Application FAQ's

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WIOA Application FAQ's

If you run out of money after I apply, will my application carry over to the new funding year? (after July 1) Our level of funding is not strictly determined by the start of our program year, so no exact date applies as to application carry-over. We make every effort to bring applicants into the program as soon as eligibility has been determined (generally within 3 weeks of application submission). There are often many job search and career research activities that can be undertaken while awaiting additional funds.

I submitted for my DD214 – do I have to wait to apply until I receive it? You can complete your application packet and submit it while waiting for your DD214. Eligibility is determined within several weeks after application submission. If you are found to be eligible, you would need to bring your DD214 to your intake appointment.

What kinds of training programs are provided, or is it “up for grabs?” We provide a list of occupations on our web site – ( – for which training is approved. Once you are certain of an occupational choice, you can check here to see what training providers are approved for that particular training: However, some approved training providers on our Illinois Workforce Development System (IWDS) web site are not approved by our McHenry County Workforce Investment Board.

I have a child under age 18 who receives SSI. Should that income be listed on the application? No. Only gross income for household members over the age of 18 should be reported on the Applicant Income Statement. There are certain kinds of Social Security income that is counted when determining low income status, and certain kinds that are not.

If I am filling out the income sheet how do I indicate UI benefits? There is a blank to enter Unemployment Benefits on page 2 of the Applicant Income Statement.

Do you pay for degrees? (Associates Degree) Our mission is to help get people into training that will get them back to work as quickly as possible. Therefore, we only approve certificates within an Associate’s program to start. If funding allows, and if a participant has successfully completed a certificate but has been unable to obtain employment, then future classes towards an Associate’s would be considered.

Once you decide on your training provider, who would be your training counselor to advise this information?  You are assigned to a Career Advisor after your eligibility for the WIOA program is determined and you have gone through an intake appointment.

What if you have already started a training program? We will not pick up the cost of any classes that you have entered or paid for prior to being determined eligible and having your training program approved. If you are eligible and the training program you have already entered is one that we can approve, we would be able to fund future classes until a credential is earned (if funding allows).

Do I have to go to MCC?  There are many training programs at various local training institutions that are on our approved training provider list. We encourage eligible participants to enter training with a “local” provider in order to save on transportation costs. If you desire college credits and live in McHenry County, and if MCC offers the appropriate training program for your chosen occupational goal, then you must attend classes at MCC. However, there are times when a local provider cannot meet a customer’s needs and a provider outside of McHenry County would be approved.

Can I apply if I have an application for unemployment but have not started it yet?  Yes, you can apply for the WIOA program while simultaneously filing for unemployment benefits and awaiting receipt of initial benefits.

What if I’ve started classes with the IVG? I have two more to take in the fall at MCC. Should I apply? You can apply for the WIOA program if you are not able to cover the cost of your books (or other associated fees) through the Illinois Veterans Grant (IVG). When WIOA is coordinated with IVG, typically IVG covers the cost of tuition, while WIOA can pick up the cost of books and possibly some additional peripheral costs. WIOA and IVG coordination is contingent upon your training being with a WIOA-approved training provider and towards a WIOA-approved demand occupation.

What happens if you start training and you get a job? If you start training and then get a job, we would move forward with assisting you towards completion of your approved training program if:

  1. You are successfully completing your courses with good grades,

  2. You are NOT eligible for tuition reimbursement through your employer, and

  3. Your work hours are NOT interfering with timely completion of your program. 

What is Selective Service? From The Selective Service System and the registration requirement for America's young men provide our Nation with a structure and a system of guidelines which will provide the most prompt, efficient, and equitable draft possible, if the country should need it. America's leaders agree that despite the success of the All-Volunteer Force, registration with Selective Service must continue as a key component of national security strategy. Men born on or after January 1, 1960 are required to register with Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday. This includes males who are: a) Citizens of the U.S.; b) Non-Citizens, including illegal aliens, legal permanent residents, seasonal agricultural workers, and refugees, who take up residency in the U.S. before their 26th birthday; and/or c) Dual national of the U.S. and another country, regardless of whether they live in the U.S.

Should we list more than 10 years of work history?
Please list at least 10 years of work history, and include any work information longer than 10 years ago that would tie into the training program/occupation that you desire. If your entries go beyond the three (3) sections provided on our 4-page WIOA program application, simply add another page.

If someone over 18 lives with you and isn’t working, do I need to provide their:

Social Security number?  Yes. You must provide social security numbers on the Applicant Income Statement for everyone over the age of 18 who resides in your household. According to WIOA policy, we must verify and document wage information for each of those individuals.

If you get approved for training, can you work while attending classes? Yes. You can work while attending classes. We understand that participants need to have income, and the sooner they can find any kind of employment, the better. However, we do stress that participants need to move forward in completing their approved training programs as quickly as possible. We would in most instances be unable to continue funding a training program if the participant was not earning passing grades or was skipping entire semesters because of excessive hours of work. Additionally, we would not continue funding training if an employer offers tuition reimbursement.

Do you have a list of job search websites? Yes. You can obtain a very comprehensive list of job search websites in our Resource Room at 500 Russel Court, Woodstock.

