A. Earnfare Program
Earnfare is an employment and training program which offers eligible participants an opportunity to gain work experience and earn cash assistance. Participation is limited to adults who receive non-assistance SNAP benefits, those individuals who volunteer and to persons who are court-ordered to participate. Participants work off the value of their SNAP benefits at the state or federal minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to a maximum number of hours per month before earning cash assistance.
Participants may be assigned to an Earnfare work site or to other approved activities in order for them to earn cash assistance, meet the federal work requirement and/or increase their self-sufficiency.
- Cook County Earnfare: In Cook County, staff in the Department's Family Community Resource Center (FCRC)- previously known as "Local Office" - orient and assess participants, determine supportive service needs and refer them to appropriate Earnfare employers developed and contracted directly by the Department. These Earnfare employers will receive a small administrative payment.
- Downstate Earnfare: The Department may contract with downstate private sector businesses, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, community and faith-based organizations and governmental agencies to administer the Earnfare program. The Grantees recruit, orient and assess individuals, recruit employers and refer individuals to appropriate employers. These Earnfare Grantees will receive a small administrative payment. The Department's FCRCs may also refer individuals to these Grantees.
B. SNAP E&T Job Placement With Retention Program
The Department may contract with private sector businesses, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, community and faith-based organizations and governmental agencies to provide intensive education, job skills training, and/or pre-employment services and unsubsidized job placement services to ABAWDs who receive non-assistance SNAP benefits. Special populations may be targeted for services.
Participants may be assigned to Work Experience, Vocational Training, or Basic Education or to a combination of these activities. The Grantees recruit, orient, assess, and refer eligible individuals and recruit employers who provide suitable work sites and unsubsidized employment opportunities for participants. Grantees are also responsible for providing case management to participants to reduce barriers to employment and maximize self-sufficiency. The Department's Family Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) have the opportunity to refer individuals to Job Placement with Retention providers.
C. SNAP E&T Special Project Program
SNAP E&T Special Project contracts provide services to ABAWDs who receive non-assistance SNAP benefits. Programs are negotiated individually when special needs are identified.
D. SNAP E&T Support Services Program
SNAP E&T Support Services contracts provide only support services in accordance with the SNAP E&T Program Manual or provide special support services, over and above those itemized and explained in the SNAP E&T Program Manual, to ABAWDs who receive non-assistance SNAP benefits. The programs are negotiated individually when special needs are identified.