Child Care Program Granted Emergency Funding, But TANF Applicants Subject to Reduced and Delayed Benefits
Illinois legislators have approved a $73 supplemental appropriation to fund child care subsidies in 2012. The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) helps low-income parents who need child care to work or go to school. Parents share in the cost of care by making a co-payment based on the family’s income and size, with the state paying the balance based on a provider reimbursement schedule. In early May, the Illinois Department of Human Services sent a notice to 35,000 homes and centers participating in the CCAP informing them that unless a supplemental appropriation was approved, they would receive no payments until July for services rendered in April, May and June.
Unfortunately, a companion bill will reduce and delay the assistance provided to recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) by reinstating a 45-day application processing deadline and then paying benefits retroactively only to the thirtieth day after application. This will impose significant hardship on the most vulnerable poor families.