IL May End Means Tests for Welfare

They'll rely on the feds to screen for need


SPRINGFIELD — Folks in Illinois looking for cash grants from the government may no longer have to prove they need it.

Illinois lawmakers have sent to Gov. Pat Quinn a plan to end so-called "means tests" for anyone applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families grants, better known as TANF grants.

TANF grants are essentially cash disbursements to low-income parents or families. Watchdog investigations have shown they can be spent on practically anything.

There is a sliding-scale income requirement for TANF money eligibility. A family of four, for example, cannot make more than $982 dollars a month. A single person cannot make more than $479 a month.

Anyone receiving TANF has to work at least 30 hours a week to get the cash, but there are dozens of exemptions that lower or eliminate those work requirements.