Obsoletes Action Memo dated 04/02/2019
- Migrant farmworkers usually start arriving in Illinois for work during the months of March and April. However, shelter-in-place and safe distancing restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois as well as in other States may impact a migrant's ability to travel about seeking employment and may result in less applications being filed at the Family Community Resource Centers (FCRC). With office closures, migrants will not be able to apply in person at the FCRC and will need to apply for and manage their benefits online at www.ABE.Illinois.Gov or submit a paper application through the mail. FCRCs must still be prepared to accept and process applications from migrant households, if they are received.
- As required by the Zarate consent decree, this memorandum provides a summary of SNAP policy that affects migrant farmworkers.
- When determining eligibility for SNAP, also consider a migrant family's potential eligibility for cash or medical benefits.
- Migrant farmworker policy is in PM 05-05-00 of the manual. All migrants must be allowed to file an application for benefits (PM 02-04-00).
- A migrant farmworker is a person who moves from place to place doing or looking for seasonal farm work.
- Policy does not require a migrant to be an Illinois resident to qualify for SNAP.
- Migrants are not required to bring their own interpreters. If there is a need for interpreter services, and all other FCRC sources are unavailable, contact the Office of Hispanic/Latino Affairs: (312) 793-3613 or (312) 793-4306 (voice) or (866) 273-3686 (Nextalk) or (312) 793-7835 (fax).
- Migrants who are "out of funds" qualify for expedited service. Use special calculations if migrants are "out of funds."
- The interview adjustments in Policy Memo, Adjusting SNAP Interview Requirement Due to COVID-19, dated 04/08/20, also apply to migrant households. An expedited or non-expedited migrant household whose identity and all other mandatory verifications have been provided with the application is not required to have an interview. Noncitizen migrants must meet SNAP rules for noncitizens.
- An interview must be conducted if identity and/or mandatory verification is not verified or information is questionable. Once the interview is held and identity is verified, one or two months of benefits may be issued, whichever is applicable. Do not delay issuing expedited benefits just because all other verifications have not been received.
- Do not prorate benefits if a migrant's SNAP REDE is late. If a migrant household remains in Illinois and is active with a certification period ending March, April, May or June, the certification period will be extended 6 months.
- A migrant farmworker is a person who moves from place to place doing, or looking for, seasonal farmwork. Due to COVID-19, a migrant's ability to travel may be impacted by the shelter-in-place and safe distancing rules which may result in fewer applications being filed. With office closures, migrants will not be able to apply in person at the FCRC and will need to apply for and manage their benefits online at www.ABE.Illinois.Gov or submit a paper application through the mail. The FCRC must still be prepared to accept and process applications received from migrant households.
- As required by the Zarate consent decree, this memorandum provides a summary of SNAP policy that affects migrant farmworkers. When determining eligibility for SNAP, also consider a migrant family's potential eligibility for cash or medical benefits. Migrant farmworker policy is in PM 05-05-00 of the manual. All migrants must be allowed to file an application for benefits (PM 02-04-00).
A SNAP household is entitled to expedited service when:
- gross nonexempt income and liquid assets are less than their monthly rent or their mortgage payment and the appropriate utility standard; or
- the SNAP unit has liquid assets of $100 or less, and gross monthly income for the month of application is less than $150; or
- liquid assets of $100 or less, and at least one person applying is a migrant who is "out of funds." See definition of "out of funds" below.
The interview adjustments in Policy Memo, Adjusting SNAP Interview Requirement Due to COVID-19, dated 04/08/20, also apply to migrant households. An expedited or non-expedited migrant household whose identity and all other mandatory verifications have been provided with the application is not required to have an interview. Noncitizen migrants must meet SNAP rules for noncitizens.
An interview must be conducted if identity and/or mandatory verification is not verified or information is questionable.
- Conduct an interview no later than the workday after the date the application was filed.
- Authorize benefits so that they are available to the SNAP unit no later than the 5th calendar day after:
- the date of application; or
- the date you discover the SNAP unit is eligible for expedited service.
- If all eligibility factors are verified at the interview, issue expedited benefits right away and put the case on regular rolls.
