WAG 03-13-01

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Work-Eligible Person

To be considered Work-Eligible, a person must meet all the following conditions:

  1. receives cash for themselves; and
  2. receives the adult payment standard; and
  3. is not exempt from engaging in Countable activities. See PM 03-13-02 for exemption reasons.

In addition to general TANF activity cooperation requirements (PM 03-13-00), a Work-Eligible person must also:

  • work or take part in assigned Countable Work, Training and Education activities (PM 21-01-00);
  • respond to job referrals;
  • accept suitable employment;
  • continue employment; and
  • not voluntarily reduce wages.

Revolving Door Exception to 30-Day Deferral of Countable Activities

See PM 02-09-02  for normal start date of Countable activities.  

Countable activities may be required prior to approving a TANF application if:

  • TANF was lost due to failure to comply with the work and training requirement any time within 6 months of re-application (starting July 2010); and
  • the applicant is currently Work Eligible.

Refusal to Accept a Job

A person who refuses to accept a job must be given a chance to explain why they did not accept the job. To be a bona fide offer of employment, the following facts must be established:

  • there was a definite offer of suitable employment confirmed in writing by the prospective employer; andthere is no question that the client could physically do the work and that the client can get to and from the job; and
  • there are no problems with working conditions, such as risks to health, safety, or lack of workers compensation protection.

When a client refuses a bona fide offer of employment without good cause, they may be sanctioned. When they state that they refuse to accept any job offer, apply the penalty for refusing to comply.

Suitable Employment

To be penalized for not accepting a job, the job offer must be for employment that is suitable. For a job to be suitable employment, it must meet the following criteria:

  • wages offered must be at least:
    • the Federal and State minimum wage (see WAG 25-06-08); or
    • the sub-minimum youth training wage. In Illinois, this rate is for persons under age 18 who have not already worked for 180 days (lifetime total) at the sub-minimum rate. It is always 50 cents less than the current minimum wage.
  • If wages are on a piecework basis, the amount the client can reasonably expect to earn must equal at least the correct minimum wage.
  • As a condition of employment, the client cannot be required to join, resign from, or refrain from joining any legal labor organization.
  • The job does not pose an unreasonable degree of risk to the client's health and safety.
  • The client is physically and mentally able to do the work.
  • The job must be within a reasonable distance of the client's home. Commuting time must not be more than 25% of the client's total time on the job, e.g., no more than 2 hours commuting for an 8-hour workday.

Participation in Countable Work, Training and Education Activities

Countable activities count toward the State work participation rate. They are divided between Core and Non-Core activities.

Core activities are primary activities which lead most quickly to making a family self-supporting. When counting hours, the Core requirement for a single parent case is 20 hours. The Core requirement for a 2-parent case is 30 hours.

In order for a secondary Non-Core activity to count toward the Participation Target, the minimum Core requirement must first be satisfied. Non-Core activities which enhance a person's employability can be counted after the minimum Core requirement is met. 

For teen parents, see PM 03-13-03.

To determine the case Participation Target, see PM 03-13-02-a.