Increasing Financial Stability Using Public Benefits to Combat Homelessness

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1 Increasing Financial Stability Using Public Benefits to Combat Homelessness Erin Novak, AmeriCorps Attorney at LAF (formerly Legal Assistance Foundation) 1 De-Complicating Benefits 2 3 1

2 Finding Financial Security at IDHS - SNAP - Medicaid - TANF - AABD 4 How does DHS define DV? Other forms specifically mentioned in Regulations: Stalking Forced intercourse Not letting someone leave the house You can still make a case for physical/sexual violence even if it s not specifically mentioned. 5 Proving DV at the DHS Office Your statement is enough! Your statement is enough! 6 2

3 The TANF Process Sanction & Reconciliation Compliance w/ Child Support 7 What is TANF?? Stands for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. Who is eligible?? pregnant women in third trimester families with children under 18, and Families with children between 18 and 19 if attending high school full time. Caretaker relatives of children in the above age groups Does your immigration status affect TANF eligibility? Yes and No 8 Intersections between DV and TANF Application Work/Training and School Requirements Cooperation with Child Support Redetermination/ 60 Month Clock Exceptions To speed up processing time To ask for an exemption and stop your clock To ask for an exemption from mandatory cooperation Re-establish your exemptions and continue receiving TANF past 5 years 9 3

4 The Application Stage of Regular TANF - Am I income eligible? General Rule: A family qualifies for TANF benefits if nonexempt income is at least $1 less than the Payment level for the unit s size. Exempt Income: - A parent s Social Security Income if received due to a disability - Income of a relative caretaker - Loans from a non-legally responsible relative - One time lump sum SSI payment to a TANF unit member - SNAP, Section 8 Family Size Max. Adult & Child Grant Max. Child Only Grant $242 $318 $432 $474 $555 $117 $230 $284 $365 $ Relative Caretakers and Time Limits Option of being on the case or not. Things to consider: - Income counts - must meet requirements - time limits Proving Caretaker-Relative Relationship: - up to the 5th degree of kinship - birth certificates, baptismal records, ect. 11 Work/School/Training Requirements Hours Required: - Single Parent: 30 hours - Single parent caring for child under 6: 20 hours - Two-parents: 35 hours (completed by one parent) Exemptions to this requirement: - Approved for a Domestic Violence Exclusion - Not on TANF case - Approved for a barrier - Caring for a child under one - Pregnant women in their last 6 weeks of pregnancy or having a high-risk pregnancy 60 Month Clock Starts when you begin receiving TANF 12 4

5 Can you work and get TANF? YES. - DHS disregards ¾ of your earned incomeyour grant will decrease $100 for every $400 that you earn. - You will always come out ahead. 13 Cooperation with Child Support If you can t establish good cause you can still claim a Valid Reason for not cooperating. Good Cause for Non- Compliance: 1. Rape/incest 2. Child is being Adopted out soon 3. Emotional harm to child or client 4. There has been or there is a fear or risk of D/V 14 Time limits for Receiving TANF 60 Months/ 5 Year Limit BUT Your clock stops if: - Working 30 hours/week - Family Violence Exclusion - Attending college and getting a 2.5 GPA per semester. (Up to 36 months) - Caring for a sick family member (aka Family Care Barrier ) 15 5

6 Receiving TANF after 60 months Normally TANF stops at 60 months...but.. exceptions to exists. 1. SSI application is pending 2. Medical Condition 3. Receiving services- including DV services 4. Education that will finish within 6 months 5. family care barrier 6. Child approved for NMMMFTD waiver 16 TANF vs. Crisis Assistance TANF Remember. 1. You must have TANF to get Crisis. (Apply for both if you don t already have TANF) 2. Survivors of DV should apply for both types of TANF!!! 17 The TANF Process Sanction & Reconciliation Compliance w/ Child Support 18 6

7 Application Stage for Crisis Assistance CA is a one time payment Three eligibility categories for Crisis Assistance: 1. domestic/sexual violence...including stalking 2. eviction 3. fire, flood, or other natural disaster Eligibility must be determined within 5 days of application. 19 You made it through TANF! Congratulations! We re almost done! 20 BREAK! 21 7

8 The SNAP Process Possible Work and Training Requirements 22 What is SNAP? - Monthly benefits to purchase food (no hot prepared items, household items, 23 Applying for Food Stamps 1. Does immigration status affect LINK eligibility? 2. Who should be on my LINK card? 3. How much should I get each month? 4. How long will it take to get my food stamps? 24 8