Can you go to schools outside of McHenry County? Yes, if a non-credit school outside of the County best meets the needs of your approved training program – and if the school is one of our approved training providers. If you choose a credit program that McHenry County College (MCC) offers and you are a resident in MCC’s school district (most of McHenry County), then you must attend school at MCC.

Is it required to complete a Career Plan even if I know what I want to do and where I want to take classes? Yes. You must complete a Career Plan even if you feel your career goal is firmly set. We require this because sometimes a person discovers aspects about a career through research that would ultimately make it an unfavorable choice for them. A tool that helps a person discover all aspects of an occupation is the informational interview. We require customers to submit two informational interviews that are conducted with individuals holding the exact occupation for which the participant requests training. We also require that participant’s research – and optimally visit – several schools before making a firm choice.

What if I don’t know what I want to do? Complete the application packet as someone needing career guidance (#2 on the Instructions for WIOA Program Applicants in your application packet). Additionally, pick up a seminar brochure in our Resource Room or download it from our Workforce Network home page at and find an upcoming Career Planning Workshop to attend. If you are found to be eligible, you will be assigned to a Career Advisor, who will assist you further in helping choose a career path that is right for you.

I have the Career Plan done, but I’m not sure if that’s what I want to do. Make sure to mention that fact when coming in for your initial intake appointment with our Eligibility Specialist. You will be advised to attend the next available Career Planning Workshop (as found in a current copy of our seminar brochure available in our Resource Room or on our Workforce Network home page at When you are assigned to a Career Advisor, that person will help you further to decide on a career plan that is right for you.

What if I got training a few years ago and now I want training for something else? Go ahead and apply. We will consider eligibility based on the usual factors. However, we will also base approval on: reasons why you did not get and maintain a job based on your previous training, personal reasons that might indicate another career option is best for you, and whether or not our funding levels will allow a second training option.  

How many people in an information session will be approved for training? Eligibility is determined on an individual basis. Eligibility is not determined by how many people apply; however, program acceptance is cut off when funding runs out.

Regarding work history, what if I had a 6 months leave of absence within the 9 years of employment with one company; does it go against me? No. We use the work history to help us establish what skills you have developed during the past 10 years. A 6 month leave is not held against you.

How long will it be before we hear about our applications? Generally, you will hear from us within 3 weeks of your application.

Will you need the wages of my 17-year old daughter as part of my family income? No. We only include wages of household members who are 18 years or older when determining eligibility based on gross family income.

What if I worked for more than two (2) jobs in the last 10 years, how should I document that on the application? There is space for three (3) jobs on the 4-page WIOA Program Application form. If you had more than three jobs, you could attach a separate sheet indicating the remaining jobs within the last 10 years.

I live with my mom. Do you need her social security number on the Applicant Income Statement? This would depend on whether or not you have never moved out of the house, or whether you are residing in her home temporarily. If you have resided there permanently, you will need to include her social security number. If you are living there on a temporary basis, you do not have to include her social security number. However, if the situation is temporary, your mother would need to complete the bottom of page 2 (Family Member / Friend Attestation of Support section) of the Applicant Income Statement attesting to her providing you with room and board and/or supplemental money.

I am renting a room in a house. Do I include those people in my income statement? If you are paying rent for a room, you would not include the home owners on your income statement. If they are providing you with room and board for free, or for help with housekeeping, etc., then they would fill out the Family Member / Friend Attestation of Support section of the Applicant Income Statement attesting that they are providing you with room and board and/or supplemental money.

Does the WIOA program affect my UI benefits? This would need to be determined through the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Where is your website?

Where is Illinois workNet?

Is Illinois workNet tied into IDES? No, is a web site managed by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) manages their own web site: Illinois JobLink Current technology does not allow interaction between these two sites, thus registering for one does not automatically register you for the other.

Do I need to register with Illinois JobLink? Yes! You MUST register with Illinois JobLink in order receive Unemployment Benefits.

If my husband has income, and I am receiving UI, am I a dependent? You would consider yourself a dependent based on your status on your federal income tax return.

What happens if I get a job once I am eligible? If you have not started training, it would depend on if the wages for the job you obtained were high enough for you to be self-sufficient. If the job is a part-time and/or stop-gap position, we would most likely be able to move forward with training options. If you start training and then get a job, we would move forward with assisting you towards completion of your approved training program if:

  1. You are successfully completing your courses with good grades,

  2. You are NOT eligible for tuition reimbursement through your employer, and

  3. Your work hours are NOT interfering with timely completion of your program

What if you just wanted to take training courses, such as Word, Excel, etc.? Every participant’s needs are assessed individually. In general, you would need to choose a certificate program that provides the training you need in order to obtain suitable employment. There are approved training providers who package some of the Microsoft Office software training into a short certificate program.

Are we supposed to use Illinois workNet to complete the Career Plan? Yes. The Career Plan highlights how to complete your research through the use of Illinois workNet.

