DHS Logo

05/03/2013

Summary

  • Effective May 13, 2013, newly designed Illinois Link cards will be mailed by the contractor on all new approvals and for replacement cards on active cases.
  • The new Illinois Link card includes a simpler design, New Link Card Design' (pdf), chosen to look like other credit/debit cards, a smaller logo placed on the back of the card, and a 16 digit Personal Account Number (PAN). The PAN was reduced to 16 digits to make it easier for customers to access the LINK Helpline and website.  The cards are also being produced on a stronger more durable card stock to reduce the number of replacements that are needed.
  • An initial supply of the new cards will be mailed/delivered to each FCRC by the EBT contactor. When the EBT contractor delivers the new supply of cards, they will take and destroy the remaining supply of the old cards and the card log sheets 'Card and PIN/PCN Issuance' (pdf).  If the new supply of cards is mailed to the FCRC, the FCRC sends the remaining supply of the old cards and the card log sheet back to the EBT contractor to be destroyed. For partial boxes of old cards keep a copy of the log sheet for reconciliation of cards that were issued and send a copy of the log sheet back with the unused cards to IGOR.
  • Continue to issue the 19 digit PAN cards until the supply of new cards is received.
  • Once the initial supply of new cards is received, offices may want to inform SLF, CILAs, Drug/Alcohol facilities or cases that have designated an approved representative that they may want to come in to get their new card prior to the mass mailing.
  • Beginning in June 2013, the EBT contractor will begin to mass mail the new Link card to active customers. Cards will be mailed alphabetically over a period of four months through September 2013. New mass mailed cards are activated the first time they are used at the POS terminal or ATM. Clients are instructed to destroy their old cards. The old card will remain active until the new card is used or 30 days have passed since issuance. At that time, the old card can no longer be used and the new card will be active.
  • Following issuance of the new cards, a new card will be generated when the PAN has been manually entered 5 consecutive times. The old card will remain active until the new card is used or 30 days after the card was issued. At that time, the old card cannot be used and the new card will be active.
  • Effective May 13, 2013, voiding an issuance will no longer be processed through F12 in the IPACS Inquiry System.  Voids are now processed through EPPIC. FCRC staff now have the ability to void an issuance up until the day it becomes available, including mercury issuances.
  • Passwords can be set on Link accounts for cases where their personal information such as date of birth and Social Security number has been compromised. Customers with password protected accounts need the password to access the Link Help Line and Link Card website.  Passwords will only be added or removed if requested through FCRC staff. Do not direct customers to contact the EBT Unit directly to add or remove a password. When a person requests a password to be added or removed from their account, FCRC verifies that the person requesting is the account holder. FCRC verifies the password if the EBT account has special password protection. If the person forgets their password, contact the EBT unit. The EBT unit adds or deletes passwords from the account.
  • EPPIC will now allow the FCRC to request a card be mailed by the contractor. FCRC staff can still issue the cards in the FCRC.  However FCRC staff are to issue cards in the FCRC for;
    • Customers who never received a card or set up their PIN; or
    • Expedited SNAP cases; or
    • Crisis Assistance Cash cases; or
    • Homeless clients using the Family Community Resource Center address; or
    • Residents of SLF, CILA, or Drug/Alcohol facilities; or
    • Cases with an approved representative; or
    • Cases with no SSN; or
    • Cases where the customer's Link card is destroyed in a disaster, such as a fire; or
    • Cases where the customer has a language barrier, is elderly or is unable to use the phone system or Internet with permission of the LOA.
  • The Illinois Link brochure, WCS 9203, is also revised.  A new supply will be mailed to the FCRC in May prior to receipt of the new supply of Link cards.  The brochure is designed as a training brochure to ensure customers know how to use the card, change their PIN, access information regarding their benefits, and are aware of their rights and responsibilities in regards to the card. Staff must give the Illinois Link brochure to all cash and SNAP applicants and discuss the use of the Link card and the clients rights and responsibilities in regards to the card. When discussing with clients, tell the client to keep the card, as they will not receive a new card each month.
  • The Illinois Link poster, DHS 9204, is revised to reflect the new card design and revised information for accessing the Illinois Link Help Line at 1-800-678-LINK (5465) and the Link Card website at www.link.illinois.gov. Revised posters will be mailed to the FCRC in May prior to receipt of the new supply of Link cards to display in the FCRC for customers to view.

