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Access to Services at IDHS Local Offices: Granted or Denied?. Dia Cirillo Work, Welfare and Families October 28, 2005. Access: Granted or Denied?. Findings from recent state research What’s the budget picture on access? New national research on the horizon

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access to services at idhs local offices granted or denied

Access to Services at IDHS Local Offices: Granted or Denied?

Dia Cirillo

Work, Welfare and Families

October 28, 2005

access granted or denied
Access: Granted or Denied?
  • Findings from recent state research
  • What’s the budget picture on access?
  • New national research on the horizon
  • Policy initiatives on access in Illinois
2001 2005 uptake select health and income supports
2001-2005 Uptake Select Health and Income Supports

Source: TANF, Medicaid and Food Stamps by County 2001 & 2005 Illinois Department of Human Services

research
Research

Policy and Practice: Customer Services in IDHS Local Offices

Accessing the Safety Net: Administrative Barriers to Public Benefits in Metropolitan Chicago

The Two Worlds of Welfare Reform in Illinois – Illinois Family Study July 2004

study populations
Study Populations
  • Primarily Chicago area
  • Women 75 – 85%
  • African American 57 – 63%
  • Latino 20 – 23%
  • Caucasian 11 – 20%
  • In one study, 20% non-native English speakers
study populations by program
Study Populations by Program

Local Office Survey:

  • TANF: 4.5%
  • Medicaid: 42%
  • Food Stamps: 57%

Benefits Hotline:

  • TANF: 46%
  • Medicaid: 21%
  • Food Stamps 33%
research findings
Research Findings

For all major programs, applying accounts for one of the single most significant issues:

  • In the office survey, 60% of the sample were unable to apply for a program on that day
    • Clients unlikely to be assessed for expedited food stamps; teens not referred to Teen Services
  • On the benefits hotline, confusion on applying constituted 34% of the calls
    • 72% of all problems reported involved case processing (verification and record keeping)
research findings8
Research Findings

Applying for and receiving benefits under TANF continues to be a challenge

  • One study shows direct correlation to decline in caseload
  • In local office survey only 2 of 27 individuals were able to apply for TANF on that day
  • Families transitioning out of TANF often are not connected to other programs – lower wage workers
research findings9
Research Findings

Paper work, particularly for low-wage workers, constitutes a barrier in applying and retaining benefits

  • Federal reviewers repeatedly document paper work processing due to inadequate computer and filing systems, specifically for FS and TANF
  • Low-wage workers face greater difficulties in retaining benefits because of fluctuations in earnings and work hours
research findings10
Research Findings

Adequate information on programs and procedures remains a problem

  • Lack of knowledge of the grievance and appeal process, even though many clients feel that they have the knowledge of programs to retain benefits
  • On the hotline, receiving information was the most commonly reported case-processing problem
research recommendations
Research Recommendations
  • Improve the infrastructure to process cases
  • Improve internal monitoring and feedback
  • Use external monitors, advocates and citizens as IDHS watchdogs to safeguard access to benefits and improve admin accountability
what s the budget picture on access agency operating budget totals fy 02 06 in millions
What’s the budget picture on access?Agency Operating Budget TotalsFY 02 – 06 in millions

Source: Illinois State Budget 2004 and 2005

agency operating budget fy 02 06 percent change from previous year
Agency Operating Budget FY 02 – 06 Percent Change from Previous Year

Source: Illinois State Budget 2004 and 2005

idhs proposed fy06 human capital development operations
IDHS Proposed FY06Human Capital Development - Operations

Percent Change in Telecommunications from previous year:

  • FY05 = -20%
  • Proposed FY06 = - 16%

Proposed FY06 Appropriation = $2.3 M

new national research on access and recipiency
New National Research on Access and Recipiency

On low-wage workers:

  • Simulation of deficits in benefits: National Center on Children in Poverty

Gap between eligibility and recipiency:

  • UIC-CUED and Center for Economic and Policy Research
slide17
Source: National Center for Children in Poverty, Family Resource Simulator: Massachusetts 2003, with the value of Food Stamps provided by the author to Center for Economic and Policy Research (www.nccp.org/modeler/modeler.cgi).
new policy initiatives on access in illinois
New Policy Initiatives on Access in Illinois

Task Force on Access to Benefits, Fall 2005

MidAmerica Institute on Poverty – Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights

Goal

  • Simplify, make uniform, or otherwise ease the processes by which potentially eligible persons apply for and are determined eligible for benefits and services

Charge

  • Thoroughly review and analyze policies and procedures concerning applications and determinations of eligibility for cash assistance, food stamps and medical assistance
  • Develop recommendations for appropriate changes in law, rules, policy or process to achieve goal
  • Develop proposed timelines and priorities for implementation
new policy initiatives on access in illinois19
New Policy Initiatives on Access in Illinois

Establish new outcome measures that legitimately reflect the mission statement of DHS to support the self-sufficiency of clients

In communities outside of Cook, document barriers in accessing benefits at local offices; work with local partners to raise awareness of issues of access

Work, Welfare and Families and partners

new policy initiatives on access in illinois20
New Policy Initiatives on Access in Illinois

Recommended Outcome Measures

  • Receipt of public benefits and support services helps Illinois low income families with a working head of household increase family income and move out of poverty.
  • Low income families are receiving appropriate services and supports and are better off after receiving benefits to which they are entitled
  • Benefits are readily available to and received by those eligible.
  • Existing policies and procedures are being consistently followed by informed staff.
  • Limited resources are being used efficiently and effectively in the delivery of quality services.
further information
Further Information
  • Center for Impact Research – www.cir.org
  • Center on Policy and Economic Research www.cepr.net
  • Institute on Policy Research – Northwestern University

www.northwestern.edu/ipr/research/IFS.html

  • MidAmerica Institute on Poverty – Heartland Alliance on Human Needs and Human Rights

www.heartlandalliance.org

  • National Center on Children in Poverty www.nccp.org
  • Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

www.povertylaw.org

slide22
Dia Cirillo

Work, Welfare and Families

166 W. Washington, #700

Chicago, IL 60602

312-658-0225x202

[email protected]

www.workwelfareandfamilies.org

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