CCAP Resource Guide for Determining Eligibility

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

Prepared by The Program Integrity and Quality Assurance Committee of the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies in cooperation with the Bureau of Child Care and Development of the Illinois Department of Human Services - Revised 2007

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. I. Determining the Status and Income of Non-Parent Adults Claimed in the Family Unit
    1. Examples or Indicators of the Situation
    2. Status of non-parent adults listed on the application as living in the household
    3. Income of non-parent adult listed on the application as living in the household
    4. Useful Approaches for Resolution
  3. II. Clarifying the Custodial Status of Children and Non-Parent Applicants
    1. Examples or Indicators of the Situation
    2. Useful Approaches for Resolution
  4. III. Verifying the Number and Status of Children in a Family
    1. Useful Approaches for Resolution
  5. IV. Determining the Status of the Non-Custodial Parent
    1. Non-Applicant Parent's Residence
  6. V. Verifying New Employment
    1. General Approach
  7. VI. Verifying Income and Work Hours
    1. Verifying Authenticity of Client's Check Stubs
    2. Verifying Work Schedule
  8. VII. Verifying Self-Employment, Cash Employment, and Self-Employment Income
    1. General Approach
    2. Verifying that the Applicant is Working
    3. Verifying Income
  9. VIII. Managing Clients who Lose or Change Jobs and Fail to Report the Change
    1. Useful Approaches for Resolution
  10. IX. Verifying Education and Training
    1. General Approach
    2. Confirming School/Training Enrollment, Schedule and GPA
    3. Determining Work Requirements
    4. RSP Cases
  11. X. Determining Work, Education and Care Schedules
    1. General Approach
    2. Matching Work/Care Schedule
    3. Determining Care for Parents who Work Night Shifts
    4. XI. Identifying Multiple Cases in Different Service Delivery Areas (SDAs)
  12. XII. Failure to Report a Change of Status
    1. General Approach
    2. Change in Care or Need for Care
  13. XIII. Verifying Questionable Provider Information
    1. General Approach
    2. Verifying Provider's Identity
    3. Verifying Provider's Address
    4. Verifying the Provider's Relationship to the Child
    5. Verifying that Child Care is Being Provided
  14. XIV. Verifying Provider Licensure and Capacity
    1. General Approach
    2. Verifying provider's license to provide care
    3. Verifying that the provider is not over capacity
  15. XV. Post-approval information that a provider has a criminal background
  16. XVI. Helpful Resource Websites
    1. Provider Information Resources
    2. Miscellaneous Resources
  17. Acknowledgements

Introduction

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Child Care Assistance Program serves approximately 90,000 families per month across the state. IDHS has not only increased the number of families served by the program, but also has begun to build a system to ensure the quality of the services provided to its clients. IDHS has developed policies, procedures, forms, and system improvements to support program administration throughout the state.

The INCCRRA Program Integrity and Quality Assurance Committee are made up of staff members from Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCR&RA) and IDHS. The Committee's charge is to assist IDHS in developing and implementing a continuous, system-wide quality improvement program that helps maximize state resources while also improving outcomes for children and families. As an initial step, the Committee developed this Resource Guide to help CCR&RA staff determine eligibility in difficult cases.

Over time, the Committee intends to work with IDHS to expand the quality improvement system to include additional tools that help IDHS, the CCR&R, and site administered agencies work together to maximize state resources and ensure consistent practice across the state. The Committee will integrate already developed resources-such as the IDHS Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Child Care Tracking Systems Handbook, the IPACS tracking manual, monitoring reports, and audits-with new data to improve program integrity and quality.

IDHS administers site administered child care centers and the subsidized child care program through sixteen CCR&R agencies located across the state. The IDHS Child Care Assistance Program Manual and the IPACS Handbook sets forth the policies and procedures that are to be followed by CCR&R staff members and site administered contract staff members when determining eligibility for the program. IDHS also provides regular statewide training and technical assistance for staff members in the assistance program.

This Resource Guide is intended to help ensure consistent application of IDHS policy by CCR&R and site assistance staff members in determining program eligibility. It provides child care assistance specialists throughout the state with information and resources to help them make decisions. The Committee chose the situations addressed in the Resource Guide based on a survey of specialists. The information in the Resource Guide came from interviews with specialists and directors from all of the CCR&R agencies. It is intended to complement, not replace, the Child Care Assistance Program Manual and should be used as a decision-making tool, not a policy manual. The approaches described reflect best practice-how CCR&R and site staff members can and do address challenging cases. These suggested approaches are meant as a guide that may be useful in some cases. They are not intended to be mandatory procedures to be used in all cases.

The applicant is responsible under the Illinois Administrative Code to provide income verification and all other information required to determine eligibility for child care services. The eligibility process requires a careful review of the submitted documents with a comparison to the data in IPACS. Statewide implementation of this review process means that eligibility determination for clients will be consistent across the state.

The general approach to determining eligibility, promulgated by IDHS in all its materials and training is to "clarify, then verify." IDHS emphasizes that the information available through the IPACS system should be used for "clarification, not determination." This document takes the same approach, suggesting how to use information available from IPACS screens and other sources to supplement the information provided by the parent or provider. This Resource Guide should promote consistent customer service and, ultimately, help eligible families to get quality care for their children. Because the subsidized child care system ultimately relies upon the appropriate determination of case eligibility by assistance specialists, we hope this Resource Guide will help to better inform those decisions.

