MR #14.17: Application for Benefits Eligibility (ABE), Integrated Eligibility System (IES), and ABE Customer Call Center

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

HFS LogoIDHS Logo

06/24/14

Obsoletes Policy Memorandum, Telephonic Signature/ABE Customer Call Center dated 10/11/13 and Policy Memorandum, Application for Benefits Eligibility (ABE) and Integrated Eligibility System (IES) Overview dated 12/04/13.

Summary:

  • This release begins the process of replacing references to the Automated Intake System (AIS) with Integrated Eligibility System (IES) and incorporating IES terminology and processes in the manual with primary focus on PM/WAG 02, Initial Request for Benefits. Future manual releases from both DHS and HFS will continue the process to incorporate IES functions for program specific areas.
  • Persons may apply for cash, medical, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits online at the Application for Benefits Eligibility website (abe.illinois.gov).
  • Applications submitted electronically through ABE require an electronic signature.
  • ABE allows for an electronic authorization of an approved representative.
  • Persons may apply for medical and SNAP benefits over the phone by calling the ABE Customer Call Center, located in the Broadway Central Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) #150. The ABE Customer Call Center only accepts medical and SNAP applications.
  • Applications completed through the ABE Customer Call Center require a telephonic signature. Without the telephonic signature, an application has not been filed. The ability to obtain a telephonic signature is only available through the ABE Customer Call Center.
  • The application, the telephonic signature, and all other verifications are recorded and saved in Content Management.
  • The ABE Customer Call Center is accessed by calling the DHS helpline at 1-800-843-6154. ABE Customer Call Center only accepts medical and SNAP applications.
  • Federal guidelines require that customers be given an opportunity to review the information they provided during the telephonic interview. Form 2377, Attachment to Telephone Application Summary, has been created to provide customers a copy of their application. Applicants can review the information on Form 2377 and notify their worker if any information is incorrect or changes have occurred. Case certification is not delayed.
  • New information provided or changes reported as a result of the customer's review of the Form 2377 will be treated as a reported change and processed by the receiving FCRC or All Kids Unit.
  • Form 2380, Notice of Incomplete Application, is mailed along with Form 2378B, Request for Cash Assistance, Medical Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), when the application process is not completed due to a dropped call.
  • SNAP applications submitted through ABE or by Form 2378B or Form 683 include the correct wording from Form 2781. Form 2781 is obsolete. Currently IES has a question on the Program Request Details page regarding Form 2781.  A response to this question is not required and does not affect the outcome of the case.
  • IES does not generate a TAR with SNAP applications registered in IES.
  • If an application comes from ABE, the date will be pre-populated to the correct application date in IES. The application date must be entered into IES by the worker when the application is mailed or during a face to face interview.
  • Workers need to add correct programs for each individual during application registration in IES. If staff must add or withdraw a program on the application after clicking submit in application registration, they must add or withdraw the program from the case in Data Collection.
  • IES will not generate a TA 00 to void a mercury or TANF Presumptive Eligibility (PE) transaction. In order to change the amount of a mercury issuance, staff must recalculate and recertify that month in IES the same day.
  • New legacy case I.D. numbers are generated when applications are approval in IES. IES does not re-assign former legacy case I.D. numbers.
  • The "Mail Link Card Centrally" field has three values; Blank, Yes, and No. Workers need to override the blank and change to 'No' when FCRC is issuing the card locally.
  • For Cash and SNAP cases approved in IES, the worker is unable to go through IES to make changes and issue supplemental payments. Issue Cash and supplemental payments through IPACS.
  • After the application registration process, the caseworker can upload client documents and associate them with the application on which they are working. The caseworker will be able to view these documents in IES.
  • Information on how IES calculates earned income when there is missing pay information is in WAG 13-02-03.
  • MR 13.25 exempted all vehicles for SNAP so PM and WAG 07-04-17 a & b are deleted.

This release begins the process of replacing references to the Automated Intake System (AIS) with Integrated Eligibility System (IES) and incorporating IES terminology and processes in the manual with primary focus on PM/WAG 02, Initial Request for Benefits. Future manual releases from both DHS and HFS will continue the process to incorporate IES functions for program specific areas.

