Illinois Department of Human Services 

12/9/15

Policy Memo

Obsoletes Policy Memorandum dated 04/28/15.

Policy Memorandum

Summary:

  • The Expedited SNAP Benefits with Postponed Interview pilot is a project being conducted under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) waiver approval.  The pilot project that began in Winnebago and DuPage Counties on 04/24/15 and allows certain households to receive initial month(s) SNAP benefits when the eligibility interview has been postponed.  IDHS is now including the Lake County FCRC in the pilot starting 11/19/15.
  • This memo obsoletes the Policy Memorandum titled, Expedited SNAP Benefits with Postponed Interview, dated 04/28/15.
  • Initial SNAP applications that meet expedited criteria and contain a telephone number can be authorized SNAP benefits for up to two months prior to the household's interview, provided the applicant's identity is verified and staff have made 2 unsuccessful attempts to contact the applicant by telephone.
  • Postponed interviews must be scheduled within 14 days of the application date.
  • No additional benefits will be issued until the postponed interview is conducted and required verifications are provided.
  • If a postponed interview is not kept, staff must close the SNAP request in IES the day following the scheduled appointment date until Phase 2 of IES.
  • Re-open policy does not apply to these applications if the household fails to attend the postponed interview or fails to provide requested verifications. Do not re-open a SNAP application that received benefits with a postponed interview/verification if the client contacts the FCRC after the date of the failed appointment. Any subsequent application for SNAP benefits is processed under normal processing timeframes.
  • The LINK card is never centrally issued for an expedited issuance (TAR 04). The FCRC must issue the card. Do not require the customer to come to the FCRC to pick up their Link card.

The Expedited SNAP Benefits with Postponed Interview pilot is a project being conducted under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) waiver approval. The pilot project that began in Winnebago and DuPage Counties on 04/24/15 and allows certain households to receive initial month(s) SNAP benefits when the eligibility interview has been postponed.

This memo obsoletes Policy Memorandum titled, Expedited SNAP Benefits with Postponed Interview, dated 04/28/15 .

Lake County FCRC Added to Pilot 

IDHS is now including applications teken by the Lake County FCRC in the pilot project starting 11/19/15.

Application Registration

When someone requests SNAP in ABE, IES screens the application to see if they qualify for expedited service. Expedited service has special timeframes and requirements for getting SNAP benefits quickly to people who qualify for them. See PM 02-08-02-b.

  • All applications (ABE or paper) must be reviewed and screened for expedited SNAP immediately upon receipt. Potentially expedited SNAP applications must be registered immediately. IES will automatically route expedited ABE applications that contain a phone number to the Expedited Queue. Paper applications potentially eligible for expedited service that contain a phone number must be uploaded and routed to the Expedited Queue. If staff fail to upload the application, no task is displayed in IES.
  • "Cold-calling" refers to calling customers to conduct an interview over the phone without scheduling an appointment. Cold-call attempts are made on all expedited applications that provide a phone number immediately after registration.
  • IES will track cold-call attempts.
  • Review clearances obtained during registration and if identity is verified, schedule the appointment to coincide with the due date of the VCL.
  • If identity is NOT verified, schedule the appointment as soon as possible, but do not postpone the interview. Do not proceed to data collection. Do not issue benefits.
  • Navigate to the 'Office Schedule' to select an appropriate appointment slot for an interview. Schedule the appointment to coincide with the due date of the VCL but no later than 14 days after the application date.
  • Note: If the first attempt results in 'No Valid Number', IES will treat it as 2 failed attempts and route to 'Schedule Appointment'. These applications are still eligible for the postponed interview if identity is verified.

Eligibility Process

Applicant Contacted -Interview Conducted

There is no change in policy of expedited processing if the first or second contact with the applicant is successful and eligibility is determined. Benefits are issued (if appropriate) no later than the day following the interview.

Two Contacts Attempted - Interview Postponed

After the 2nd failed attempt to contact the household, a message displays to proceed to data collection. The message states: Expedited SNAP application eligible for postponed interview.