I. Determining the Status and Income of Non-Parent Adults Claimed in the Family Unit

(Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Policies 01.01.02, Family Composition; 01.02.02, Non-Exempt Income; 01.02.03, Exempt Income)

Examples or Indicators of the Situation

Status of non-parent adults listed on the application as living in the household

  • Non-parent adult related by blood or law is listed on the application as living in the home.
  • Grandparents and other relatives are included in the application as family members.
  • Additional adult is believed to not be living with the applicant.
  • Family size on page 4 of application is inconsistent with IPACS ACID Screen 3 list of family members or NOLVGTOG (number living together) field on ACID screen 1 (BASIC); additional claimed adult is not included on ACID Screen 3 list of family members. (Note: TANF, MED, and FSTMP may have different definitions of family members than Child Care, so these numbers may not match. See TANF Policy #04-05-00 and Food Stamp Policy #04-05-00.) Check of additional adult on IDES AWVS/UCB screen with current unemployment benefits shows an address other than the one provided in the application.
  • Application does not provide a Social Security number for the other family members.
  • After a denial for having too much income, applicant reapplies with new dependent adult family member(s).

Income of non-parent adult listed on the application as living in the household

  • Additional adult who is claimed as a dependent by the applicant is, in fact, employed and not relying on applicant for 50 percent or more of his or her support.
  • Additional adult reported as part of family is believed to have earnings not reported on application.
  • Check of additional adult on IDES AWVS/UCB screen shows significant earnings not included on the application.
  • Amount of earned income from employment or unearned income from unemployment compensation for the other adult on IDESAWVS/UCB screen is substantially higher than amount listed on the application.
  • IDESAWVS/UCB screen for the other adult lists employers not included on the application.
  • State Disbursement Unit (SDU) Screen indicates child support payments that are not included in application.
  • PASDX F1/F5 Screen (for SSI/SSA income) indicates Social Security Assistance income not reported on application. (CCR&R only)

Useful Approaches for Resolution

General Approach

  • If any of the indicators are present, the applicant is responsible under the Illinois Administrative Code to provide Income verification and all other information required in order to determine eligibility for child care services. Therefore the applicant has to prove that the other adult is dependent on the applicant for 50 percent or more of support. Require proof of the dependency or income claimed in the application (i.e., tax returns).

Verifying residence of other family members listed on the application as living in the household

  • Request copies of utility bills, lease, tax returns, or other proof of the other adult's residence with the applicant.
  • Send letter to postmaster requesting a confirmation of whether or not the individual received mail at the applicant's address. Check the address on the other adult's pay stub. It should be the same as the applicant's address.
Verifying family income
  • For all additional members in a TANF family, check IPACS F1-ACID Screen 3 (people) to determine whether the other family members are included in the applicant's TANF assistance unit. If he/she is not in the assistance unit, request additional documentation.  If the family does not have an active case on ACID check for information on the additional family member(s) on the KIDS (DPH) screens. (CCR&R only)
  • Request a Social Security number for the other adult in the home. Check his/her income on IDES AWVS screen. If the income reported is inconsistent with that listed on the application, require copies of the individual's two most recent and consecutive pay stubs or most recent tax return. (Note: An applicant may not be denied child care services for not providing a Social Security number.) For any family member - See section 01.01.02
  • If AWVS screen shows higher UCB than reported in the application, use the amount on the screen and send a Request for Information to clarify the difference.
  • Check the State Disbursement Unit (SDU) because it provides up-to date information on child support payments that may not be included in the application.
  • Use PASDX System F1 and F5 Screens to verify SSI and SSA income for each family member not listed in IPACS. If the application does not include reported SSI or SSA income, include it as income in making eligibility determination. (CCR&R only)
  • If the applicant reports a lower unearned income than reported on the PASDX and KIDS Screens, use the higher income for calculating eligibility unless the applicant can prove that his/her lower unearned income amount is correct.
  • The Work Number website to verify client's employment/income that appeared in AWVS http://www.theworknumber.com.
  • To verify the amount of refund on the reported tax form: http://sa.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofegetstatus.jsp. Information needed to access this feature is a social security number and refund amount. If it has been over six months a submittal date is also needed.
  • To verify if check stubs have been manufactured by the client online: http://www.paycheckcity.com/default.asp.

II. Clarifying the Custodial Status of Children and Non-Parent Applicants

(Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Policy 01.01.02, Representative Payee)

Examples or Indicators of the Situation

  • Neither parent is listed on application nor another relative without RPY status seeks "representative payee" status.
  • Application for care from a relative who alleges custody of child without legal guardianship or written consent of either parent.
  • Parents with shared custody both applying for child care assistance.
  • Parent applying for child care while other parent has legal custody and/or is already receiving subsidized child care and other IDHS benefits for child (i.e., TANF, Medical, Food Stamps).
  • Specialist provided information stating that the parent receiving child care benefit does not have custody of the children.
  • Child is listed on ACID Screen 3 as part of the non-applicant parent's TANF assistance unit.
  • One parent applies, but is denied based on income. Soon after the denial, the other parent applies for care.
  • Child listed on IDHS Multiple Case Report (IDHS-generated report lists all children with same name listed on two or more different cases).

Useful Approaches for Resolution

General Approach

  • Begin by looking at the IPACS ACID Screen 3 (people) to determine whether the child is listed as part of the TANF family assistance unit for the applicant. If the child doesn't appear, or is not active, then put child's SSN into system on IPACS ACID F1 Client Data Base Inquiry screen and determine whether the child appears on another assistance unit. If the child does, determine the residence of the other parent and verify the applicant's custody of the child.