  1. Phase II Conversion
    1. New Link Card Design
    2. Ongoing Changes with Link III
      1. Password Protected Accounts
    3. New Brochure and Poster
  2. Manual Revisions
  3. Forms referenced:

Phase II Conversion 

New Link Card Design

Effective May 13, 2013, newly designed Illinois Link cards will be issued on all new approvals and for replacement cards on active cases. The new Illinois Link card includes a simpler design, New Link Card Design' (pdf), chosen to look like other credit/debit cards, a smaller logo placed on the back of the card, and a 16 digit Personal Account Number (PAN). The PAN was reduced to 16 digits to make it easier for customers to access the LINK Helpline and website.  The cards are also being produced on a stronger more durable card stock to reduce the number of replacements that are needed.

An initial supply of the new cards will be mailed/delivered to each FCRC by the EBT contactor. When the EBT contractor delivers the new supply of cards, they will take and destroy the remaining supply of the old cards and the card log sheets 'Card and PIN/PCN Issuance' (pdf).  If the new supply of cards is mailed to the FCRC, the FCRC sends the remaining supply of the old cards and the card log sheet back to the EBT contractor to be destroyed. Continue to issue the 19 digit PAN cards until the supply of new cards is received. For partial boxes of old cards keep a copy of the log sheet for reconciliation of cards that were issued and send a copy of the log sheet back with the unused cards to IGOR.

Once the initial supply of new cards is received, offices may want to inform SLF, CILAs, Drug/Alcohol facilities or cases that have designated an approved representative that they may want to come in to get their new card prior to the mass mailing.

Beginning in June 2013, the EBT contractor will begin to mass mail the new Link card to active customers. Cards will be mailed alphabetically over a period of four months September 2013. New mass mailed cards are activated the first time they are used at the POS terminal or ATM. Clients are instructed to destroy their old cards. The old card will remain active until the new card is used or 30 days have passed since issuance. At that time, the old card can no longer be used and the new card will be active.

Ongoing Changes with Link III

Following issuance of the new cards, a new card will be generated when the PAN has been manually entered 5 consecutive times. The old card will remain active until the new card is used or 30 days after the card was issued. At that time, the old card cannot be used and the new card will be active.

Effective May 13, 2013, voiding an issuance will no longer be processed through F12 in the IPACS Inquiry System.  Voids are now processed through EPPIC. FCRC staff now have the ability to void an issuance up until the day it becomes available, including mercury issuances.

EPPIC will now allow the FCRC to  request a card be mailed by the contractor. FCRC staff can still issue the cards in the FCRC.  However FCRC staff are to issue cards in the FCRC for;

  • Expedited SNAP Cases; or
  • Crisis Assistance Cash Cases, or
  • Customers who never received a card or set up their PIN; or
  • Homeless clients using the Family Community Resource Center address; or
  • Residents of SLF, CILA, or Drug/Alcohol facilities; or
  • Cases with an approved representative; or
  • Cases with no SSN; or
  • Cases where the customer's Link card is destroyed in a disaster, such as a fire; or
  • Cases where the customer has a language barrier, is elderly or is unable to use the phone system or Internet with permission of the LOA.

Password Protected Accounts

Passwords can be set on Link accounts for cases where their personal information such as date of birth and Social Security number has been compromised. Customers with password protected accounts need the password to access the Link Help Line and Link Card website.  Passwords will only be added or removed if requested through FCRC staff. Do not direct customers to contact the EBT Unit directly to add or remove a password. When a person requests a password to be added or removed from their account, FCRC verifies that the person requesting is the account holder. FCRC verifies the password if the EBT account has special password protection. If the person forgets their password, contact the EBT unit. The EBT unit adds or deletes passwords from the account.

New Brochure and Poster

The Illinois Link brochure, WCS 9203, is also revised.  A new supply will be mailed to the FCRC in May prior to receipt of the new supply of Link cards.  The brochure is designed as a training brochure to ensure customers know how to use the card, change their PIN, access information regarding their benefits and are aware of their rights and responsibilities in regards to the card. Staff must give the Illinois Link brochure to all cash and SNAP applicants and discuss the use of the Link card and the clients rights and responsibilities in regards to the card. When discussing with clients, tell the client to keep the card, as they will not receive a new card each month.

The Illinois Link poster, DHS 9204, is revised to reflect the new card design and revised information for accessing the Illinois Link Help Line at 1-800-678-LINK (5465) and the Link Card website at www.link.illinois.gov. Revised posters will be mailed to the FCRC in May prior to receipt of the new supply of Link cards to display in the FCRC for customers to view.

Both the Illinois Link brochure and poster are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Polish, Mandarin, and Urdu.

Manual Revisions

[signed copy on file]

Michelle R.B. Saddler

Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services

Forms referenced:

  • DHS 9204
  • WCS 9203