HB3023 93rd General Assembly


                                     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  after  the
26    date of the application.
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.