- If identity is verified but other verifications are postponed, issue mercury benefits for:
- 1 month if the applicant applied on or before the 15th of the month; or
- 2 months if the applicant applies after the 15th of the month. Do not require the waived verifications before approving the 2nd month's benefits.
After issuance of the expedited SNAP benefits, do not issue any more benefits until the missing information is provided, even if they meet the definition of "out of funds." see PM 02-08-01-a, WAG 02-08-05-b and PM 02-08-01. A new application is not required. Do not obtain a second signature page. See Policy Memo, Expedited SNAP Changes, dated 10/01/2013. Follow the procedures in the policy memo until the manual is updated with these policy changes.
- Make all requests for verifications/information for customers who apply for SNAP on the 267 VCL. Allow 10 days to return the needed verifications. Specify the last day on which the verifications are due on the 267 VCL. The last day must always be a workday.
Definition of "Out of Funds"
A migrant or seasonal farm worker is "out of funds" if:
- The only income for the month of application was received prior to the date of application and was from a terminated source. This includes:
- Income normally received on a monthly or more frequent basis which will not be received again from the same source during the balance or the month of application or the following month.
- Income normally received less often than monthly if it will not be received in the month in which the next payment would be received.
- The only income to be received in the month of application is from a new source and is:
- More than $25; and
- The income will not be received by the 10th calendar day after the date of application.
- The household may have received both income from a terminated source prior to the date of application and income from a new source after the date of application and be considered "out of funds" if:
- They received no other income in the month of application; and
- Income from the new source is no more than $25 and will not be received by the 10th day after the application date.
A migrant SNAP unit that meets the definition of "out of funds" is eligible for expedited service if their liquid assets are $100 or less.
Note: Do not count a wage advance for travel costs to get to a new job when you decide if a migrant is "out of funds."
Calculating Income for "Out of Funds" Households
- If the SNAP unit meets the definition of "out of funds," follow the special income calculation procedures below to determine eligibility and the benefit amount for only the month in which the application is filed.
- Consider only income which has been received from the first day of the month through the date the application is filed.
- Disregard income from a new source that is expected to be received after the day of application.
- At the SNAP REDE, disregard income from a new source in the first month of the new SNAP approval period if it is more than $25 and will not be received by the 11th day of the month. See PM 02-08-01-a SNAP REDE Applications
- At the SNAP REDE, determine if the SNAP unit still meets the definition of migrant. If a migrant SNAP unit files an application for a SNAP REDE during the month after the end of the approval period, issue a full month's benefit for the month of application. Do not prorate benefits. See PM 05-05-04, WAG 05-05-04 and Policy Memo, Expedited SNAP Changes, dated 10/01/2013.
To receive SNAP benefits, each person must be a citizen or must be a legally admitted noncitizen who meets certain other SNAP eligibility requirements. To determine if a person meets these requirements, See PM 03-01-03, WAG 03-01-03. If a quarters of coverage inquiry is needed, See WAG 22-14-03-d for WTPY instructions, and WAG 25-03-13 to figure the qualifying quarters.
Eligibility and Budgeting
- Persons who move to Illinois from another state and received SNAP from the other state, cannot receive duplicate benefits in Illinois for the same period, see PM 03-02-03-b. Verify the last day the applicant received or will receive SNAP benefits from the other state. Migrants are not required to be a permanent resident to qualify for SNAP while in Illinois doing seasonal work.
- Take special care to determine if a migrant SNAP household has out-of-state resources or income from real property in the home-base area. If out-of-state real property is being rented or is producing income, count the income when determining eligibility and benefit level.
- Allow shelter costs for the out-of-state home if the SNAP unit's absence is due to employment and the home is not leased or rented during the absence of the SNAP unit.
- Employable members of migrant SNAP households must comply with the work provisions unless they are under contract to begin work within 30 days of application.
- In some migrant SNAP units, children may earn a portion of the SNAP unit income even though the SNAP unit receives only one payment for all work performed. The child's portion of the income is exempt if they are age 17 or under, attend elementary or secondary school, and are under the parental control of another SNAP unit member. Determine the child's portion of the income by prorating the total earnings equally among all working SNAP unit members. The child's portion of the income is not counted.
