1. File your appeal
The written notice from the township denying or changing your assistance must tell you how and where to file an appeal. You only have 60 days from the date on the notice to appeal a decision to deny your application.
If you are currently getting General Assistance (GA) and the township tells you that your payments will be reduced or stopped, if you file an appeal within 10 days, you will continue to get the same amount of assistance until there is a decision about your appeal.
2. Your right to a hearing
When you appeal, you have the right to have a hearing. If the township runs the GA program, a Public Aid Committee will hold the hearing. The committee consists of the county board chairman and 4 township supervisors from your county.
At the hearing, you have the right to:
- Testify, bring witnesses, cross-examine witnesses, and submit evidence
- Look at the township’s documents and program rules before the hearing
- Have a lawyer with you
You will get a copy of the hearing decision in writing.
3. File a GA lawsuit
If your appeal is denied, you can ask an Illinois Circuit Court judge to review the denial by filing a writ of certiorari. There is a deadline to file an appeal with the circuit court and it is best to file your appeal within 35 days of the appeal decision. The judge will review the case to determine if the township decided the facts fairly and properly applied the law. The judge will not hear testimony or accept any new evidence.
Learn more about Starting a lawsuit.