WAG 25-01-02-a: Terms Used

Client Notices (CN)

An information notice sent to a DHS client. CNs are printed in both English and Spanish. The notices are issued from the central office and are numbered sequentially by year (e.g., CN 02.11 is the 11th client notice in 2002). A CN provides general information and is not client-specific.

Manual Releases

Issuance of new and revised policy and procedures. Manual releases are issued in both online and paper versions. A manual release may change the:

  • Policy Manual (PM)
  • Workers' Action Guide (WAG)
  • Abbreviations & Acronyms
  • Glossary
  • Index

A manual release consists of:

  • A cover memo containing a summary of any change in policy or procedures.
  • A list of official memoranda being obsoleted or supplemented.
  • Instructions on putting the changed pages in the paper manual.
  • Information on forms being introduced, revised, or obsoleted.
  • Affected manual pages.

Manual releases are numbered sequentially by year (e.g., MR 02.9 is the 9th manual release in 2002).

Official Memoranda

Provides information that is not ready to be put in the manuals or will not be put in the manuals because it is valid for only a short period. Official memos are available both online and in paper. There are 3 types of Official Memos:

  • Policy Memos clarify or implement federal and state laws, regulations, court orders, or administrative decisions. Policy memos are used to distribute information about changes in procedures on an emergency or interim basis.

They are issued when there is not enough time to prepare a manual release and the procedures must be implemented as soon as possible. Policy memos are obsoleted after their contents are placed in the manual.

  • Action Memos contain directions that do not change policy, are only applicable for a short time, and involve action by staff.
  • Information Memos are one-time announcements. They do not direct staff to take action.


Policy gives directions for implementing programs. Policy governing DHS and HFS programs comes from:

  • the Illinois Public Aid Code;
  • court rulings;
  • federal statutes;
  • regulations issued by federal agencies. The agencies that concern DHS programs most directly are the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA);
  • decisions made by the DHS Secretary, HFS Director, and Executive Staff.

Policy must be approved by the Secretary. Policy is reflected in rules and restated in the Policy Manual (PM).