02.02.01 - Establishing Eligibility

Effective Date: 10/01/01

Revised 02/25/13, 04/01/2017, 10/1/18, 12/12/19

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

Cross Reference: Policy 02.01.01 - Application Process

Policy Statement:

Payment for child care services to eligible parents may begin:

  1. if care was provided at the time and all eligibility factors are met on either;
    1. the date of the parent's signature; or
    2. one week (seven calendar days) prior to the stamped date of receipt by the Department or its agents, whichever is later;
  2. on the date the child care provider actually begins providing child care services, if the application is received in advance of services being provided and all eligibility factors are met.


  1. Establishing Eligibility Start Dates 
    1. Site Administered Providers and CCR&R staff must date stamp the child care application upon receipt.
    2. If care is currently being provided:
      1. Compare the signature date to the seventh calendar day prior to the date stamp.
      2. Begin eligibility on whichever day (either the signature date or the seventh calendar day prior to the date stamp date) results in the least amount of days being backdated.
    3. If care will be provided in the future, begin eligibility on the first eligible day that care will be provided. The Child Care Application and income documentation must not be older than 30 days.
      • EXAMPLE 1: Applicant places child care application in the agency's drop box on Saturday, 9/1/19. CCAP staff receive and date stamp the application on 9/4/19. The application was signed by the parent on 8/15/19. Eligibility may begin 8/28/19 if care was provided on that date.
      • EXAMPLE 2: Applicant completes, signs, and mails application on 9/5/19. The agency receives and date stamps the application on 9/7/19. Eligibility may begin on 9/5/19 if care was provided on that date.
      • EXAMPLE 3: Applicant completes and signs the application on 9/5/19. Applicant gives the child care application to their IDHS caseworker on 9/6/19. The IDHS caseworker faxes the application to the CCR&R/Site on 9/7/19. Eligibility may begin on 9/5/19 if care was provided on that date.
    4. Request for Additional Information
      The case record shall be documented to support eligibility, ineligibility, and the amount of care authorized.  When verification is needed to resolve questionable information, the case record shall indicate the reason the information was considered questionable or requires clarification.  Case records must also describe what documentation was used to resolve questionable information. The case record shall also indicate the reason why an alternate source of verification was needed.  For full procedures on Processing a Request for Additional Information Form (RAI) IL444-4480 -  See Policy Section 02.02.02 Requests for Additional Information.
      1. If the CCR&R/Site requests additional information from the applicant, the effective date of eligibility still begins on the date determined by the above criteria.
      2. If the applicant does not respond to the Request for Additional Information within 10 business days, the case must be denied.
      3. If the applicant submits the requested information later than 10 business days but within 30 days from the date on the Request for Additional Information, process the original application that was completed and submitted by the parent. The eligibility date is based on the above criteria. All activity verification documents (pay stubs, school schedules...)that were gathered with the original application should be used to determine eligibility. All required system checks (IES, AWVS,KIDS....)that were gathered during the initial eligibility determination process should still be used in this situation.
      4. If the client submits the requested information after 30 days from the first request, the original Child Care Application may be processed. However, a new eligibility date will be established based on the date the additional information is received. All activity verification documents (pay stubs, school schedules...) must be current based on the date stamp of the late Redetermination submission. If current documentation is not included, a Request for Additional Information (RAI) must be sent to the client. All required system checks (IES, AWVS,KIDS....) must also be checked again in order to ensure correct and current information.
  2. Length of Eligibility
    1. All eligible applications and redetermination must be approved for a twelve (12) month period.
    2. The eligibility period may be less than twelve (12) months in order to:
      1. Provide a 90-day Graduated Phase Out period for Redetermination that have income at or above 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). See Policy 02.03.01.
      2. Provide for a 90-day Grace Period due to a non-temporary loss of activity.  See Policy 02.04.01. 
      3. For families that report that they are experiencing homelessness. See Policy 01.03.10.
  3. Determining Eligible Care Days
    1. Compare the work schedule completed on the Child Care Application IL444-3455, Redetermination IL444-3455E, or Change of Information IL444-3527 Forms to the average weekly hours paid calculated from the pay documentation. Sick leave, vacation and holidays are considered countable hours.
    2. Acceptable pay documentation includes:
      1. Check Stubs
      2. A signed and dated document, such as a wage verification form from the employer. This must show actual hours that the employee has already worked but has not received a payment at the time of application or redetermination submission. If new employment the employer must indicate the estimated number of hours to be worked.
      3. In exceptional circumstances when written documentation cannot be obtained phone verification can be used but must be well documented in the case record. Documentation of phone verification must include the date of the call, name and title of the person who gave the information, name of the CCAP specialist obtaining the verification. Any verbal verification must include an explanation of why the written documentation could not be obtained.
        1. Phone verification must document actual hours that employee has already worked.
      4. Verification of Applicant/Client hours must be maintained as documentation in the case record.
        1. When the average weekly hours paid is reasonably compatible with the hours completed on the Application, Redetermination, or Change of Information Forms, approve the eligible days according to reported work schedule.
        2. When the average weekly hours paid is not reasonably compatible, or inconsistent with the with the hours completed on the Application, Redetermination or Change of Information Form use the following procedure as the basis for determining eligible days:

Example: Applicant/Client has submitted the following check stubs:

Rate Hours
1 10/01/19 10/15/19 Semi-Monthly $9.50 50 $475.00
2 10/16/19 10/31/19 Semi-Monthly $9.50 60 $570.00

Step 1: Add the current period earnings from the two most current check stubs:

50 hours + 60 hours = 110 hours.

Step 2: Divide the sum from the two current check stubs: 

110 hours/2 pay stubs = Average 55 hours per pay period.

Step 3: Convert average hours per pay period to weekly hours:

55/2 (Semi-Monthly = 2) = 27.5

Note to Convert Hours:

(Weekly = 4.333)

(Bi-Weekly = 2.1667)

(Semi-Monthly =2)

(Monthly =1)

Example: Applicant/Client completes the following schedule on the Child Care Application, Redetermination, or Change of Information Form:
WORK SCHEDULE: If your schedule varies, provide an example of your schedule
From 8:30 A.M. 8:30 A.M. 8:30 A.M. 8:30 A.M. 8:30 A.M.
To 5:00 P.M. 5:00 P.M. 5:00 P.M. 5:00 P.M. 5:00 P.M.

Parent reports working 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., 40 hours, Monday through Friday, compared to pay documentation that average 27.5 per week. After deducting a half hour of unpaid time for lunch, paid time should result in 8 paid or countable employment hours per day; or 37.50 hours per week.

Divide the 27.5 average weekly hours by 5 days (the number of days of care requested per week). The results will be relevant to the care authorized. In the example given the calculation results in 5.5 hours of work per day, plus any travel time completed (if applicable).

D.  The amount of care authorized will be determined as follows:

Approve the eligible days according to reported work schedule. Any inconsistency can be resolved through the type of care Part-Day

less than 5 hours per day or Full-Day 5 through 12 hours per day.