Verifying Custody Between Parents

  • Request legal custody documents when child custody is being changed from one parent to the other or where parents claim joint custody. Generally, legal court documents appoint one parent as having "primary physical custody," even though both parents have joint custody. Joint custody usually means that both parents have to be involved in significant decisions, such as major medical issues like surgery. Joint custody usually does not determine where the child lives or even if the child lives with one or both parents. The visitation arrangement or parenting agreement usually provides this information. If two parents actually have the child, for example, part-time each week or for alternate weeks, it is in the best interest of the child for a single provider to be used so the child has continuity of care. If at all possible, these joint custody cases should be handled as one case rather than two cases.
  • Verify custody by calling school/center/home provider to determine who is listed as parent/guardian. (Note: Some schools may not provide information without parental release.)
  • Use the KIDS Participant Information Screen to determine which parent is the child support client and which is the responsible relative (RR) or non custodial parent.
  • If the child attends a Chicago Public School, use F15 screen for verification.
  • If parents have joint custody and each applies for care, have each file an application for the days of care they need. If both parents qualify, open two cases each for the days and times that the particular parent both works and has custody. Document the situation thoroughly in the case notes. It is in the best interest of the child for a single provider to be used so the child has continuity of care.

Verifying Custody for Non-Parent Applicants

  • When non-parent claims custody, without legal guardianship, request a letter from a parent stating that he/she has transferred custody. If a parent is unavailable and there is no reason to doubt the veracity of the parent applying for care, ask the applicant to write an explanation of the situation for the file.
  • Verify custody by calling school to determine who is listed as parent/guardian. (Note: Some schools may not provide information without parental release.)
  • If the child attends a Chicago Public School, use PF15 Chicago student on-line screen for verification.
  • If application states that a parent is incarcerated, check IDOC web site, www.idoc.state.il.us. Site will indicate expected release date. If s/he is in jail, call the jail to verify. For federal prisons check http://www.bop.gov/.
  • When non-parent says that parent is in treatment, request letter from treatment provider.
  • For applicants who claim RPY status, refer to IPACS training on RPY and policy 01.03.04.

III. Verifying the Number and Status of Children in a Family

(Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Policy 01.01.02, Family Composition)

Examples or Indicators of the Situation

  • After a denial for having too much income, applicant reapplies listing children not included in the initial application.
  • Child on application is not included on ACID Screen 3 (People) as member of a current or previous TANF, Medicaid, or food stamp family unit.
  • Applicant states that all the children were born in Illinois, but the children's Social Security numbers begin with a variety of non-Illinois numbers (Social Security numbers issued in Illinois begin with 318-361. For other states' numbers check: www.ssa.gov/foia/stateweb.html.)
  • Child(ren) not listed in KIDS as part of family.
  • DPH (Department of Public Health) screen shows other information for parents (for CCR&R only).

Useful Approaches for Resolution

Verifying a Child's Existence

  • Check all names/SSNs in PACIS.
  • Request newly added child's birth certificate. If family is receiving IDHS benefits, local IDHS caseworker should have copies of children's birth certificates and be able to verify a new child's status.

Verifying a Child or Children's Membership in the Family

  • Request SSN for all children and check whether child is included in this TANF family unit or another family unit in ACID Screen 3 (people). (Note: Care can not be denied because a child does not have a Social Security card or because the applicant does not provide the child's Social Security number.)
  • Request guardianship papers to add unrelated child.
  • Verify custody by calling school or center to determine who is listed as parent/guardian. (Note: Some schools may not provide information.)
  • If the child attends a Chicago Public School, use PF15 screen for verification.
  • Request that the applicant complete your agency's "add a child" or "change of information" form.

Adding a Child or Children to a Family

  • Request certified copy of county birth certificate and Social Security numbers for all additions of children (other than infants) to a case following a denial or cancellation for being over income. (Note: Social Security numbers are optional even when it is part of a request for additional information.)
  • For addition of non-related children other than newborns, request guardianship or adoption documents. In some circumstances such as sudden entry into residential drug rehab or if a parent does not return as expected for a child, this can be an informal arrangement. In such cases, obtain written documentation of the arrangement and the parent's whereabouts and exercise reasonable judgment.

IV. Determining the Status of the Non-Custodial Parent

(Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Policy 01.01.02, Family Composition)

Examples or Indicators of the Situation

Non-Applicant Parent's Residence

  • Mother's application for subsidized care states that the children's father does not live with or provide support for the family.
  • After denial of an application for care from a two-parent family because total family income was too high, or first parent was not service eligible, second parent reapplies alleging that the other parent is now living elsewhere and/or a child's relationship code is 01 in ACID meaning both parents are in the home.
  • Report, anonymous or otherwise, that non-custodial parent is living with the family, but is not included as a member of the family on the application for care.
  • ACID Screen 3 Status of MO/FA field 63 has a 13 or 29 code in both fields, indicating that both parents are living in the home.
  • Application states that other parent, previously in the home, is incarcerated in Illinois; on-line check of Department of Corrections web site, www.idoc.state.il.us, does not show that other parent is incarcerated.
  • Other parent is identified on the applicant's home answering machine voice message.
  • Applicant states that other parent, previously in the home, is now living with a parent or with a friend.
  • Check of other parent's address on www.anywho.com or in phone book indicates that he/she resides with applicant.

Determining marital status

  • Check stub indicates "married" status when client indicates that he/she is unmarried on application.
  • Parent changes name.
  • Local newspaper legal notices or marriage announcements indicate a change in family status (e.g., marriage or divorce).

Useful Approaches for Resolution

Handling Reports from the Public on Cases

  • All reports from the public of noncompliance, anonymous or named, written or verbal, should be case noted and pursued. If, after a review of available client information, it is determined that a client contact is necessary, an applicant should receive a letter stating "It has come to our attention . . ." requesting additional information.
  • The fact that a request was generated as a result of a report from the public should be included in the case notes. The case notes should also be used to identify potential harassment if multiple unsupported (particularly anonymous) reports are received from the same person.

