This memo provides clarification to Policy Memo, Cash and Food Assistance for Non-Citizen Victims of Trafficking, Torture, or Other Serious Crimes Memo, dated 02/21/2018.
- Illinois Public Act 099-0870, The Survivor Support and Trafficking Prevention Act, indicates that foreign born victims of trafficking, torture or other serious crimes and their derivative family members, may be eligible for Cash and Food Assistance when they have applied for or intend to apply for a T or U Visa, or Asylum.
- This policy memo clarifies the Citizenship/USCIS Status verifications that are required at initial applications and at 12-month reviews.
- Cash and Food Assistance, under the Victims of Trafficking, Torture and Other Serious Crimes (VTTC) program, may be provided for 12 months or for a longer period if certain criteria are met.
To qualify for VTTC Cash or Food assistance, at least one individual in the household must have filed, or is preparing to file for a:
- Non-immigrant (T) Visa.
- Non-immigrant (U) Visa; or
- a formal application for asylum.
Individuals who meet Citizenship/USCIS status for VTTC benefits must meet all other financial and non-financial factors of eligibility.
The applicant (or if the applicant is not competent, a representative of the applicant) must provide as verification the following:
- A sworn statement that he or she is a foreign-born victim of trafficking, torture, or other serious crimes; and
- At least one item of credible evidence, including but not limited to the following:
- Police, government agency or court records or files;
- News articles;
- Documentation from a social service agency, advocate, legal entity, domestic violence, or rape crisis center;
- Documentation from a clinical, medical, or other professional from whom the applicant or recipient has sought assistance in dealing with the crime;
- A statement from any other individual with knowledge of the circumstances that provided the basis for the claim;
- Physical evidence;
- A copy of a completed visa application; or
- Written notice from the federal agency of receipt of the visa application.
Cash and State Funded Food Assistance benefits for foreign-born victims of trafficking, torture, or other serious crimes start with the date of application for eligible customers without dependents and have a certification period of 12 months. Eligible customers that have dependents follow TANF policy. Eligibility for TANF begins the 30th day after the date of application and have a certification period of 12 months.
Redetermination of Eligibility
Cash and State Funded Food Assistance EDGs are to be reviewed at the end of the initial 12-month certification period.
Although eligible VTTC customers receive state-funded cash and food assistance, they must continue to meet financial and non-financial eligibility under TANF and SNAP policy and the individual who is a victim of trafficking, torture, or other serious crimes will continue to receive benefits unless the individual:
- Has been denied on his or her application for VISA or asylum; or
- has not filed a formal application for status pursuant to Sections 1101 (a) (15) T, 1101 (a) (15) U, or 1158 of Title 8 of the United States Code within one year after the date of the individual's application for Cash and/or State Funded Food Assistance.
EXCEPTION: The Department may extend the individual's eligibility beyond the initial 12-month certification period if it has been determined and verified that during the year of initial eligibility the individual has:
- experienced a health crisis;
- has been unable, after reasonable attempts, to obtain necessary information from a third party; or
- has other extenuating circumstances that prevented the individual from completing his or her application for status.
[signed copy on file]
Grace B. Hou
Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services