Hardship and Emergency Payments Process

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

The Department of Human Services will initiate a new process for expediting payments to vendor and department clients effective January 1, 2005. With the current General Revenue cash flow situation, a number of providers and clients are experiencing severe financial hardships due to the inordinate delays in receiving payment. This process will not supercede any existing expedited payment process that is currently in place with the Department of Human Services and the IOC or for providers whose payment process is governed by the IDPA Medicaid payment process. In order to address this problem in a systematic manner the Department proposes the following guidelines for expediting payments to vendors and clients.

Guidelines for Expediting Payments

  1. Emergency - Expedited Payment
    1. The C-13 invoice voucher, may be used for an expedited payment, in situations where the payment has not been delivered to the IOC for processing. This is an exception to the regular reimbursement process. It may be issued only under extraordinary circumstances to vendors who currently provide goods or services to DHS or to a DHS client who is requesting reimbursement for expenses directly paid by the client.
    2. Payments that have been delivered to the IOC for payment and are awaiting release by the IOC may have the voucher release expedited in situations in which the vendor or client is experiencing a temporary severe financial hardship.
    3. Requests for the single occurance expedite may only be requested once in a three month time period.
    4. The emergency expedited payment will be made only to a vendor or client who is experiencing severe financial hardship and who meet the following requirements:
      1. are regular DHS providers who have previously provided goods or services to DHS.
      2. are a regular DHS client who is requesting reimbursement for expenses paid directly by the client;
      3. are current on all service reporting required by the Department
      4. have experienced an emergency which necessitates an expedited payment. Emergency in this instance is defined as a circumstance under which the withholding or delay of the payment would impose severe and irreparable harm to DHS clients or to a DHS facility, school or office. Circumstances which may create such emergencies include, but are not limited to, the following:
        1. agency system errors (either automated system or clerical) which have precluded payments, or which have caused erroneous payments such that the provider's ability to provide further services to the Department or its clients is severely impaired; or
        2. temporary cash flow problems encountered by a vendor or group of vendors which are unrelated to the agency technical system problems. These situations include problems which are exclusively those of the vendors or problems related to State cash flow which result in delayed payments and extensive financial problems to a vendor, adversely impacting on the vendor's ability to promptly provide services to the Department or its clients;
      5. serve a significant number of DHS clients under one or more of the Department's medical or social Services programs. Significant in this instance means:
        1. 80 percent or more of their clients are DHS clients;
        2. 80 percent of more of the agency's revenue is from DHS;
        3. for government-owned facilities, this subsection (A)(4)(e) may be waived if the cash flow criteria under subsection (A)(4)(d)(2) is met; and
        4. for providers who have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, this subsection (A)(4)(e) may be waived if the cash flow criteria under subsection (A)(4)(d)(2) are met;
      6. provide a letter to the Department which specifies the circumstances that have given rise to the request for an expedited payment. The letter will contain the following provisions:
        1. specific reason(s) for expedited payment(s) including any supportive documentation to substantiate the emergency nature of the request and risk of irreparable harm to the clients or the vendor;
        2. specific dollar amount requested or voucher(s) to be expedited;
        3. date by which the payment(s) are needed to prevent irreparable harm to the vendor
    5. When expediting of multiple payments is requested by the vendor, determination of the number and dollar amount to be released shall be based on criteria established by the Illinois Office of the Comptroller.
    6. Approval Process
      1. In order to obtain a single occurance expedited payments, providers must submit their request in writing (telefax requests are acceptable) to the Office of Fiscal Services, Bureau of Expenditure Accounting and to the applicable DHS program/administrative office which processes the vendors/clients payments. The request must include those items identified in a)4E above. All requests must be signed by the agency director or the client.
      2. A notification will be issued to the vendor for all requests approved by the IOC.
    7. Payment process
      1. C-13 expedited payments authorized for expedite that have not been processed to the IOC will be placed on a special weekly expedite tape and forwarded to the IOC for processing. This tape will be processed by the IOC upon receipt.
      2. For payments that are awaiting release at the IOC when the expedite request is submitted to DHS, the Office of Fiscal Services will submit a formal request to the IOC for expedite which will be reviewed by the IOC for payment.