Verifying Non-Applicant Parent's Residence

Require (at least) any two of the following to confirm residence:

  • Utility bill in his/her name.
  • Address verification from the post office.
  • Driver's license.
  • State identification card.
  • Voter registration.
  • Current check stubs w/address.
  • Lease in his/her name with canceled checks or money order receipts.
  • Occupancy permit (public housing) - Section 8 Housing.
  • IRS 1099 or W-2 forms.
  • Letter from Parole Officer on letterhead.
  • Health Care Practitioner bills.
  • Court Documents (ex. Divorce Degree, Custody, Order of Protection, etc).
  • Check IPACS, including KIDS, AWVS, ACID and PASDX.

If the applicant provides any two items, accept them.

  • In situations where there is a history of abuse, protection orders/reports or threats of spouse abuse, specialists may require less documentation (i.e., police report or order of protection).
  • Look for address of non-custodial (NCP or RR) parent in KIDS screens.
  • Look for an address for non-custodial parent in IPACS Name File Display.
  • Look for an address for non-custodial parent in ACID F1 by doing a SSN and/or name search on the Client Database Inquiry. This will determine whether non-applicant parent has another case with the child at another address.
  • If applicant says that other parent is incarcerated, check IDOC web site. Site will indicate expected release date. If s/he is in jail, call the jail to verify. For federal prisons, check http://www.bop.gov/.
  • If the non-custodial parent receives unemployment benefits, check home address on AWVS system.

Verifying Marital Status

  • If the other parent is on the IDHS case and the applicant denies that he or she lives in the home, require that the applicant ask IDHS to review the case and if valid remove the other parent before processing the application. Case note confirmation that the parent no longer lives in the home.
  • Anytime parent changes her/his name, verify family situation with a request for additional information form. Also request a copy of Social Security card with correct name.

V. Verifying New Employment

(Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Policy 01.03.02, Employment)

Examples or Indicators of the Situation

  • Specialist receives information that client is no longer working at the job for which care was approved.
  • Client reports new employment at each re-determination.
  • Letter from employer intended to verify employment is not on letterhead, is unsigned, is not specific regarding hours worked or wages earned, or contains a questionable signature or employer title.
  • No answer to phone call to employer intended to verify employment.
  • Children in background on employer verification call in a non-child care setting.
  • Child answers verification call reporting there is no parent or provider present.
  • Call is answered, but it is a cell phone and/or clearly not at a place of business.

Useful Approaches for Resolution

General Approach

  • For a new job, request signed letter on company letterhead from employer that includes the following information:
    • Anticipated work hours per day.
    • Number of days worked each week.
    • Wage or salary rate.
    • Work schedule.
    • A wage verification form completed by employer or a CCR&R or Site form.
  • Following receipt of a letter or wage verification form from the employer that is inconsistent with other information, contact the employer to clarify the inconsistencies and, if appropriate, approve for three months. The applicant must send copies of the two most recent and consecutive check stubs with the three month re-determination form to receive continued care.

Verifying Employment

  • In cases with a new or unfamiliar employer, after receiving letter or wage verification, call the employer on the telephone to verify the information contained in the letter.
  • Use on-line services to verify employment, (e.g., theworknumber.com). Refer to language on application that authorizes this action.
  • Verify address of business or school: http://www.yellowpages.com; http://www.whitepages.com.
  • Google maps

Addressing Reports that Client is not Working, has Stopped Working, or Changed Employment Status

  • Contact employer to verify employment.
  • On receipt of any report, anonymous or otherwise, if, after review of available client information it is determined that client contact is necessary, send client a request for additional information and/or re-determination form. If client does not respond within 10 days, terminate, deny, or cancel case. The fact that a request was generated as a result of a report from the public should be included in the case notes. The case notes should also be used to identify potential harassment if multiple unsupported (particularly anonymous) reports are received from the same person.

VI. Verifying Income and Work Hours

(Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Policy 01.02.05, Income Verification)

Examples or Indicators of the Situation

  • Checks stubs with consecutive/identical/close check numbers, (e.g., #2432 and #2434).
  • If a client submits an original check stub and has no print or shading on the back, it may suggest that the stub is invalid.
  • Check stubs hand-written or appear to be printed using Word or Quicken from an employer that would not be expected to handwrite or use these programs for check stubs.
  • Check stubs from non-consecutive pay periods (e.g., one biweekly stub dated 3/1/02 and the other dated 4/15). Policy requires that check stubs be the two most recent and consecutive.
  • Year-to-date income identical on multiple check stubs.
  • Number of hours on two check stubs varies substantially (e.g., one check reports 20 hours and the other reports 40 hrs).
  • Year-to-date income is very inconsistent with amount on the two checks submitted (e.g., biweekly pay check for $200 dated March 30, year-to-date income of $7,000).
  • Inconsistent fonts within a document, particularly on dates/amounts.
  • Client requests 2nd or 3rd shift care, but works in an office.
  • Wages, calculated on an hourly basis, are less than the minimum wage.
  • AWVS/screen indicates client worked during the previous quarter for another or second employer not listed on application or documented with letter or check stubs.

Useful Approaches for Resolution

  • Following conditional three-month approval, client must provide two most recent and consecutive check stubs to verify income and work hours.
  • If there are inconsistencies or an irregular schedule or level of pay, request additional check stubs.

Verifying Authenticity of Client's Check Stubs

  • If there are significant inconsistencies between the information on the check stubs and in the application and employer letter, call employer on the telephone to verify all information.
  • Request original check stubs if there is a question regarding the authenticity of copies.
  • If original check stubs are submitted, look for watermark on check stubs to verify authenticity.
  • If one check stub is substantially lower or higher than the other, ask for the two prior consecutive stubs for a total of four.
  • If non-consecutive pay stubs are received, pend the case until the two most recent and consecutive pay stubs are received.

