Illinois Department of Human Services Logo

03/23/2020

Policy Memo

Summary

  • The Department of Human Services is issuing policy on TANF customer participation in Work & Training due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Good Cause may be given to TANF customers who cannot participate in Work & Training activities as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Activity and Attendance records can be entered in IES to reflect absent hours with Good Cause.
  • Work First hours must be entered to issue TANF payments.
  • Customers will have to provide evidence that they can not meet TANF Work & Training requirements only if questionable.
  • TANF customers Sanctioned before this memo will remain Sanctioned unless they contact the FCRC and agree to cooperate.

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is issuing policy that permits TANF customers the ability to claim Good Cause if they are unable to comply with Work & Training requirements due to the COVID-19 crisis. TANF customers who are unable to participate in Work & Training activities as a result of the COVID-19 crisis will be given Good Cause which will not affect their TANF benefits due to other reasons that prevent compliance and are outside the client's control. TANF customers who have the ability to participate in Work & Training but fail to comply could face reconciliation and sanction. TANF customers that currently have a sanction for activity non-compliance will remain sanctioned until they show Good Cause or contact the FCRC and agree to cooperate.

Attendance and Activity Good Cause

Allow a TANF customer who is unable to comply with the Work and Training requirements Good Cause when the customer states that they are unable to participate in Work & Training due to the COVID-19 crisis. Customers will only have to provide evidence of Good Cause due to the COVID-19 crisis to avoid the cash penalty sanction if questionable.

When processing Activity and Attendance records submitted by the TANF customer, workers should record the absence hours on the Attendance and Activity Details page in IES indicating Good Cause. Workers should add a comment on the page that "Good Cause exists for non-compliance due to the COVID-19 crisis".

Work First

Since TANF customers enrolled in Work First are in "zero grant status" and Good Cause does not issue payments, workers should process the A & As as if the customer has completed all hours that were assigned and approve the hours for payment. Workers should complete a case comment that the Work First hours were allowed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Sanctioned Customers

TANF customers that currently have a sanction for non-compliance with Work & Training activities will remain sanctioned. If a sanctioned TANF customer contacts the FCRC and is now willing to cooperate, the sanction should be lifted even if Work and Training participation is unavailable.

[signed copy on file]

Grace B. Hou

Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services