MR #12.24: New Link III System


  • In April 2012 a contract was signed with the new primary provider of Illinois' Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system. The new version of the EBT system is called Link III.
  • Link III will be implemented in two phases. Phase I of the conversion to Link III is scheduled for 10/20/2012 and will transfer all functions of the EBT system to the new contractor.
  • One of the major components of Phase I is a new provider will be responsible for the Link Helpline automated voice response system and call center. The new version of the Link Helpline will include a new welcome message and menu.  The automated helpline will include pending deposits & date available, SNAP approval period end date, regular availability date as well as account balance in addition to the current functions.
  • Clients who call the Link helpline to request a replacement card will be able to update their address.  If the address is not correct, they will be directed to a customer service agent who will take the new address and change it in EPPIC so the replacement card is mailed to the correct address. They will also advise the client to report the change of address to the United States Postal Service (USPS).
  • The contractor will pass the information to DHS and the new address is updated in our system with a TA 31 and TAR 42.  An E will be coded in Item 80 Code 665 Sup By column.
  • There will no longer be a dedicated TTY line/number.  TTY customers should be instructed to use their current relay service or dial 711. The current version of the Illinois Link Program brochure, Form 9203, references the old TTY number.  Staff should black out the old TTY number prior to giving out the brochure until the brochure is revised. The old TTY number is displayed on the client Web portal and is being removed as a Phase I change.
  • FCRC staff that access EPPIC will be provided with a new link prior to 10/22/12.
  • Beginning in November the Illinois Link unit will work with Regional and FCRCs to identify select staff that will have the ability to change client information on the Client Information Management screen in EPPIC. Staff will be able to change the name, address and social security number associated with the account and any other information contained on the screen.
  • Phase II will include mailing of new cards with a new design and 16 digit number on the card instead of 19, enhancements to EPPIC, and changes to the client Web portal and Illinois Link Training brochure, Form 9203. Phase II is scheduled for April 2013 and will be discussed in a future manual release.
  • Item 80 code 656 and ICL C code changes due to the SNAP approval period extension for select EZ REDE cases that began in June 2012 are placed in the manual.