SNAP Replacement Due to Electronic Benefit Theft
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (the Omnibus), signed into law December 29, 2022, allows for the replacement of stolen EBT SNAP benefits to victims of card skimming, cloning, and scamming through fraudulent phone calls, text messaging, phishing and other similar fraudulent methods.
Eligibility for Replacement
SNAP customers who had their Illinois Link card in their possession at the time an unauthorized transaction occurred to steal benefits from their Illinois Link account through skimming, cloning, phishing, or a similar type of theft may be eligible for a benefit replacement if:
- The theft occurred between October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2024. Benefits cannot be replaced if the theft occurred outside of the timeline; and
- Report of Electronic Theft of Illinois Link Benefits is completed either by phone, online, mail or in-person at the local FCRC; and
- A new Illinois Link card and a change in PIN is requested.
Note: The law does not change current federal regulations prohibiting replacement of SNAP benefits lost due to a customer's misuse of their EBT card and/or PIN. See PM 22-01-01-j.
Retroactive Theft Claims
A retroactive theft claim must be reported within 12 months of 07/02/2023. The EBT theft must have occurred between 10/01/2022 and 07/02/2023.
Current Theft Claims
A current theft occurring 07/03/2023 and after, must be reported within 30 calendar days of discovery of the unauthorized transaction. The date the household reports their EBT Link card as stolen and requests replacement will be considered the "Date of Discovery".
Customers who have SNAP benefits replaced due to a theft more than two times in the same Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) are not eligible for another replacement.
- FFY 2023 is from October 1, 2022 - September 30, 2023; and
- FFY 2024 is from October 1, 2023 - September 30, 2024
Replacement Benefit Amount
- The total replacement amount cannot be more than the amount of the stolen benefits or the amount equal to two months of the customer's SNAP benefit allotments, whichever is less.
- The replacement amount is the lesser of the:
- actual amount of stolen benefits; or
- the amount equal to 2 months of the customer's SNAP benefit allotment directly before the theft occurred.
SNAP benefits will be replaced no later than 10 calendar days after the completed and signed theft claim request is received.
- A Report of Electronic Theft of Illinois Link Benefits claim will be denied if filed for benefits that are ineligible for replacement.
- Illinois Link Cash benefits are not eligible for a EBT theft replacement at this time.
- Benefits received under the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) and/or
- Victims of Trafficking, Torture, or other Serious Crimes (VTTC) programs cannot be replaced under the law.
- Benefits are not replaced if:
- the customer was not in possession of their Link card at the time the theft transactions occurred; or
- was not a victim of electronic theft; or
- the theft claim is invalid and cannot be processed. An invalid claim is when a customer does not complete all the required fields on the Report of Electronic Theft of Illinois Link Benefits and/or include a signature.
Notice of Decision
- Notice of Decision on Replacement of EBT Benefits Due to Theft, will be sent to the SNAP household with the specific approval or denial reason within 10 calendar days after the completed and signed request is received.
- Notice of Denial on Replacement of EBT Benefits Due to Theft, is sent within 10 calendar days after the completed and signed request is received and it is determined that the benefit type is ineligible for replacement.
- All EBT theft claims and the notice of decision are electronically filed in the Electronic Case Record.
An appeal may be filed if the customer disagrees with the decision. A replacement will not be made while the denial is pending appeal.