01.03.12 - Initial Activity Search

Effective Date: 10/01/2021 Through 06/30/22

Revised 10/18/2021

Reference: 89 Ill. Adm. Code, Chapter IV, §50.210, §50.230

Cross Reference: 01.02.02 - Non-Exempt Income, 01.03.01 - Two Parent Household, 02.02.01 - Establishing Eligibility, 02.02.02 - Requests for Additional Information, 02.02.03 - Denial Reasons, 02.04.01 - Grace Periods, 02.07.01 - Cancellation Reasons, 04.02.01 - Copayments


Policy Statement:

To the extent resources permit, the Department shall provide child care services to parents or other relatives that request a 3-month period to establish an eligible employment or education activity (allowed once every 12 months through 6/30/2022).

Procedure:

  1. Application
    1. If an application is received with no employment or education/training activity listed for one or both parents or other relatives ("applicant" and/or "second parent") and no indication that care is being requesting for an activity search, contact the applicant and/or issue a Request for Additional Information (RAI) (IL444-4480), per CCAP Policy 02.02.02 - Requests for Additional Information, asking if they are applying so they have child care while they look for an eligible activity. 
      1. Documentation of activity search is not required.
      2. Client self-certification via the RAI or other written or verbal confirmation that they are looking for an eligible activity must be maintained in Child Care Maintenance System (CCMS) Documents, Case and/or Verification Notes.
    2. If the RAI is not returned, or the client does not contact CCAP by phone, email or in person within 10 working days from the date the RAI was issued, process a Denial in CCMS and issue a Denial of Request for Child Care Payments (For IL444-4179) using the reason language " The application that was submitted did not indicate why child care is needed. Contact the agency at the bottom of this notice if you are currently working, going to school/training or are looking for a job or education program."
    3. If an initial activity search is indicated on the application, the RAI is returned, or the client contacts Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) by phone, email or in person within 30 calendar days of the original RAI being issued to indicate that they are looking for an activity:
      1. Conduct all standard eligibility determination activities including the Illinois Public Aid Communication System (IPACS) verification process;
      2. Co-payment Calculation Worksheets much be completed and uploaded into CCMS for all cases, including Initial Activity Search applications, even if there is no non-exempt income;
      3. Process the application in CCMS according to standard procedures; 
      4. Issue a Denial of Request for Child Care Payments (For IL444-4179) in CCMS for any reason(s) the family is not eligible other than not having a work or education activity, such as income over maximum allowed for an application or the child(ren) are 13 or older.
      5. If the family is otherwise eligible, process the application in CCMS with a 12-month eligibility period and issue an Approval of Request for Child Care Payments (Form IL444-3455A) for a 12-month eligibility period:
        1. Determine the start date of the 12-month eligibility period per CCAP Policy Section 02.02.01.  Eligibility cannot begin prior to 10/1/2021;
        2. "Initial Activity Search" should be selected for Reason for Care on the Case Info screen;
        3. Select "No" for Employment and School questions on the Add Parent/Guardian screen. A reason will not be required for cases with Initial Activity Search selected as the Reason for Care;
        4. All non-exempt income is to be entered;
        5. Initial Activity Search cases must be below 200% FPL for the case to be eligible;
        6. Service Authorization should be set at 5 days per week, unless the applicant requests fewer days;
          1. Children age 0 - 6 not enrolled in school will be approved for Full Time day.
          2. School age children should be approved for Part Time days September through May.
          3. Eligible days can be increased if an eligible activity is reported.
        7. The co-payment amount is to be assessed for the entire 12-month eligibility period on the "Co-Pay" screen based on family size and non-exempt income at the time of application;
          1. Co-payments can be reassessed if a decrease in income or increase in family size is reported but cannot increase during the 12-month eligibility period, even if a new job is reported.
        8. Generate an Approval of Request for Child Care Payments (Form IL444-3455A) notice. Type the following language into the COMMENT section. "You are approved for a 3-month activity search. If you don't report an eligible work/school activity to the agency below within 3 months your case will be canceled. A cancelation notice has been sent."; and
        9. A report of all cases approved for Initial Activity Search and their ending date will be generated.
  2. Establishing the Activity Search Period
    1. The three-month Initial Activity Search period will begin on the first date of eligibility (see CCAP Policy 02.02.01 - Establishing Eligibility) and ends on the last calendar day of the third month.
      1. Example A: A case approved 12/1/21 will be eligible through 11/30/22. The cancelation date to establish the 3-month Initial Activity Search period should have an effective date of 2/28/22.
      2. Example B: A case approved 10/15/21 will be eligible through 9/30/22. The cancelation date to establish the 3-month Initial Activity Search period should have an effective date of 1/31/22.
    2. Process a case cancelation in CCMS immediately following processing the approval by:
      1. Create a Change of Information Work Item. Use the date you are processing as the Received Date;
      2. Select the current Eligibility Period;
      3. Go to the Eligibility Results screen and enter the Cancelation Effective Date based on II. A. above;
      4. Select the calculation reason language: "You were approved for CCAP to conduct a 3-month activity search. Since you have not reported an eligible employment or education activity, your case is being canceled. If you have started working or going to school, please contact the agency at the bottom of this notice to determine if you may be eligible for child care assistance after the effective date of this notice.";
      5. The Eligibility Period Status will show as "Approval Modified" until the cancelation effective date;
