Verify both the need and circumstance for all crisis assistance requests. Even when the circumstance is verified, do not approve a payment unless there is a need for the requested item.
When rent is requested, verify the situation and need. Accept as proof:
- a police or fire department report; or
- a court order or eviction notice; and
- a rental agreement or motel bill.
To verify that sexual or domestic violence is the cause of a crisis, see PM 03-13-02-e. Accept the client's statement if proof cannot be obtained within the time limit for processing the request. See PM 06-03-01-c. DO NOT contact the abuser or perpetrator, or that person's family or employer to verify the need for assistance.
When the client claims crisis needs due to loss of income due to domestic or sexual violence, document that the abuser or perpetrator was the family's principal source of income by viewing pay-stubs, a recent tax return, or proof that the abuser or perpetrator was responsible for paying bills (ex: rent receipts, credit card bills, phone or utility bills in the abuser's name). To verify that the crisis was caused by domestic or sexual violence, see PM 03-13-02-e. Verify the need for essential items of furniture or clothing for the crisis situation.
Verify the need for food for the crisis situation. For a request for food due to a lost or stolen check, the amount authorized cannot exceed the amount that was lost or the amount of the payment level.
Refer requests for non-medical needs related to essential medical care to the regional office for prior approval. Include all information needed to make a decision.
Example 1: Mrs. R and 4 children receive TANF. On 11/01, Mrs. R reports to the Family Community Resource Center that all her cash was stolen. Mrs. R completes Form 2689 and requests Crisis Assistance for food. The amount of cash stolen was $225.00. The payment level for a family of 5 is $555.00. She will receive her next TANF and SNAP benefits in 20 days and the amount of SNAP benefits in her Illinois Link account is zero. The calculated food allowance is $500 ($5 per day x 20 days x 5 people). However, the FCRC can only authorize $225.00 (the amount of cash stolen).
Example 2: Ms. E and her family were evicted from their apartment due to non-payment of rent. They went to a homeless shelter and requested crisis assistance. She provided an eviction notice, but assistance was denied because rent is the only need related to eviction, and they were receiving shelter free of charge. Shelter staff subsequently helped Ms. E find employment and affordable housing, and she once again requests assistance because her first paycheck will not be received until after the first month's rent is due. She provides a rental agreement. Crisis assistance may be approved for rent.
Example 3: Ms. T and her children left their home in another state because she was being stalked and threatened with violence by the family of a man who was convicted of raping her daughter. The family is able to stay with Ms. T's grandmother until she can get on her feet, so rent is not a need, nor is clothing because they were able to bring their clothing with them. Household supplies are shared by her grandmother. The family's food need is covered by their SNAP benefits. Two of the children are sleeping on the floor because there are not enough beds. Since a bed is an essential item of furniture, a crisis assistance payment may be approved for furniture.
Example 4: Ms. R requests crisis assistance for rent and clothing because the father of 2 of her children had been providing financial support which stopped when she made the decision to end the relationship due to his violent behavior. She provided an order of protection from the abuser, police reports detailing physical abuse, a notice of eviction, and a rent receipt showing he had paid rent the last time it was paid. Payment for rent may be approved. The children are in need of winter coats because they have outgrown coats the abuser provided in the past. Payment for clothing may be approved.