (b) The information listed in subsection (a) shall 32 be provided to the recipient on an individual basis during an 33 in-person meeting with a representative of the Illinois 34 Department. The individual in-person meeting shall be held -10- LRB093 10034 DRJ 10285 b 1 at a time which does not conflict with the recipient's work 2 schedule within 30 days of the date the recipient begins 3 working. If the recipient informs the Illinois Department 4 that an in-person meeting would be inconvenient, the Illinois 5 Department may provide the information during a home visit, 6 by telephone, or by mail within 30 days of the date the 7 recipient begins working, whichever the client prefers. 8 (c) At the conclusion of the meeting described in 9 subsection (b), the Illinois Department shall ensure that all 10 case transfers and calculations of benefits necessitated by 11 the recipient's employment or receipt of earned income have 12 been performed, that applications have been made or provided 13 for all benefits for which the person must apply or reapply, 14 and that the person has received payment for initial expenses 15 of employment. 16 (Source: P.A. 91-331, eff. 7-29-99.) 17 Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon 18 becoming law.