  2. Expedited Claims Payments - Hardship cases requiring multiple occurrences
    1. Hardship claims payments are issued through the regular CARS payment process and represent an acceleration of the regular payment schedule. They may be issued only under extraordinary circumstances to qualified vendors. Reimbursement through the continuous expedited process will be made only to a qualified vendor who meets the following requirements:
      1. are established vendors with the Department of Human Services;
      2. are current on all service reporting and billings required by the Department;
      3. are not delinquent on any audit reports due the Department;
      4. are not on payment suspension at either DHS or at the IOC;
      5. have experienced an hardship which necessitates expedited payments on a regular basis. Hardship in this instance is defined as a circumstance under which withholding of the expedited payment would impose severe and irreparable harm to the vendor, the clients served or to a DHS facility, school or office. Circumstances which may create such emergencies include, but are not limited to, the following:
        1. DHS system changes (either automated system or programmatic) which have precluded payments, or which have caused erroneous payments such that the provider's ability to provide further services to the Department or its clients is severely impaired
        2. ongoing cash flow problems encountered by a provider or group of providers which are unrelated to the department's technical system problems. These situations include problems which are exclusively those of the providers (i.e., provider billing system problems) or problems related to State cash flow which result in delayed payments and extensive financial problems to a provider adversely impacting on the ability to serve the clients. The agency may document their cash flow problem via their monthly financial statements, continued use of a bank line of credit and etc. Cash flow problems may also be documented through the agencies annual audit report;
      6. serve a significant number of clients under one or more of the DHS medical or social services programs. Significant in this instance means:
        1. 80 percent or more of their clients must be eligible DHS clients; and/or
        2. 80% of the agency's revenue is from DHS;
        3. for government-owned facilities, this subsection (B)(1)(f) may be waived if the cash flow criteria under subsection (F)(1)(e)(2) are met; and
        4. for providers who have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, subsection (B)(1)(f) may be waived if the cash flow criteria under subsection (B)(1)(e)(2) are met.
    2. Reimbursement will be based upon the amount of claims determined payable and be made for a period specified by the Department.
    3. Approval Process
      1. In order to qualify for hardship payments, providers must submit their request in writing (telefax requests are acceptable) to the applicable DHS program/administrative office which processes the vendors/clients payments and to the Office of Fiscal Services. All requests for an ongoing expedite must be signed by the agency director/owner and also the President of the Agencies Board of Directors (Not-for Profit organizations only). The request must include:
        1. an explanation of the need for the ongoing expedited payments;
        2. supportive documentation to substantiate the hardship nature of the request. Supporting documentation may include: current financial statement which documents insufficient cash to meet current operating expenses; letter(s) from the vendor's financial institution indicating that the vendor cannot obtain any additional debt or evidence that the vendor has recently been denied additional credit; or other documentation that demonstrates the financial problems the vendor is experiencing.
        3. estimated length of time payment expedites will be required (not to exceed six months)
      2. Hardship payments shall be authorized for the provider following approval by the Director of the appropriate DHS Program/Administrative Division or designee.
      3. The Department will periodically review the need for any continued hardship payments.
      4. All requests for regular hardship will be limited to six months and may be renewed at the request of the agency if they continue to meet all the qualifications for expedited payments.
    4. Payment process
      1. All ongoing payments authorized for hardship will be placed on a special weekly expedite tape and forwarded to the IOC for processing. This tape will be processed by the IOC upon receipt
    5. Prior Agreements
      1. The terms of any agreement signed between the provider and the Department prior to the adoption of this rule will remain in effect, notwithstanding the provisions of this procedure.

Questions & Inquiries

  • Please direct questions and inquiries to the DHS Expedite Program at (217) 557-5702.
  • Please direct questions and inquiries regarding expedited payment documents to the appropriate Program Area/Division/Facility/School with DHS that is responsible for processing your payment documents. Questions and inquiries regarding specific expedited payment documents should not be directed to the DHS Expedite Program.

The IL444-4279 - Request for Expedited Payments (pdf) form should be submitted to the DHS Expedite Program at fax number (217) 524-8859.

Expedited Process FlowChart (pdf)