The Provider will issue supportive service payments by check, money order, fare card or cash. All issuances must be clearly documented in each participant's case file. The Provider must maintain receipts signed and dated by the participant to verify issuance of each supportive services payment. Documentation of each issuance must include the amount, purpose and period covered. Monthly financial accounting for all monies disbursed will be required in a format specified by the Department.

Following is a summary of supportive services policy and allowance maximums. Special supportive services policy may apply to some Providers' programs.

The following rates are subject to change. Providers will receive written notification of any supportive service payment policy and/or rate change.

A. Transportation

Transportation expenses are authorized as an advance payment to program participants for travel necessary to get to and from approved activities.

The participant should be provided funds in advance to travel to and from education/specialized training activities, job interviews and other approved activities as provided or arranged by the Provider. Attendance must be verified by the Provider with the employer/program for participants who are issued transportation funds to go to and from their education/specialized training, and other activities.

Transportation payments should be made at the lowest reasonable cost. If a participant's own vehicle is the most economical means of transportation, the Provider should issue $.15 per mile.

Downstate Earnfare, Job Placement with Retention, and Special Project Providers are to issue this allowance to their participants. Cook County Earnfare participants and Cook County NCP Earnfare participants who receive SNAP benefits may receive this allowance from the Department. Cook County NCP Earnfare participants who do not receive SNAP benefits will receive this allowance from the NCP Services Unit. Downstate NCP Earnfare Providers issue this allowance to participants who receive SNAP benefits.

B. Job Search Allowance

Participants in the Job Search activity may receive up to $20 every 30 days for employer contact related expenses (i.e., transportation). Participants are expected to make at least 20 employer contacts each month while in the Job Search activity. Downstate Earnfare, Job Placement with Retention, and Special Project Providers are to issue this allowance to their participants. Downstate NCP Earnfare Providers are to issue this allowance to participants who receive SNAP benefits. Cook County Earnfare participants will receive this allowance from the Department. Note: a participant may only be assigned to Job Search for 8 weeks in a 12 consecutive month period as part of another countable activity.

C. Work Activity Allowance

Participants in Work Experience and/or Job Readiness may receive $5 per month for job related activity. Job Placement with Retention and Special Project Providers are to issue this allowance to their participants.

D. Earnfare Clothing Allowance

Earnfare participants may receive an allowance of up to $100 in a consecutive 12-month period (July through June) for clothing needed to participate in an Earnfare assignment. For example, a coat, work gloves, socks, shoes, pants, and shirts.

Job Placement with Retention and Downstate Earnfare Providers issue this allowance to eligible participants. Cook County Earnfare participants and Cook County NCP Earnfare participants who receive SNAP benefits may receive this allowance from the Department. Downstate NCP Earnfare Providers issue this allowance to participants who receive SNAP benefits.

E. Mandatory Fees

Job Placement with Retention and Special Project Providers may issue payment to eligible participants, enrolled in approved education or training programs, up to a maximum of $300 in a consecutive 12-month period (July through June) for mandatory fees. Provider Manager approval is required when issuances in a 12-month period total over $200. Payment for tuition cannot be authorized.

Provide payment for mandatory fees including application, registration, activities, laboratory, graduation and testing fees (including fees to obtain a GED certificate).

F. Books and Supplies

Job Placement with Retention and Special Project Providers may issue payment to eligible participants, enrolled in approved education or training programs, up to a maximum of $300 in a consecutive 12-month period (July through June) for books, supplies, and equipment. Provider Manager approval is required when issuances in a 12-month period total over $200.

Provide payment for these items purchased in accordance with the facility's published list of items required for the approved program in which the participant is enrolled.

G. Physical Examinations

Job Placement with Retention and Special Project Providers will provide payment for individuals to obtain physical exams if needed for SNAP E&T participation or to accept employment and if the costs are not paid by other sources such as the employer, the training program or local health agency. Cook County and Downstate Earnfare participants may receive this allowance from the Department.

H. State Identification Card Required for Participation in SNAP E&T Activities

Downstate Earnfare, Job Placement with Retention, and Special Project Providers will provide payment for individuals to obtain a State Identification Card if needed for SNAP E&T participation. Issue a maximum of $20.00 for the ID as indicated on the Secretary of State's website (www.sos.state.il.us). Only one issuance per fiscal year (July through June) is allowed. Provider Manager approval is required.

I.  Initial Employment Expenses

Downstate Earnfare, Job Placement with Retention, and Special Project Providers will issue allowances for initial employment expenses (IEE) to help participants begin and continue unsubsidized employment. Payment may be provided for initial employment expenses when requested within 30 calendar days beginning with the first day of employment. IEEs are computed based on the participant's workdays during the same 30 calendar day period from the first day employment begins. Downstate NCP Earnfare Providers will issue these allowances to participants who receive SNAP benefits.

Provider Manager approval is required for any initial employment expense exceeding $200.00. The total amount of IEEs provided must not exceed $400 in a consecutive 12 month period (July through June).

To be eligible for IEE, a person must be:

  • employed at least 20 hours per week on a job that is expected to last at least 30 calendar days; or
  • employed less than 20 hours per week on a job that is expected to last at least 30 calendar days and total hours of employment plus component activity equal at least 20 hours per week.

IEEs may include the following:

  • special clothing (maximum $200);
  • required tools not provided by the employer (maximum $200);
  • State identification card, when needed as a condition of employment. Issue a maximum of $20.00 for the ID as indicated on the Secretary of State's website. (www.sos.state.il.us). Only one issuance per fiscal year (July through June) is allowed. Provider Manager approval is required.
  • child care, up to DHS maximums;
  • auto license plate fees;
  • auto liability insurance at the least costly rate, but not to exceed $150 or the cost for 3 months coverage, whichever is less;
  • transportation expenses required to go to and from work at the lowest reasonable cost. If the participant's car is the most economical, authorize $3 daily or a rate of 15 cents per mile, whichever is less;
  • Items or services purchased to assist the participant in meeting Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) child care licensing requirements (maximum $300). Some items and services included are:
    • fire extinguisher
    • smoke alarm
    • first aid kit;
    • installation of a telephone.
  • other required items related to the specific job (maximum $300). Departmental approval is required;
  • repair of an auto (maximum $300). The following requirements must be met before a request for payment for repair of an auto is approved:
    • the participant has no other available and suitable form of transportation to and from employment;
    • the participant is unable to report to the employment unless the auto is repaired;
    • the participant has a valid driver's license and has provided evidence of insurability;
    • the auto, when repaired, will be suitable for the purpose intended and no other obvious mechanical deficiency has been observed; and
    • the title and license of the auto is in the name of the participant or their spouse.

IEEs cannot be used to:

  • purchase fire arms;
  • pay bail bonds, traffic tickets, or other driving violations; or
  • enable the participant to relocate and accept employment elsewhere.

Expenses that assist the participant in becoming a DCFS licensed child care provider are the only type of self-employment expenses permitted.

The Department will issue the above allowances to Cook County Earnfare participants and to NCP Earnfare participants who receive SNAP benefits and who obtain qualifying employment.