- If an old case record was requested and is available on the day of the eligibility interview, use the permanent verification information that is in the old record. Conduct the eligibility interview even if an old record was requested and is not available on the day of the interview. If permanent verifications are found in an existing paper case record, upload copies to the ECR for the new IES case. Return the original documents to the paper case record.
- During the interview, review all information contained on the application form and explore and resolve with the applicant/representative any unclear or incomplete information.
- Request additional information using Verification Checklist (Form IL444-0267). Request only the information needed. Allow the customer 10 calendar days to comply with the request.
- Advise the applicant of their Rights and Responsibilities, including the appropriate application processing standard times.
- If the applicant is a pregnant teen or a teen parent (i.e., under age 20), refer the case to TPS for Teen Parent Intake/Benefit Advocacy (see PM 14-12-06).
SNAP Eligibility Interview
Provide an oral explanation at the eligibility on the following::
- Explain the SNAP application process including expedited benefits, the processing standards and what the applicant must do to complete the process. Provide assistance to the applicant if needed. See PM 01-04-05.
- Tell the applicant that if a change happens after the eligibility interview and before the notice of decision, it must be reported within 10 calendar days. Inform the applicant of the types of changes that would affect eligibility.
- Explain that as condition of eligibility, each person age 16 - 59 who does not have a work exemption must comply with the SNAP Work Rules and provide the applicant with a completed, SNAP Work Rules (Form IL444-5175). See PM 03-15-01 and PM 03-15-02.
Work Requirement Time-Limited Benefits
- When the policy is in effect, explain that SNAP customers residing in a nonwaived area of the State must meet the Work Requirement if they are age 18 through 49 years of age, do not have dependents; and do not qualify for a work exemption. Provide the applicant with a completed, SNAP Work Rules (Form IL444-5175). See PM 03-25-01.
- Explain that to qualify for SNAP, the applicant must cooperate in determining their initial and ongoing eligibility and must also report changes that may affect their eligibility. See PM 01-03-00.
- Tell the applicant what verifications are needed to determine their eligibility, the due date and give examples of the types of documents that can be used as verification. See PM 02-07-03-l and WAG 02-07-03-l. IES will generate Verification Checklist (Form IL444-0267). Whenever possible use electronic sources to verify any needed information.
- Explain that expenses such as mortgage/rent, child care, medical expenses and court order child support payment must be reported and/or verified to allow a deduction for the expense. If not reported or verified at the time of application it may be provided later for a review of a change in the benefit amount.
Privacy Act and the Use of Social Security Numbers
- Explain how Social Security numbers and other information obtained from the applicant may be used in computer matching systems to verify income related information and benefits and assistance from other federal and state agencies. .
Notice of Eligibility
- Explain that if approved for SNAP, a Notice of Decision (Form IL444-0360c) will be sent to inform the household of the approved SNAP benefit amount, certification period, rights and responsibilities, reporting requirements, appeal rights, nondiscrimination statement, and how to manage their case on-line.
- Explain that Form IL444-0360c will be sent to the applicant if determined ineligible for SNAP benefits. The notice will inform them of the reason.
- Inform the household of the certification period and how long benefits will be received before their case is reviewed for renewal. Medical, Cash and SNAP Redetermination (Form IL444-1893) will be sent to the household to renew benefits approximately 60 days prior to the end of the certification period. Inform the applicant that benefits will stop if the renewal is not completed. The applicant will still have the opportunity to reapply but benefits may be delayed. See PM 17-05-02-b for Mid-Point Reporting and PM 17-05-02-i for Change Reporting.
Appeal Rights and Fair Hearings:
- Inform the applicant that they may appeal any decision IDHS makes about their case that they may think is wrong. However, they must appeal within the time-frame and according to the instructions as indicated on the notice. Provide the applicant with brochure, Appeals and Fair Hearing for Those Receiving Cash, SNAP and Medical (IDHS 377). See PM 01-07-00.
Customer Grievance Process
- Customer (or their representative) have the right to be treated with courtesy and respect. Explain how to to file a complaint if they think they were not treated fairly. See PM 01-01-06.
- Inform the applicant that IDHS does not discrimination and how to file a complaint. if they feel they have been a victim of discrimination. Provide the applicant with the brochure, Your Civil Rights (IDHS 592). See PM 01-01-01.
Illinois Link EBT Card
- Explain how SNAP benefits are issued to the Illinois Link EBT card and what can or cannot be purchased. Also inform the applicant of participating on-line food vendors and farmers markets. Provide the applicant with the brochure, Illinois Link (WCS 9203). See PM 22-01-01, PM 22-01-01-g, and PM 22-01-01-h.
Manage My Case (MMC)
- Explain how the applicant can manage and view notices sent to their MMC account instead of receiving a paper version.
Fraud and Incorrect Benefit Amounts
- Explain the SNAP penalties for giving false information and if approved for more SNAP benefits than entitled to, whether an error on my part or an agency error, the amount of overpaid benefits may be subtracted from the monthly benefit amount, or they could face criminal charges and fines. See PM 23-06-00.
Voluntary SNAP E&T Program
- Explain the SNAP Employment and Training Program and its goal is to help SNAP customers improve their work skills and assist them finding a job through short-term training and work assignments as well as GED, resume writing and interviewing classes. Supportive services is available to help the customer participate in program activities. See PM 21-06-00.
- IES determines the SNAP household's reporting status (Mid-Point Reporting or Change Reporting) at the time the case is approved on regular rolls for ongoing benefits.