Review clearances obtained during registration and if identity is verified, schedule the appointment to coincide with the VCL.

Proceed to data collection. The appointment status on the Household Information screen will default to 'scheduled'. A new option to the Individual Interview Page, Interview Mode is added. Select 'Postponed' in the drop down to proceed while the appointment status is scheduled.

If identity is verified, determine eligibility based on clearance data and information provided with the application. If two cold calls were attempted and failed and the application date was:

  • on or before the 15th of the month, run eligibility in IES and certify the first month, or
  • after the 15th of the month, certify and authorize first and 2nd month benefits. Do not require the verifications before approving the 2nd month's benefits.

Issue Form 267, Instructions to Client to schedule an interview and request any required verifications. Be sure to review electronic sources prior to requesting verifications. Schedule the interview for the same date as the due date of the VCL but no later than 14 days from the application date.

A central Form 360C, Notice of Decision on Application for Cash, Medical, and/or SNAP Benefits will be sent. The central 360C notice is revised for all expedited initial month approvals (11-7-04's). The revised notice will include the statement: "If you are scheduled to have an interview or asked to provide additional verifications you must comply with these requirements before additional SNAP benefits will be approved."

Additional benefits will not be issued until the interview is held and all verifications are received by the due date. A new application is not required. Do not obtain a second signature page. After issuance of the expedited SNAP benefits, do not issue any more benefits until the interview is kept and the missing information is provided within the timeframe.

Postponed Interview/Postponed Verification Process

Interview Conducted and Verifications Received

When the appointment is kept, postponed verifications provided and eligibility remains, approve on-going benefits. Re-run eligibility, validate the approval and certify the case. IES will determine the approval period using regular SNAP policy for approval periods. The approval period is the remainder of the original approval period.

  • Example: Initial SNAP only application received April 6, cold-call attempted twice with no contact. Identity is verified and first month benefits for April are issued. Form 267 is issued with an appointment scheduled for April 17. The appointment is kept and eligibility continues. Re-run eligibility and validate the SNAP EDG. IES will assign the approval end date of September. Certify the case for on-going eligibility.

Interview Conducted/ Additional time requested for Verifications

If during the interview, additional time is needed to provide required verifications, give a 2nd Form 267 and allow an additional 10 days to provide. If verifications are not provided after the additional time, re-run eligibility and close the case.

  • Example: SNAP only application received April 6, cold-call attempted twice with no contact. Identity is verified and first month benefits for April are issued. Form 267 is issued with an appointment scheduled for April 17. The appointment is kept and out of state unemployment is reported. Give a 2nd Form 267 to provide verification and allow 10 days. If verification is not received, re-run eligibility and close the case.

Postponed Verifications Received - Eligibility No Longer Exists

When the appointment is kept, postponed verifications provided and the case is ineligible, enter the verified information and re-run eligibility to cancel on-going benefits. Send Form 157, Notice of Change to inform the household that on-going benefits have been discontinued.

Interview Missed

If the appointment is missed and/or verifications are not received by the due date, re-run eligibility. Verify the SNAP EDG is closed in IES. If the scheduled interview is not kept, search the schedule for 'No Show'. Close the application (in IES only). No additional notice will be sent.

  • Example: Initial SNAP only application received April 6. Cold-call attempted twice with no contact. Identity is verified and first month benefits for April are issued. Form 267 issued with an appointment scheduled for April 17. The appointment is not kept. In IES only, re-run eligibility for the SNAP only and certify the closure.

Applicant Complies after Due Date

If the applicant contacts the FCRC following the missed appointment date or provides requested verifications after the due date, a new SNAP application must be submitted.

Re-open policy does not apply to SNAP applications that receive expedited benefits but miss the postponed interview or fail to provide requested verifications.


James T. Dimas

[signed copy on file]

Secretary-designate, Illinois Department of Human Services

Forms referenced:

Form 267

Form 157

Form 360c