Verifying Work Schedule

  • In cases where there are frequent major changes to the work schedule, consider the nature of the work. If the scheduling is inconsistent with other schedules found in that field or employment, request a monthly schedule or time sheet signed by the employer to support application.
  • If there are inconsistencies between the client's report and other information, request a monthly work schedule or letter with a schedule from the employer to support application.

VII. Verifying Self-Employment, Cash Employment, and Self-Employment Income

(Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Policy 01.03.02, Employment)

Examples or Indicators of the Situation

  • Applicant reports that he or she is self-employed with income from several sources.
  • Applicant's "job" is not subject to a regular schedule (i.e., fisherman, independent contractor).
  • Applicant is paid on commission dependent on sales.
  • Applicant consistently paid in cash and never has pay stubs.
  • Client reports that he or she is paid in cash but is listed on AWVS screen as working at another job.
  • Applicant claims to be unable to provide a letter verifying employment or check stubs verifying hours worked and income.
  • Applicant reports very low wages for time reported working (e.g., $40 net income for 40 hours worked).
  • ACID Screen 2 income report (based on prior quarter's earnings) substantially exceeds amount reported by applicant.
  • Applicant reports very low earnings, yet receives no form of aid.

Useful Approaches for Resolution


General Approach

  • For self-employed clients, require completion of Self-Employment Record (Form 2790) and limit approval to a maximum of three months unless client provides a current tax return. If client provides a tax return and consistent documentation of employment and income, approve for six months if the employment situation is stable.
  • For clients paid in cash, request completion of the DHS "cash pay form" or the "self-employment record form" (IL-444-2790) and one month of receipts showing payments from customers and/or employers. Approve for maximum of three months. The receipts must include sufficient information to verify validity (e.g., employer's name, address, phone number). Approve for maximum of three months.
  • Request business ledger form from applicant each month with receipts for expenses.
  • Request copies of tax returns.

Verifying that the Applicant is Working

  • Request state license, lease, and schedule of clients from cosmetology/hair care workers.
  • Request business license from small business operators.
  • Verify employer address using reverse directory.
  • Request employer's FEIN or SSN.
  • Request a copy of employer's business license where relevant (i.e., sale of food).

Verifying Income

  • If no tax return was filed for prior year, request completion of Income Verification Form from employers each quarter. Call employer and verify if information on form is inconsistent with other documentation.
  • If federal tax returns are submitted, look for a match between the reports of income during the year on the Income Verification Form and the information reported on schedule C of the federal tax return.

VIII. Managing Clients who Lose or Change Jobs and Fail to Report the Change

(Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Policies 5.1, 6.1, 2.7, 9.2)

Examples or Indicators of the Situation

  • After the client has been approved for care, specialist discovers that the client has changed jobs but has not reported the change.
  • Client submits re-determination reporting that she stopped working some time ago and continued to use care. Client now has another job.
  • Provider requests additional payment exceeding the eligible days and reports that client is working a different or additional job.
  • AWVS indicates different and/or additional employment than reported by client.
  • Employer calls to report that client is no longer employed, but client is still using child care.

Useful Approaches for Resolution


General Approach

  • For clients who change jobs frequently, request work wchedule on a monthly basis.
  • If an applicant repeatedly starts a new job, then stops working soon after approval and continues to use child care, limit eligibility to three months and require copies of the first two pay stubs within two weeks of receipt, consistent with IDHS policy.
  • For applicants who report a job change or a client who has had a job loss since previous approval, call the previous employer to get the termination date or ask for a copy of the last pay stub from the previous employer. Initiate overpayment for any time client was not working past the 30-day job search period allowed. (Refer to overpayment collection process in the Overpayment Section of the Program Manual.)
  • Use on-line employment verification services for employers who are included (e.g., theworknumber.com), to verify employment and reduce the number of contacts with the employer.

IX. Verifying Education and Training

(Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Policies 01.03.04, RPY; 01.03.03, Education/Training Activities)

Examples or Indicators of the Situation

  • Student applies for care and then drops courses or drops out of school.
  • Course schedule does not include applicant's name.
  • Applicant submits school registration forms rather than printed schedule.
  • Schedule does not include term beginning and end dates.
  • Schedule copied out of course catalog.
  • Applicant's RSP case has expired. This is evidenced by ACID Screen 6 indicating that the activity is closed out (code 999 last 3 digits of 4-digit activity code field), and/or ACID Screen 6 control (CNTL) has passed indicating that the activity is past due for review by the caseworker.

Useful Approaches for Resolution

General Approach

  • For non-college training programs, request a letter from school for training programs that do not have course schedules. Letter should include the times of each day the training is held and beginning and end dates for the program. If possible, encourage training providers to have one person sign all letters so they can be verified easily. If there are any inconsistencies, verify with a phone call to the person who signed the letter or the school registrar.
  • For college programs, request a printed course schedule that includes the student's name and lists the names and times of all courses and beginning and end of term.
  • For RSPs, request a copy of the signed RSP document. Call the IDHS Family Community Resource Center caseworker if confirmation is needed.

Confirming School/Training Enrollment, Schedule and GPA

  • Request contract from other training providers (i.e., cosmetology).
  • Check college web sites to verify course times. (see helpful website resource section XVI)
  • Require that all letters from schools be on school letterhead or include enough information to verify that it is from the school.
  • For non-TANF clients, request copy of grades at end of term or prior to re-determination to verify that client is maintaining a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. (when required)
  • Approve care from the start of the term until the end of the term.