- The worker must be able to identify a SNAP household's status based on the information gathered during the interview so that they may inform the household of their reporting requirements at the time of the interview
- Explain the SNAP household's responsibility to report changes during the certification period based on their reporting status:
- Change Reporting status (PM 18-04-00), or
- Mid-Point Reporting status (PM 19-07-00); and.
- What they need to report during the certification period and when to report it.
- Explain the recertification process for Change Reporting and Mid-Point Reporting households at month 12; and
- The completion of the SNAP and TANF Mid-Point Report (Form IL444-2890) for Mid-Point Reporting households at month 6.
- Explain that verifications may be needed to determine continued eligibility, the due date, and examples of the types of documents that can be used as verification. Whenever possible use electronic sources.
- Explain if the Mid-Point Report or the REDE application are not returned, SNAP benefits may stop. But they still have the opportunity to reapply and benefits may be a delay in receiving benefits.
Below are examples of Changing Reporting and Mid-Point Reporting SNAP households.
Example 1: Ms. J is applying for TANF and SNAP for herself and two children. At the interview, Ms. J tells the worker that she is working part-time and provides her paystubs. Because Ms. J is applying for TANF/SNAP and has earned income, the case, if approved, will be in Mid-Point Reporting status. The worker explains the Mid-Point Reporting requirements to Ms. J.
Example 2: Ms. K is applying for TANF only. At the interview, Ms. K states she is working part-time and provides paystubs. Because Ms. K is applying for TANF and has earned income, the case, if approved, will be in Mid-Point Reporting. The worker explains the Mid-Point Reporting requirements to Ms. K.
Example 3: Mr. B, age 30, lives alone and is applying for SNAP. Mr. B states at the interview that he is not disabled and does not receive income from any source. The SNAP Work Requirement policy is not in effect in any Illinois county. If approved for SNAP, Mr. B will be in Mid-Point Reporting status. The worker explains the Mid-Point Reporting to Mr. B. If the SNAP Work Requirement policy was in effect in Mr. B's county of residence, his case would be in Change Reporting status.
Example 4: JT, age 65, and his wife, age 62, are applying for AABD and SNAP. At the interview, JT explains that he and his wife live alone and receive Social Security benefits. If approved for SNAP, JT and his wife will be in Change Reporting because all the adult members of the SNAP household are qualifying members, and the case does not have earned income. The worker explains the Change Reporting requirements to JT and his wife, and also provides the household with Reporting Changes - SNAP (IL444-2777). At the time of approval, the worker will send the SNAP household a SNAP Change Report (IL444-1978) and a (non-postage paid) return envelope.
Example 5: Mr. R, age 65 and his wife, age 62, live with their son who is age 18. The household is applying for SNAP benefits. At the interview, the worker is told that food is purchased and prepared together which makes this one SNAP household. Mr. R and his wife both receive Social Security benefits. Their son is employed 30 hours per week. Although Mr. R and his wife are adult qualifying members, their adult son does not meet the qualifying member criteria. The case also has earned income. Based on this information, the worker determines that if approved, this case will be in Mid-Point Reporting. The worker explains the Mid-Point Reporting requirement to Mr. R.
Example 6: Ms. L is applying for medical and SNAP for herself and her 5-year old daughter. At the interview, Ms. L states she is employed full-time and provides paystubs. If approved for SNAP, Ms. L's case will be in Mid-Point Reporting. The worker explains Mid-Point Reporting to Ms. L and the Mid-Point Reporting requirements.
Example 7: A, age 25, C, age 21 and T, age 30 are applying for SNAP. Food is purchased and prepared together. At the interview, the worker learns that the household members are unemployed and have no other source of income. Although all the members in the SNAP household are adults, they do not meet the qualifying member criteria. Based on this information, the worker determines that if approved for SNAP, this case will be in Mid-Point Reporting status. The worker explains the Mid-Point Reporting requirements to the SNAP household. If the SNAP Work Requirement policy was in effect in the county of residence, this case would be in Change Report status.
Example 8: Ms. G is applying for medical and SNAP for herself and her 3 year old twin girls. At the interview, Ms. G states she is unemployed and has no other source of income. She is staying with a friend until she can find employment and is currently living off her savings. Although Ms. G is the only adult SNAP household member, she does not meet the qualifying member criteria. Based on this information the worker determines that if approved for SNAP, Ms. G will be in Mid-Point Reporting status and explains the Mid-Point Reporting requirements to her.
Example 9: Ms. V is applying for TANF and SNAP for herself and her 3 children. At the interview, Ms. V states she is not employed and does not have any other source of income. Based on this information, the worker determines that if approved for TANF the case will not have earned income to budget. This case will be in Change Reporting status. The worker explains the Change Reporting requirements to Ms. V and also provides the household with Reporting Changes - SNAP (IL444-2777). At the time of approval, the worker will send the SNAP household a SNAP Change Report (IL444-1978) and a (non-postage paid) return envelope.
Note: An adult in the SNAP household who is age 60 or older is a qualifying member. If under age 60, then the adult must be at least age 18 or older and is receiving income from one of the following sources: Primary RSDI Retirement Benefits, Primary RSDI Disability Benefits, RSDI Benefits as a Disabled Widow/Widower or Disabled Child, Railroad Retirement Benefits, Veteran's Benefits, Federal, State, or Municipal Retirement, or Supplemental Security Income