  1. Application for Benefits Eligibility (ABE)
    1. The Web Application for Cash, Medical, and SNAP Benefits replaced with ABE
    2. Applications for Medical Benefits
      1. Application Signature
      2. Approved Representative
      3. Form 2781, Attachment to all SNAP Applications Regarding Citizenship/Immigration Status
  2. Telephonic Applications
    1. Telephonic Signature
    2. Application Date
    3. ABE Customer Call Center
      1. Application for SNAP only or SNAP and Medical
  3. Integrated Eligibility System (IES)
    1. Application Registration
      1. Application Date
      2. Program Request
      3. Routing of Applications After Registration
      4. ABE Application on Active Cases
      5. Legacy Case I.D. Number
    2. Data Collection
    3. Eligibility
      1. Run Eligibility
      2. Combined Application Form
      3. Changing a Mercury Amount Issued
      4. Mail Link Card Centrally Field
      5. Scanning and Uploading Documents
  4. Manual Revisions
  5. Forms Referenced:

Application for Benefits Eligibility (ABE)

The Web Application for Cash, Medical, and SNAP Benefits replaced with ABE

Persons may apply for cash, medical, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits online at the Application for Benefits Eligibility website (abe.illinois.gov).

Applicants may submit applications for all programs through ABE and the applications are then routed to the IES Inbox at the correct receiving office. ABE auto populates screens in the IES worker portal based on the applicants responses.

Applications for Medical Benefits

There is no deadline on when a person may apply for Illinois Medicaid. For Illinois Medicaid programs, there is no open enrollment period and people can apply at any time just like they always have.

Open enrollment on the Federal Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) ended March 31, 2014. Anyone who has an application pending with a state or with the FFM when the open enrollment period ended on March 31, 2014 will still be able purchase insurance through the Marketplace after the March 31, 2014 deadline.

Consumers who have questions about the special enrollment period based on these or any other circumstances should call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596.

Application Signature

Applications electronically submitted through ABE for cash, medical and SNAP require an electronic signature.

Approved Representative

ABE allows for an electronic authorization of an approved representative. Form 2998, Approved Representative Consent Form, is no longer required.

Form 2781, Attachment to all SNAP Applications Regarding Citizenship/Immigration Status

SNAP applications submitted through ABE or by Form 2378B or Form 683 include the correct wording from Form 2781. Form 2781 is obsolete. Currently IES has a question on the Program Request Details page regarding Form 2781.  A response to this question is not required and does not affect the outcome of the case.

Telephonic Applications

Persons may apply for medical and SNAP benefits over the phone by calling the ABE (Application for Benefits Eligibility) Customer Call Center, located in the Broadway Central Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) #150.

The ABE Customer Call Center is accessed by calling the DHS helpline at 1-800-843-6154. Telephonic applications taken by the ABE Customer Call Center are processed in the Integrated Eligibility System (IES).

Telephonic Signature

Only the ABE Customer Call Center is able to capture a telephonic signature. The telephonic signature is obtained at the end of the interview. The telephonic signature will be recorded and accessible in Content Management. Without the telephonic signature, an application has not been filed.

Application Date

The application date is the date the call is completed and a telephonic signature is provided. If the call is interrupted before the telephonic signature is received, the interview is not complete and an application for benefits has NOT been filed.

ABE Customer Call Center

The ABE Customer Call Center will process the following telephonic applications;

  • medical, and
  • initial SNAP

The ABE Customer Call Center will not accept telephonic applications for;

  • TANF Cash,
  • AABD Cash, or 
  • initial SNAP applications if there is an active categorical case with the same grantee.

If the applicant is not requesting cash assistance or does not have an active medical case, a new application will be started in IES. The ABE Call Center staff will inform the customer at the beginning of the call that a telephonic signature will be required in order to have a valid application.

If the applicant is non-English/non-Spanish speaking, the ABE Customer Call Center will contact the Translator Bank to assist in completing the application interview.

Application for SNAP only or SNAP and Medical

If the application is for SNAP only or for medical and SNAP, ABE Call Center staff will run eligibility and review the Combined Application Form (CAF).

If the applicant has an existing SNAP case and is requesting medical, the ABE Call Center worker registers and processes the medical application in IES. The ABE Call Center worker will notify the FCRC with the active SNAP case that an application for medical assistance has been filed. The FCRC will review the medical application for changes that affect SNAP eligibility or benefit amount. The medical and SNAP cases will be converted to one IES case in Phase 2.

Integrated Eligibility System (IES)

If a person does not want to submit an ABE application, they can submit a paper application or walk in to a FCRC with no appointment and may be able to see a caseworker the same day and be interviewed. Process applications in IES when a person applies in person or when the applicant submits a paper application.

ABE applications are retrieved from the Electronic Document Management (EDM) Inbox.

Application Registration

Initial applications must be registered in IES. Once an ABE application is selected from the EDM, the paper application is received, or the walk-in applicant is seen, workers need to proceed to Application Registration.

When an ABE application is submitted, the worker retrieves the ABE application from the EDM Inbox and continues to Application Registration. In Application Registration they review the data that was prefilled from ABE.

