A Notice of Change must be sent when benefits are reduced, suspended, or canceled. The Notice must contain:
- the date of change;
- the date of notice;
- the Family Community Resource Center phone number;
- a statement that the client is liable for cash and SNAP benefits received while waiting for an appeal decision, if the decision goes against them;
- a clear statement of the action taken;
- a clear statement of the reason for the action;
- a specific policy reference which supports the action;
- a clear statement of the client's right to appeal and contact information for free legal counsel;
- a statement that benefits will continue in the previous amount if an appeal is filed on or before the date of change.
NOTE: The client may ask that benefits not be continued in the same amount.
For SNAP, a written notice is required for any action that affects the SNAP program status or benefit amount.
An adequate notice must be sent to arrive by the date of change.
For SNAP, give an adequate notice when:
- stopping benefits because the client voluntarily requests that they be stopped. Fully document the request in the case record;
- stopping benefits due to verified information that the client will not be residing in the Family Community Resource Center area and will not be able to obtain its next SNAP benefit.
Adequate notices must contain a statement that benefits will continue in the previous amount if an appeal is filed on or before the date of change or within 10 days of the date of notice, whichever is later, unless the client asks that benefits not be continued.
A timely Notice of Change must be mailed or given to the client at least 10 days before the date of change. A timely notice is required when benefits are reduced, suspended, canceled, voided, or withheld, or paid to a client under a protective payee plan.
Day one of the 10-day period is the day after the date of notice. Day 10 can be no later than the date of change. If the timely notice was not sent when required, do not take the action. Start over by sending another notice and waiting 10 days to take the action. Take action, if called for, for the first month a timely notice can be sent.
SNAP clients should receive a timely written notice when benefits end or are reduced during the approval period and when an approval period is shortened because the case is enrolled in EZ REDE status.
All notices are centrally issued, unless stated differently in the Workers' Action Guide, or they are withheld by the Family Community Resource Center so that a local notice can be sent.
Notice of Change to Chicago Clients (AABD, TANF)
In Chicago, a Notice of Change that informs a TANF or AABD client that they were taken out of the case or stopped receiving cash payments due to:
- taking part in a strike, or
- a dependent child age 18 who does not meet school requirements, or
- certain nonfinancial eligibility requirements not being met,
also tells them that they can apply for GA. If the client applies within 30 days of the date of the notice and qualifies, make sure benefits are uninterrupted.
Day one of the 30-day period is the day following the date of the notice. If the 30th day falls on a weekend or holiday, benefits will be approved with no gap if the person applies on the next workday.
Notice of Hardship Waiver
For long term care clients, a notice of cancellation or of ineligibility for payment of long term care charges due to:
- a penalty period resulting from a non-allowable transfer of assets; or
- the person's equity interest in his or her homestead exceeding $525,000;
must include a statement of the person's right to apply for a hardship waiver. This statement must inform the client that a written request for hardship waiver must be submitted to HFS Long Term Care - Asset Discovery Investigation (LTC-ADI), including proof that actual, not just possible, hardship exists.
For hardship waiver requests involving transfers of assets, the person must provide credible evidence that, in good faith and to the best of his or her ability, the person has taken all equitable and legal means available to recover assets transferred for less than fair market value.
See PM 01-08-00.
Date of Change
For cash or SNAP cases, the date of change is the scheduled availability date of the affected benefits.
For medical cases, the date of change is the first day of the calendar month for which benefits are affected.
Date of Notice
The date of notice is the day the notice is mailed or given to the client.
If the client provides the envelope in which the notice of change was delivered and it contains a postmark after the date on the notice, use the postmark as the date of notice rather than the date on the notice itself.