9 SNAP... the nitty gritty Who should be on my LINK card? Does immigration status affect LINK eligibility? The meaning of the term: Household ** Categories apply to SNAP and TANF 25 SNAP the nitty gritty How much should I get each month? How long will it take? Family Size Max Gross Income Max. SNAP Amount $1,265 $1,705 $2,144 $2,584 $3,024 $194 $357 $511 $649 $771 1 Person 2 Persons 3 Persons 4 Persons $1,619 2,191 2,763 3,335 5 Persons 6 Persons 7 Persons 8 Persons Starting January ,051 5,623 3,907 4,479 NO Asset Test Eligible the day of application. (if apply May 1 st, eligible for SNAP on May 1st) 26 9 Persons 10 Persons 6,195 6,767 Special SNAP rules for elderly and individuals with disabilities - Elderly= 60 and older - Individual with a disability= receiving SSI - 200% Poverty Level - Medical Expenses of $35 or more can be budgeted Family Size max Gross Income Max SNAP Amount $1,945 $2,622 $3,298 $3,875 $4,652 $194 $357 $511 $649 $

10 Work and Training Requirements Work and Training Exemptions: 1. under 18 or over you have children under physically or mentally unable 4. pregnant 5. student enrolled at least part time 6. caring for an incapacitated person 7. participating in a drug/alcohol program 8. receiving unemployment insurance 9. reside someone in the state where SNAP E &T providers are not available 28 Expedited SNAP Eligibility test: 1. Your liquid assets are $100 or less and your gross monthly income is $150 or less.or 2. Your income and liquid assets are less than your rent and utilities combined 29 How to appeal unfavorable decision: - How and where can you apply for these benefits? - Where do you go to complain and/or appeal? 30 10

11 MEDICAID! 31 Family Care - 133% FPL - caretaker must live with child All Kids - 300% FPL - 18 or younger - non-citizens ok Medicaid Moms and Babies - 200% FPL - non-citizens oks - Pregnant or child under 1 Older Adults & People w/ Disabilities - 100% FPL or spenddown - Asset limit ACA - 138% FPL - 18 to 64 years old

12 ( CITIZENSHIP AND MEDICAID Managed Care: The Enrollment Process 36 12

13 The Enrollment Process Continued Assistance to the Aged Blind & Disabled What is it? Extra Cash Eligibility: 65 years or older, blind, or disabled citizenship or LPR Status live in Illinois Receive SSI AABD 38 QMB and SLIB: Pays your medical premium To be eligible for QMB a person must: be a current Medicare Part A beneficiary have income at or below 100% of the FPL have nonexempt assets less than the QMB asset standard To be Eligible for SLIB or QI-1: be a current Medicare Part A beneficiary have income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Level have nonexempt assets less than the QMB asset standard SLIB will pay medical premiums retroactively up to 3 months Asset Limit for All Programs: 1 person $7,280 Couple: $10,

14 Social Security The Program you paid into by working Eligible once you turn 62 or are disabled If you begin taking money at 62 your monthly amount will be less than if you wait until your full retirement age If you decide to delay your benefits until after age 65, you should still apply for Medicare benefits within three months of your 65th birthday. If you wait longer, your Medicare medical insurance (Part B) and prescription drug coverage (Part D) may cost you more money. 40 SSI/ SSDI To be eligible for either SSI or SSDI you must be: 65, blind, or disabled, have limited income/resources, have necessary citizenship/immigration status, AND have less than the maximum resource level You receive SSI if: You NEED it based on income and assets If you qualify, you re also Eligible for Medicaid and likely SNAP You receive SSDI if: You ve worked for a certain number of years Must be 18 to receive it Your dependents can receive benefits if you qualify Both Programs Ask: 1. Are you working? 2. Is your condition severe? 3. Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions? 4. Can you do the work you did previously? 5. Can you do any other type of work? 41 when and how to contact LAF 42 14

15 43 44 When the phone system is intimidating for those you work with... Call with them! As long as the client is with you: Step 1: Select a Language Step 2: Press 3 if you are a service provider and the client is with you THEN... Your Call is transferred to live receptionist, who confirms you made correct selection Receptionist transfers call to Client Screening Unit (CSU) There is no voice mail or call back option Wait times approx min. Call is taken by next available Intake Specialist it gets priority over any other call It s best to call between: 8:45 a.m. 12:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. Best for CLIENTS to call EARLY. Client line opens at 8 a.m. to book a call back for the same day

16 Thank you for attending! 46 16

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