- If a migrant farmworker SNAP unit was entitled to more benefits than were authorized, issue the past month's benefits immediately upon the discovery of the error. If there is a current recoupable claim that has been sent to the case in IES, and a past month supplement is found, IES will automatically offset the supplement to the extent to pay off the overpayment.
For migrant SNAP households including those receiving medical assistance, assign an approval period of up to 12 months, based on the likelihood of a change in circumstances. See PM 17-05-02-b, PM 17-05-02-g.
Change Circumstances Details Page
If the migrant reports that they will be moving out of State when their local seasonal work has ended, record the date they plan to leave the State in the Changing Circumstances - Details page.
- In the Changing Circumstances Information section (toward the bottom of page):
- Answer "Yes" to "SNAP approval period shortened due to expected changes in household circumstances?" to shorten certification period.
- In the Changing Circumstances Dates section (toward the top of the page):
- Enter the Application date in the Circumstances Start/Change Date field;
- Enter the date the customer intends to leave the State in the End Date field;
- Select an Approval Period (required).
- Click [Save + Continue]
- The Wrap-up - Run Eligibility page displays.
See IES TIP Determining Migrant Farm Worker/Seasonal Eligibility.
Spanish Language Units
A SNAP unit is a Spanish Language Unit (SLU) if the adult members speak only Spanish, or the unit does not contain a person age 18 or over who can speak or read English. See PM 22-11-00. Use only Spanish SNAP materials to communicate with SLUs. The standardized messages are printed in the Spanish language on all centrally generated notices.
The SLU designated counties are: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Rock Island, Will, and Winnebago.
Special procedures apply to SLUs in designated and migrant counties.
When a SLU applies for SNAP and/or cash or medical assistance in designated and migrant counties:
- Ask the SNAP unit in Spanish to complete Request for Financial Assistance-Medical Assistance-SNAP (Form 2378BS).
- Ask the applicant to sign the rights and responsibilities page of Form 2378BS.
- Scan and upload Form 2378BS into the Electronic Case Record (ECR).
A SLU is not required to sign the printed CAF. Application for SNAP - Spanish (Form 683S) may also be used when a SLU applies for only SNAP.
Translators and Interpreter Services
- When an English-speaking employee in a designated or migrant county is contacted by a SLU, the employee must follow the FCRC's written procedures for talking in Spanish with a SLU. The use of persons other than Department employees or qualified interpreter services to translate for a SLU is not allowed. Minors (persons under age 18) and persons in the waiting room cannot be used to interpret for a SLU. See PM 22-11-02. Within an hour of deciding that a client needs interpreter services, determine whether the service can be provided within a reasonable time that day. Reasonable time means that a person will not have to wait longer than other persons applying for benefits.
- If bilingual services cannot be provided within a reasonable time that day, give the person an appointment when the services will be available.
- The application date, appeal date, and the beginning of all other timeframes is the first day of contact. A SLU is not penalized because the FCRC has to reschedule an appointment for a later date when an interpreter is available.
- For interpreter services, if all other FCRC sources are unavailable, contact the Office of Hispanic/Latino Affairs: (312) 793-3613 or (312) 793-4306 (voice) or (866) 273-3686 (Nextalk) or (312) 793-7835 (fax). All migrants must be allowed to file an application for benefits and are not required to have their own interpreters.
- A migrant SLU who is in a migrant county during the migrant season receives the same bilingual services provided by the Department to a SLU in a designated county. Bilingual services are provided by the Illinois Migrant Council (IMC) during the migrant season for migrant SLUs. Bilingual services include the use of English/Spanish SNAP forms, notices, and pamphlets at all times, as well as the use of bilingual staff or interpreters for all oral discussions during the migrant season.
- FCRCs in migrant counties supply the IMC with Form 2378BS for completion by applicants. The date the local office receives the application from the IMC is the application date.
[signed copy on file]
Grace B. Hou
Secretary Designate, Illinois Department of Human Services
Migrant Desk Aid 2020 (pdf)
Migrant Desk Aid
(see above link for a printable migrant desk aid)
Where to Find It
Policy Memorandum, Expedited SNAP Changes, dated 10/01/13