WAG 03-25-03: Regaining Eligibility

PM 03-25-03

Effective 07/01/2022, Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) waiver approval allows the entire State to continue to be exempt from the SNAP Work Requirement Time-Limited Benefits policy in this section through New Manual Material10/31/2024 based on Illinois' high unemployment rate. For more information about the State's operation under COVID-19 see WAG 25-06-07-p.

The SNAP Work Requirement Time-Limited benefits policy below is NOT in effect for any county in the State through revised manual text10/31/2024.

Regaining Eligibility

  • A customer who has received all 3 months of SNAP benefits and lost eligibility must regain eligibility by working or doing a work activity for the required number of hours in a 30 consecutive day period prior to the date of application. There is no limit on the number of times a person may regain eligibility.
  • The customer must verify that they have regained eligibility and show proof that they have the ability to maintain eligibility ongoing. Proof may be check stubs showing the hours worked, or  an applicable activity form signed by the service provider that verifies the weekly or monthly hours the individual is expected to work or has worked. Once it is verified, do not require the person to provide verifications monthly. Inform the customer of the Change Reporting requirements to report changes to the FCRC within 10 calendar days of the date they learn about the change (PM 18-04-00). This includes when they are no longer participating in an activity, or are no longer working, or when their work hours drop below 20 hours per week.
  • Example: Mr. J received his 3 months of SNAP benefits (January, February and March). Mr. J did not meet the Work Requirement during those 3 months and lost SNAP eligibility effective April. Mr. J becomes employed on May 10th and must work a total of 80 hours within the next 30 days in order to regain eligibility for the next benefit month. He must be able to maintain eligibility by continuing to work so that the case can be approved for SNAP.
  • Example: Ms. B has received her 3 months of SNAP benefits January through March. She did not meet the Work Requirement for those months and her eligibility for SNAP ended effective April 2020. Ms. B starts a job on June 1st and works 20 hours per week. Ms. B applies for SNAP on July 1 and provides pay stubs showing she has worked 80 hours for a 30 consecutive day period prior to the date of application and is still employed. Ms. B has regained eligibility and is maintaining eligibility by still being employed. She is eligible to be approved for SNAP ongoing.

Maintaining Eligibility

If an individual has regained eligibility by working or performing an activity for the required number of hours in a 30 consecutive day period prior to the date of application, determine if they will continue to work or be in a work activity ongoing to meet the Work Requirement. If the individual has regained eligibility and can maintain eligibility through work and/or a work activity, approve the SNAP application. All other eligibility requirements must be met.

Active Case- Re-adding Member

A new application is not required when a member is removed from the case for failing to meet the Work Requirement. To be added, the individual must meet all eligibility requirements, including the ability to show proof that their eligibility can be maintained. If proof is provided, add the person to the case the month following the month that the change was reported.

Case Canceled - New Application Needed

The customer must file a new application and verify that they have regained eligibility in a 30 consecutive day period prior to the date of application. The customer must show proof that they can maintain eligibility before the application is approved.

Ineligible - Work Requirement Not Met

Deny the application if at reapplication, an individual has received 3 months of SNAP benefits and has not met one of the Work Requirements in a 30 consecutive day period prior to the date of application. Count the resources of the person in their entirety for the remaining eligible SNAP household members. A prorated share of the ineligible person's income is budgeted (PM 05-03-00).