When a paper application is submitted or a person walks in to a FCRC and is able to be seen that day, then the worker goes directly to Application Registration. In Application Registration, they enter the data either from the paper application or based on the interview with the applicant.

  • Applicants that are able to walk in to the FCRC and be interviewed that day do not need to complete an ABE or paper application but offices may choose to have the applicant complete a paper application while they wait for the interview.
  • For walk-in applicants if the applicant did not complete and sign a paper application, then the caseworker prints the Combined Application Form (CAF) for the applicant to review and the Application Summary and Rights and Responsibilities page in IES for the applicant to sign.

The caseworker scans the whole signed paper application or the signed Application Summary and Rights and Responsibilities page in IES and uploads to IES.

Application Date

If an application comes from ABE, the date will be pre-populated to the correct application date.

The application date must be entered into IES by the worker when the application is mailed or the client is being interviewed in IES (walk-in). The date cannot be changed after selecting submit in the Application Registration process. If the incorrect date is entered, staff must re-enter the correct date prior to hitting submit. Make sure the correct date is entered. If the correct date is not entered, withdraw the application and re-register.

Program Request

Workers need to add the correct programs for each individual. If staff must add or withdraw a program on the application after clicking submit, they must add or withdraw the program from the case in Data Collection.

Routing of Applications After Registration

After registration is completed, the application is routed based on whether the receiving office is task-based or case-based.  If the receiving office is task-based, the application is sent to the queue.  If the receiving office is case-based, the application is sent to a worker. If routed to a queue, then the application is routed to the No Interview -- Initiate Data Collection queue or the Interview Required -- Initiate Data Collection queue. Even though the system routes applications based on IES routing rules, the worker can immediately navigate to Data Collection to reassign the application to themselves if the interview is being conducted the same day. After the application is routed the worker enters the date of the scheduled appointment on the Application Registration Summary screen.

IES does not generate a TAR with SNAP applications registered in IES.

ABE Application on Active Cases

If an ABE application is received from someone that has an active case or is trying to complete a redetermination, take the following actions:

  • download the ABE application pdf;
  • withdraw the application in IES;
  • route the application to the worker or manager in Service Coordination that is responsible for the active case.

Legacy Case I.D. Number

New legacy case I.D. numbers are generated when an application is approved in IES. Former legacy case I.D. numbers are not assigned when an application is approved in IES.

Data Collection

After registering a case the worker completes the Data Collection section in IES during the interview.

Eligibility

Run Eligibility

Once Data Collection is complete and eligibility is determined, select Run Eligibility from the Navigation menu.

Combined Application Form

The Combined Application Form (CAF), application summary, is produced after eligibility is run. The CAF icon will appear at the top of the IES screen. Selecting the CAF icon will allow the worker to view and print the application summary.

Changing a Mercury Amount Issued

IES will not generate a Type Action 00 to void a mercury or TANF Presumptive Eligibility (PE) transaction. In order to change the amount of a mercury issuance, staff must recalculate and recertify that month in IES the same day.

Mail Link Card Centrally Field

The "Mail Link Card Centrally" field on the Issuance-Details screen allows workers to suppress the central mailing of link cards. The field will be enabled if the case has SNAP or cash assistance. The field has three values; Blank, Yes, and No. Workers need to override the blank and change to 'No' when FCRC is issuing the card locally. Initially workers will have the ability to also select Yes. However, selecting Yes does not ensure a card will be mailed centrally. A card will never be sent centrally when:

  • authorizing expedited SNAP benefits (TAR 04);
  • authorizing zero allotment (TAR 07); or
  • authorizing crisis assistance (205 code in Item 80).

Scanning and Uploading Documents

After the Application Registration process, the caseworker can upload and associate client documents with the application on which they are working. The caseworker will be able to view these documents in IES.

  • Items are indexed to the individual/case in IES and loaded into Content Manager.
  • When scanning original documents, verify the document is scanned and legible. Return the original documents to the customer.
  • Once documents are uploaded into IES and verified, shred any paper copies and delete the pdf from the hard drive to avoid overloading the memory on computers.
  • When staff print the CAF and has the customer read and sign the signature page, the worker only needs to scan the signature page to upload to IES.

After the case is certified, caseworkers can view the documents in Worker Portal by selecting the "View Data Collection Screens (Read Only)" case action. Select the Electronic Case Record (ECR) icon on any page in Data Collection.

Manual Revisions

[signed copy on file]

Michelle R. B. Saddler

Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services

Julie Hamos

Director, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services

Forms Referenced:

Form 683

Form 2377

Form 2378B

Form 2380

Form 2781 (Obsolete)

Form 2998