Determining Work Requirements

  • For non-TANF clients, determine whether the client is enrolled in a degree or certificate program. If enrolled in a degree program, the client must have either a monthly average of 10 hours work per week or a combination of employment and unpaid educationally-required work activity such as student teaching, internship, or field placement for a monthly average of 20 hours per week. Students pursuing a second degree, associate, undergraduate, or graduate, are not eligible for care in most cases. If the client is enrolled in a post-secondary education program such as a GED or a vocational or certificate program, no other work is required for the first twenty-four non-consecutive months. After the first twenty-four months in a vocational or certificate program, the client has a twenty-hour-per-week work requirement.
  • Work and GPA requirements for clients on TANF are determined by the Family Community Resource Center caseworker.

RSP Cases

  • IDHS caseworkers can verify the authenticity of RSP and clarify any confusion.
  • For RSP cases, check screen 6 (MED/PCIS) and see that it matches the submitted RSP. Also verify start and end dates.

X. Determining Work, Education and Care Schedules

(Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Policy 01.03.02, Employment)

Examples or Endicators of the Situation

  • Number of hours worked varies between multiple pay stubs, or between pay stubs and application.
  • Client alleges working 2nd or 3rd shift or weekends for an employer who is unfamiliar to the specialist or an employer that has not employed clients on such shifts in the past.
  • Following a determination that the client should get part-time care, applicant requests nighttime care for school-aged children.
  • Parent works third shift and requests care for "sleep time."
  • Client requests unusually lengthy travel time that results in a change from part-time to full-time care.

Useful Approaches for Resolution


General Approach

  • Recognizing that schedules and number of hours may vary, determine a representative work schedule supported by reported hours on two pay stubs. Prepare a grid of a typical work week and child care schedule, including an indication of whether care is part- or full-time, and place in client's file.

Matching Work/Care Schedule

  • If client provides inconsistent information regarding work schedule, request monthly work schedule verification from employers.
  • Request the two additional most recent consecutive check stubs (for a total of four), to determine average number of hours worked.
  • Request letter from employer to verify all questionable requests for 2nd or 3rd shift or weekend care.

Determining Care for Parents who Work Night Shifts

  • Contact the IDHS Policy Unit to discuss sleep time on a case-by-case basis. Be prepared to provide additional information such as work schedules, ages of children, etc to support a request for full- or part-time care for sleep time for clients who work 3rd shift.
  • Verify night-shift schedule with the employer for applicants employed by an unfamiliar employer or an employer that has not employed clients on night shifts in the past.

Verifying Travel Time

  • For unfamiliar locations, use http://www.mapquest.com to approximate auto travel time.
  • If the client uses the Chicago Transit Authority, go to the trip planner page at www.yourcta.com to approximate travel time.
  • On other public transportation systems, use system schedules to approximate travel time.

XI. Identifying Multiple Cases in Different Service Delivery Areas (SDAs)

(Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Policy 3.3)

Examples or Indicators of the Situation

  • Client has child care case in one SDA and a TANF case in another SDA.
  • Children are on another IDHS case in another SDA.
  • The IDHS Head of Household Multiple Case Report" and Client on Multiple Case Report by Name and Date of Birth identify families with cases in multiple SDAs.

Useful Approach for Resolution

  • Identify clients with cases in more than one SDA on the IDHS "multiple case report." Contact the other SDA to determine where care should be located. Cancel care in the SDA where care should not be provided.
  • Contact the other SDA to determine where care should be located and decide together which case should be cancelled.

XII. Failure to Report a Change of Status

(Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Policies 2.07.01, 4.06.01, 7.04.01, 7.05.01)

Examples or Indicators of the Situation

  • Client does not report any of the following changes in status:
    • Name change.
    • Change in wages.
    • Employment change.
    • Family size change.
    • Address change.
    • Change in school enrollment.
    • Change in child care provider.
    • Change in child support payments.
  • New name on certificate/check stubs.
  • New employer listed on re-determination application.
  • Certificate lists new baby or other additional child.
  • Returned mail to client indicates change of address.
  • Provider terminates child.

Useful Approaches for Resolution


General Approach

After learning of any of the above-listed changes, send re-determination form and/or request for additional information.

Change in Care or Need for Care

  • If approved provider is no longer providing care according to certificate, also include provider change form. (CCR&R Only)
  • If loss of employment or termination of enrollment in school or training results in a significant reduction in necessary care, issue an overpayment letter for the care for which the client was ineligible. (Refer to Section 7.4, Accounts Receivable/Overpayments, in the IDHS Child Care Assistance Program Manual). (CCR&R Only)
  • If client is no longer eligible for any care, cancel with 10 days notice, including the 10 days in the calculation of the overpayment due.

XIII. Verifying Questionable Provider Information

(Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Policies 4.06.02)

Examples or Indicators of the Situation

  • Provider is, in fact, the parent of the children being cared for.
  • Provider is in same TANF family unit as child.
  • Provider SSN is believed to be false.
  • Provider and applicant have the same address.
  • Provider lists a post office box address as his or her home address.
  • Provider lives one or two hours away from the client family and not close to parent's work location.
  • Mail sent to provider is returned by post office.
  • Provider claims to reside at one address, but receives benefits from IDHS or unemployment compensation at another address.
  • Provider is listed as child's parent on IPACS ACID Screen 3 (People) or KIDS Case Inquiry Participant List screen.