Questions regarding what school individuals are allowed to attend: You can access a list of approved training providers at:

Can I take classes at two different schools? Each eligible participant’s training program is assessed and approved individually. Depending on the occupational choice and in some circumstances, it might make sense to combine classes from two different schools – if the training was for one occupational goal. We never approve training at two different schools for two different career paths.

Do you have to be laid off 26 weeks or more to be eligible for regular WIOA services? Absolutely not. The Workforce Center is open to any McHenry County job seeker (could be currently employed) over the age of 18, who is authorized to work in the U.S. Job seeker services are available at no charge. WIOA training opportunities are available to individuals who meet various eligibility factors, and we encourage people to apply for services as soon as they receive notice that they will lose their jobs.

I was a homemaker so I don’t have a work history, how do I address this? On the application under the work history section, note that you were a homemaker for “x” number of years (remember to indicate the start and end years).

I was self-employed and did not have a regular hourly wage, what should I put down for a wage? Use your last year’s 1040 as a guide to indicate your earnings for the last 6­month period.

My daughter is a dependent for UI benefits. She does not live with me and is not a dependent on my income taxes. Should I list her as a family member? Our determination of household size is generally based on dependents as indicated on your income tax return. However, should you be divorced and your divorce decree indicates that you have joint custody, you should include her. (Divorce decree documentation will need to be submitted.)

Do you use my past income to determine my eligibility for training? Yes, to see if you qualify as a low income individual. No, if we are determining eligibility based on the status of your unemployment (i.e., if your were downsized due to a plant layoff or a plant closing; if you were receiving UI benefits, but now out of work for over 26 weeks, etc.).

Is WIOA funding a scholarship? Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding is not a “scholarship” it is a grant. As such, it does not need to be repaid.

What is the deadline for the WIOA application? There is no deadline for WIOA application. Grant funding is first come, first served, however, so it is best to apply for services as soon as you have interest.

Is there a timeline for when training must start? Each person’s situation will be different. As soon as a training program is agreed upon by the individual and approved by their WIOA Career Advisor, the participant would be expected to enter the next available session offered through the chosen training provider. Our focus is to help individuals get through their training and back to work as quickly as possible.

Do the funds go directly to me or to the school? WIOA grant funding goes directly to the training provider.

Is there a maximum time you have to complete the training program? Our focus is to help individuals get through their training and back to work as soon as possible. It is expected that the participant will complete training as quickly as they possibly can. If an individual is not working, it would be expected that their training program would be set up on a full-time basis. If an individual is working part-time, it will most likely take longer to complete a training program, but steady progress must be maintained.

What if you claim children on your taxes every other year, are they your dependents? We will consider the children as dependents on the “off” years if your divorce decree indicates you have joint custody.

If I choose a career that is not on the list, does that mean that I cannot train for it? We cannot provide WIOA grant training funds for careers in occupations that do not appear on our locally approved list.

If my career is phasing out, will I be forced to stay in the same field? No. We would encourage you to go through career planning to find a suitable high-growth career for which we can provide training (per our locally approved occupation/training list).

If I live in another county, can I still apply here? Funding is limited. Therefore, we assist McHenry County residents, or individuals drawing UI through a McHenry County employer even though they live elsewhere, before residents/employees of other counties.

How do you find people to interview for informational interviews? Training providers can frequently help provide contact to former students who are now working in the field you wish to enter. Another good resource is through an association for the particular career you are pursuing. Or, you can contact employers who hire people in the occupation you are pursuing. Those employers might put you in touch with someone within their organization who does the job you would like to have. This may also help you get your foot in the door for future employment opportunities. Finally, ask your family and friends if they know anyone doing the job in which you are interested.

Do I have to pay for the CDL-A physical? The cost of the physical is typically included in the training costs by most truck driving schools that provide training for our customers. You would need to check with the school in which you are interested. Do not pay for and complete a physical prior to your eligibility determination because it may be outdated information. Some truck driving schools prefer to have the physical done by their own doctors. Again, you must obtain this information directly from the truck driving school.

Even though the growth rate on Illinois workNet is lower, if it’s an approved demand occupation, can we pursue that occupation? Occupations that appear on our locally approved list can be funded, even if the growth rate on Illinois workNet appears to differ.

Do we have to go to the DMV, and who provides the truck for the CDL testing? Testing information should be obtained from the truck driver training facility in which you are interested.

I am receiving maintenance from a divorce, is that considered as income? Yes, alimony is considered to be income under our eligibility policy.

Do they consider any debts on the income determination? Only gross income is considered when determining eligibility. Debts would be considered when determining if an individual could successfully support themselves while completing a training program.

Are you more likely to get approved for a grant if you just have a GED instead of college education? No. Approval for a training program is based on what kind of skills enhancement an individual needs to successfully obtain self-sufficient employment given the current job market.

Should I list any volunteer activities on the employment history section of the WIOA application? If the activities for which you volunteer help explain why you are choosing a particular career goal, then these volunteer services should be included on the Career Plan you must complete.

The McHenry County Workforce Network, is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. To request accommodations, please contact our Equal Opportunity Officer Peggy Sarbaugh-McNally at [email protected] or (815) 334-2776. All voice telephone numbers may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment by calling TTY (800) 526-0844 or 711