      6. Generate a Notice of Cancelation of Child Care Payments (form IL444-4178);
      7. Select "Client Reason" from the drop-down menu;
      8. Local or Mass Print options are available;
      9. Case note all actions. Reporting an Eligible Activity.
  3. Reporting an Eligible Activity
    1. Clients approved under this policy must provide documentation of an eligible employment or education activity and have a family income below 85% State Median Income (SMI) to remain eligible for the remainder of the 12-month eligibility period. Refer to CCAP Policies 01.03.002 - Employment and 01.03.03 - Education and Training Activities for documentation options.
    2. Both parents in a 2-parent family must be in an approved activity to continue the 12-month eligibility period. Refer to CCAP Policy 01.03.01 - Two Parent Household for more information.
    3. Documentation can be submitted any time between the approval effective date and 30-days past the Cancelation effective date.
    4. A new Copayment Calculation Worksheet is to be completed and uploaded into CCMS with any new earned income.  Include "Initial Activity Search" after the client's name in field #2.
    5. Once the new activity is documented and income is determined to be below 85% SMI, the original 12-month eligibility period must resume through these steps:
      1. Create a COI Work Item using the date the activity documentation was received;
      2. Go to the Select Cases screen from the left navigation menu and go into the current 3-month eligibility period;
      3. Select the Case Info screen from the left navigation menu and press the EDIT button;
      4. Change the Eligibility period End Date field to reflect the end date of the original 12-month eligibility period that was initially approved. Refer to the saved approval letter in Documents to confirm the original ending date if needed;
      5. Do not edit the Parent/Guardian Signature date field;
      6. Select either Employment and/or Education/Training in the Reason for Child Care drop-down menu based on the reported activity;
      7. Press the "save" button;
      8. Select the Eligibility Period from the left navigation menu and click on the hyperlink for the eligibility period that now reflects the original 12-month period end date. The purple header will now show the 12-month eligibility period;
      9. Enter employment and/or education information for the new activity;
      10. Enter the new earned income based on pay documentation;
      11.  Other income types should remain as entered during the original application entry unless the client reports a decrease in income. IPACS screens should not be reviewed again until the next Redetermination at the end of the 12-month eligibility period;
      12. On the Eligibility Results screen, click the Run Eligibility button. Unless family income exceeds 85% SMI, CCMS should determine the case eligible. If the family income is more than 85% SMI, the case should be canceled with a 10-day notice for income over maximum for family size;
      13. Enter Service Eligible Days Weekly and Monthly to restore the same number of days as originally approved for the 12-month period. The number of eligible full time and part time days cannot be reduced during the 12-month eligibility period (unless requested by the family);
      14. Select Co-Pay from the left navigation menu and click Asses Copay. The copay cannot increase during the eligibility period, even with new income reported. If income has increased, a Copayment Override may be needed to ensure the copayment does not increase during the 12-month eligibility period;
      15. Click Case Summary on the left navigation menu and click the Approve button;
      16. Click the Generate the Approval button to issue an Approval for Request of Child Care Payments. Local and Mass Print options are available;
      17. Enter "The original 12-month eligibility period for this case is being re-established due to a new employment and/or education/training activity." In the comment section;
      18. Enter Case notes detailing all actions;
      19. Upload all forms or documentation submitted by the client.
  4. Additional Activity Search Periods
    1.  Families are not eligible for a new Initial Activity Search period for 12 months from the eligibility begin date of a previous approval for this reason.
      1. Example: A family who was approved for an Initial Activity Search effective November 15, 2021 cannot be approved for another Initial Activity Search period until 11/14/2022.
        1. Note: At the time of publishing this policy, applications requesting 90-day Initial Activity Searches are only eligible until 6/30/2022.
    2. If the new activity is lost during the 12-month eligibility period, a 90-day loss of activity Grace Period should be granted.
      1. Example: A parent who was approved for an Initial Activity Search effective 11/15/2021 gets a job on 1/1/2022. The job is then lost or interrupted on 1/20/2022.
        1. The client is eligible for a 90-Day Grace Period starting 1/21/2022 through 4/30/2022.
        2. If a new activity begins, the 12-month eligibility period is resumed.
        3. If the new activity is also lost or interrupted, during the 12-month eligibility period, another 90-day grace period can be established.
        4. If there are fewer than 90 days left in the 12-month eligibility period, establish a new eligibility period, extending the original 12-month period to allow for the full 90-day grace period.
  5. Redeterminations
    1. Redeterminations that are submitted with no employment or education/training activity listed for one or both parents/other relatives within 30 calendar days of the end of the most recent eligibility period are not eligible for an Initial Activity Search period.
      1. If the previous activity was lost fewer than 90 calendar days from the date the client notified CCAP of the loss, a 90-day Grace Period should be established starting with the first day without an activity.
      2. If the previous activity ended more than 90 calendar days before the client notifies CCAP of the loss, a 90-day Grace Period cannot be established.
    2. If the case has been canceled for 30 calendar days or more, the redetermination can be treated like a new application and an Initial Activity Search period can be established if it has been more than one year since the start date of any other Initial Activity Search approval. All new application policies and requirements must be met.