Useful Approaches for Resolution

General Approach

  • If there is a question regarding the provider's identity, address, relationship to the child, or whether care is being provided, the specialist should request the documentation necessary to prove that the provider is eligible to provide care and that care is being provided consistent with IDHS policy. (Policy can be obtained online at www.dhs.state.il.us)

Verifying Provider's Identity

  • Request copy of Social Security card with W-9 from provider. If provider does not have a Social Security card, request that the provider apply for a Social Security card, the Social Security Administration Office.
  • To determine whether the provider is receiving Child Care Assistance, check Social Security number of provider in HSCCTS to see if there is an active child care case and follow established procedures.

Verifying Provider's Address

  • Require physical location such as rural route or street address for provider's home, even if payments are to go to a post office box. In questionable cases, request any two of the following as proof of the home address:
    • Utility bill in the provider's name.
    • Address verification from the post office.
    • Driver's license.
    • State identification card.
    • Voter registration.
    • Current check stubs with address.
    • Lease in provider's name with canceled checks or money order receipts.
    • IRS 1099 or W-2 forms.
  • Verify provider's address with the post office anytime the provider lists the same address as the client or lives more than an hour away from the client.
  • If a home-care provider requests a change of address, request that the client also sign off on the change.
  • Verify by using http://www.reversephonedirectory.com

Verifying the Provider's Relationship to the Child

  • Check provider name and Social Security number on ACID screen 3 (People) (Field BX 78 with any of the following: blank- 3, 4, 7 or C) to determine whether provider is on same TANF assistance unit. If the provider is in the TANF assistance unit, he/she may not receive a subsidy for providing care for the child.
  • Check KIDS Case Inquiry Participant List to determine if the provider is a parent of any of the children.

Verifying that Child Care is Being Provided

  • When questions arise regarding care, send letter or call the provider on the telephone and ask for the names and ages of all children for whom they are providing care.
  • For licensed providers, request a copy of food program menu that includes a list of the children being served.

XIV. Verifying Provider Licensure and Capacity

(Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Policy 5.01.01)

Examples or Indicators of the Situation

  • Provider is caring for more children than he or she is licensed for.
  • Provider claims to be licensed but is not.

Useful Approaches for Resolution


General Approach

  • Refer licensing problems to a DCFS licensing representative.
  • Check with DCFS regarding the license status and capacity of providers. Use DCFS day care information phone line 877/746-0829, and /or DCFS report of licensed providers, 1-877-746-0829.
  • If there is a question regarding licensing or capacity, request copies of the provider's child care license. Use a request for a change in rates as an opportunity to request a copy of the license to verify the provider's license number, capacity, and expiration date.
  • Talk to the CCRR Provider Resource unit to obtain additional information regarding the provider's license and capacity.
  • Ensure that the IDHS Overcapacity Report is reviewed and exceptions checked each month to resolve overcapacity issues.

Verifying provider's license to provide care

  • Licenses are for facilities, so any change of address requires re-licensing. (Note: Providers are given a grace period at their new address so they can still be paid at the licensed rate.)
  • Add license expiration date to F-12 field.

Verifying that the provider is not over capacity

  • Notify the DCFS licensing specialist and write a case note in HSCCTS if the provider appears to be over capacity.
  • Verify the child care schedules to determine if the children are in the home at the same or different times. A provider can provide care for more children than capacity if they are not in the home at the same time.

XV. Post-approval information that a provider has a criminal background

(Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Section 5.04.01)

Examples or indicators of the situation

  • After provider receives certificate, CCR&R agency becomes aware of provider's criminal history.
  • Probation or police officer calls and reports that provider has criminal history.
  • See report on TV or read in the newspaper that provider was or has been convicted of a crime included on the list in the Child Care Assistance Program Manual.

Useful Approaches for Resolution

  • All reports from the public (anonymous or named, written or verbal) that a provider has a criminal history must be checked out. If, after a review of available information, it is determined that client contact is necessary, an applicant should be sent a letter stating "It has come to our attention . . ." requesting additional information about the situation.
  • The report and the review of the report must be noted in the case notes. The fact that a request was generated as a result of a report from the public of a criminal history should be included in the case notes. The case notes should also be used to identify potential harassment if multiple unsupported (particularly anonymous) reports are received from the same person.
  • If, after a review of available client information, it is determined that a client contact is necessary, the provider should be sent a letter stating "It has come to our attention . . ." requesting additional information.
  • For reports of conviction of a CANTS crime, contact the DCFS CANTS staff to verify/clarify information.
  • Check Illinois State Police sex offender web site, http://www.isp.state.il.us/sor/sor.cfm
  • Check Illinois Dept. of Corrections for individuals currently in prison or on parole in Illinois at http:/www.idoc.state.il.gov
  • Check http://www.bop.gov  for an inmate search in the federal prisons.
  • When unsure of whether reported crime is one that is prohibited under the Child Care Assistance Program Manual, call the local state's attorney and request clarification.
  • If the applicant checks "yes" on the application question regarding past convictions, the details of the convictions need to be determined. The applicant can not be approved as a provider if the felony for which he or she was convicted is on the list of prohibited crimes. (See Child Care Assistance Program Manual, Appendix 4.)
  • Contact County Circuit Clerk's Office to obtain arrest record on provider.
  • To verify if a provider was incarcerated for aggravated criminal sexual assault: http://www.criminalcheck.com

