Editor’s Note: CCH Youth Health Attorney Graham Bowman will testify at the August 26 hearing.
The Illinois Department of Human Services is holding the second of two public hearings Wednesday over the Rauner administration’s proposals to toughen the appeals process for key benefits programs.
The Rauner administration’s proposed rule changes would impact Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), according to disability advocacy group Access Living.
The group says the Rauner administration is seeking to make the appeals process harder for people who are denied benefits or terminated from those programs.
The Rauner administration’s proposed rules “do not provide customers with due process, are unnecessarily complicated and confusing, and in some cases are in conflict with the federal statutes and regulations protecting the rights of those eligible for the various benefits programs,” Access Living’s advocacy director said in a posting on the group’s website.
SEIU* Healthcare Illinois is also speaking out against the proposed changes.
“The Rauner administration is adding a blizzard of new barriers to access services as well as denying due process to the very poor in ways that conflict with existing statutes, regulations and court cases–not to mention Rauner’s own public statements that he is committed to preserving benefits for the vulnerable,” the union said in a media release. “Among the changes, the state would alter the entire premise for Illinois social services and place the burden of proof for aid on those who need help the most — a drastic departure from current conditions — and would move hearings when benefits are denied far away from access points for the poor.”
Wednesday’s hearing on the administration’s proposals will take place at the Michael A. Bilandic Building in Chicago at 1 p.m. A DHS hearing on the proposed changes was held in Springfield on Tuesday.