The Phone System Interview (PSI) is an automated scripted voice response redetermination interview available 24 hours a day via a toll free number. The PSI is offered to certain EZ REDE households who meet EZ REDE criteria at the time of the selection. Do not ask customers selecting the PSI option to come to the office for an interview to complete their REDE. Do not require a customer to use the PSI option. If a face-to-face REDE is due for SNAP and a customer or their authorized representative requests a face-to-face interview, grant a face-to-face interview.
Who Qualifies to Use PSI
EZ REDE customers who receive SNAP benefits, except those listed below may use the PSI to complete their REDE, instead of completing their interview in a face-to-face visit or by using the mail:
- AABD cash and medical cases;
- Chicago General Assistance (GA) cases;
- Cases with certain income types, such as earnings of an ineligible noncitizen;
- Cases with income that is budgeted differently for cash or medical and SNAP;
- Cases where the payee does not receive benefits.
How Customers Know They Can Use PSI
Information about the Phone System Interview, an access number and password are sent with the notice that SNAP benefits are expiring, (Redetermination Application or Your SNAP Benefits Are Ending). The PSI requires the customer to enter an access number and a password to start the interview process. The access number and password serve as the customer's electronic signature for the SNAP application. If the password and access number are misplaced or lost the customer must complete and return the mail-in form or contact their caseworker to schedule an interview.
How Long PSI is Available
EZ REDE customers who want to complete their REDE using the automated Phone Sytem Interview (PSI) must complete the phone interview by a specific date entered on their notice.
- Mail-In REDE - By the 5th day of the last month of the approval period.
- Face-to-Face REDE - By the 15th day after the date of the notice of expiration.
Customers who do not complete the interview by the last PSI date on their notice (even if the date falls on a weekend) will need to complete and mail in their form or if due for a face-to-face, contact their caseworker to schedule an interview. A customer is not allowed access after the PSI call in period has ended.
The PSI Process
Customers who start the PSI but respond that their name or address are incorrect are not allowed to complete their REDE through the PSI. Callers who hang up before the interview is complete may call back the same day and begin where they left off. If a call is not completed on the same day, the customer must start over at the beginning of the interview. Notice of Incomplete Phone Interview is sent each day that an interview is started but not completed.
The script walks the customer through a series of questions required for a REDE, including household composition, income, expenses, assets, health insurance (for cash and medical cases) and optional survey questions which include racial-ethnic questions and customer satisfaction questions. The customer may also change or add a phone number, including a second contact number.The REDE interview is considered complete when all the questions in Section F of the worksheet have been answered. The customer is not required to take the survey. The system gives a completion number to confirm that the interview has been successfully completed. A customer who hangs up without confirming that they want the confirmation number repeated a second time is allowed access to call back on the same day to get the number.
When the PSI is complete, the questions and answers from the call is saved and stored electronically in Caseworker Tools. An application is registered with the date of application and the data is transferred to the Automated Case Management System for processing by the caseworker when verifications are received. If received after 5:00 PM or on a non-work day, the date of application is the next work day.
If the REDE is not completed by the required date for using the PSI the client must either mail in their completed form or schedule an interview. For the Mail-In REDE see PM 19-07-04-b, and for face-to-face REDE see PM 19-07-04-d.
Customers completing the Phone System Interview are centrally sent a notice requesting needed verifications, including the last 4 pay stubs if paid weekly, the last 2 pay stubs if paid every other week or twice a month, or the last pay stub if paid monthly. The client has 10 days to provide the needed information.
If the unit does not provide the required information by the 10th calendar day, deny the SNAP REDE application on the first workday after the 10th calendar day. If the missing verification is for an expense deduction, process the application without the deduction.
For TANF, the case is ineligible for cash. If the unit does not complete the required action(s) within 10 days, place the case in zero grant. The case is centrally SWAPPED to FHP after 2 months.