XVI. Helpful Resource Websites

Client Information Resources

INDICATOR RESOURCE RESULTS
Income in AWVS indicates different employment than client reports The Work Number http://www.theworknumber.com Verifies the client's employment/income that appeared in AWVS
Need to verify employer's information in Illinois http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/business_services/corp.html Searches for companies registered to do business in Illinois
Verify the amount of refund on the reported tax form http://sa.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofegstatus.jsp Verifies the amount of refund on the income tax form
Better Business Bureau http://www.bbb.org or http://www.chicago.bbb.org Provides reports about various businesses
Social Security Allocations by State http://www.ssa.gov/employer/stateweb.htm Assignment of social security number by states
Cash, Food Stamp, and Medical Manual Cash, Food Stamp, and Medical Manual Policy for Cash, Food Stamps, and Medical Assistance programs for Illinois residents
Questionable check stubs http://paycheckcity.com/default.asp Helps determine if check stub was created online
Reverse Phone Directory http://www.reversephonedirectory.com Telephone numbers and addresses - names and addresses
On-Line Directories http://www.acfe.com/fraud-resources.aspx Fraud Resources for Fraud Examiners
Verify address of Business or School

http://www.yellowpages.com  and

http://maps.google.com/maps?tab=wl

May find that another business is lsted at address on IVF or address listed for school on letter is not the location for actual business or school
Check addresses of Business http://www.whitepages.com Often we are unable to find a business listing and find the address is listed to a home
Colleges and Universities all begin and end semesters on different dates.  For the most part, if they are on the system, it is not much of a problem; however, if they are on quarters, trimesters, or offer multiple summer sessions, etc., we need to establish beginning and ending dates.

Illinois Central College: www.icc.edu

Illinois State University: www.ilstu.edu

Bradley University: www.bradley.edu

Augustana College: www.augustana.edu

Robert Morris College: www.robertmorris.edu/peoria

Google other colleges for their websites.

Can help establish beginning and ending dates for the semester, term, or quarter that the student/client is attending
There is often a need to reference the DHS website for various updates.  In addition, a client or provider may be reffferred there too. http://www.dhs.state.il.us This will serve as an alternate resource for DHS information.
To determine client's additional income http://www.wh1.ioc.state.il.us/QuickTake/Vend/index.cfm
Zip Code Directory https://tools.usps.com/go/ZipLookupAction!input.action Look up the correct zip code for any city and state
Area Code Director http://www.allareacodes.com/area-code-lookup/ Look up the correct area code for any city and state

Provider Information Resources

INDICATOR RESOURCE RESULTS
Verify if a provider is a convicted sex offender

http://www.criminalcheck.com

http://www.isp.state.il.us/sor/sor.cfm

http://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov

Helps determine if a provider was incarcerated for aggravated criminal sexual assault
Inmate searches in Illinois http://www.idoc.state.il.us List people currently in prison or on parole in Illinois
Inmate searches in Federal prison http://www.bop.gov List people currently in federal prison
Cook County Assessor's Office http://www.cookcountyassessor.com Establishes that a structure is standing or an empty lot
City of Chicago Business License Look-up http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/bacp/provdrs/bus/svcs/business_licenselook-up.html Look up business license for Chicago businesses
Illinois Professional License Look-up https://www.idfpr.com/licenselookup/licenselookup.asp Look up professional licenses in Illinois

Miscellaneous Resources

INDICATOR RESOURCE RESULTS
DCFS - Policy and Rules http://www.state.il.us/dcfs/daycare/index.shtml Day Care Licensing information
Illinois Law http://www.illinoisprobono.org/index.cfm Links to information covering children and public benefits

Acknowledgements

Thanks to the members of the INCCRRA Program Integrity and Quality Assurance Committee who led development of this document:

Barbara Berngard, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Joanne Burton, Community Coordinated Child Care, DeKalb

Carla Campbell, Child Care Resource and Referral, Carterville

Edward Doornbos, IDHS, Springfield

Renee Henneman, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Donna Hoffman, CHASI-Child Care Resource and Referral Program, Granite City

Lori Longueville, Child Care Resource and Referral, Carterville

Richard Martin, IDHS, Chicago

Sherry Sommers, Project Child, Mt. Vernon

Thanks also to following child care assistance specialists and directors from across the state who were interviewed for the project and provided many of the ideas contained in this document:

Sanita Calhoun, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Joyce Duncan, YWCA of Lake County, Waukegan

Amy Emerson, Child Care Resource and Referral, Joliet

Catherine Gregory, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Donna Hoffman, CHASI, Granite City

Marty Hortenstine, Child Care Resource and Referral, Charleston

Jennifer Isbell, Child Care Connection, East Peoria

Cathi Jackson, Project Child, Mt. Vernon

Heather Johnson, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Valisa Johnson, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Lisa King, YWCA of Metro Chicago/DuPage District, Glen Ellyn

Beverly Pierce, Community Child Care Connection, Inc., Springfield

Barb Schuldt, Child Care Resource Service, Urbana

Keren Scott, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Wanda Taylor, Child Care Resource and Referral Network, Bloomington

Jodi Thornburgh, YMCA of McHenry County, Harvard

Sharon Warning, West Central Child Care Connection, Quincy

Jennifer Wiener, Community Child Care Resource and Referral Center, Davenport

And finally, thanks to the following child care assistance specialists and managers who reviewed and commented on earlier drafts of this document:

Sherri Andrews, CHASI-Child Care Resource and Referral, Granite City

Bridget Clark, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Kristen Caum, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Kim DiGiacomo, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Phyllis Gaffney, CHASI-Child Care Resource and Referral, Granite City

Vykie Hernandez, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Myra Holmes, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Denise Jarvis, CHASI-Child Care Resource and Referral, Granite City

Kathleen Johnson, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Ameeneh Kelly, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Jennifer Kolling, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Marielle Mershart, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Rayette Milkovich, CHASI-Child Care Resource and Referral, Granite City

Beverly Morris, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Zoraya Miranda, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Grace West Payne, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Jemene Richardson, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Becky Rieck, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Jenise Romano, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Megan Shore, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Kimberly Tyderek, Day Care Action Council of Illinois, Chicago

Kathy Velino, CHASI-Child Care Resource and Referral, Granite City