MR #24.04 Approved Representatives, HFS Application Agents, and Informal Assisters

Illinois Department of Human Services logo

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services logo



  • This manual release provides an explanation of the roles associated with Approved Representatives, HFS Application Agents, and Informal Assisters.
  • Guidance related to customer consent to receive assistance with their application for benefits.
  • Confirmation of allowable application signature authority.
  • Notice of Disqualification of Approved Representative (Form IL444-2476) is revised for SNAP.

This manual release provides guidance related to Approved Representatives, HFS Application Agents, and Informal Assisters, including their responsibilities to assist customers and their interactions with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) for Medical, Cash, and SNAP benefits.

Who May Apply

An Approved Representative is an individual or organization designated by a customer to act on their behalf in assisting with an application or redetermination of eligibility for benefits. The customer may authorize their Approved Representative to: sign an application on their behalf, complete and submit a redetermination form, receive copies of eligibility notices and other communications, or act on behalf of the customer in all matters with HFS and IDHS.

A Power of Attorney (POA) or Legal Guardian may also be designated as an Approved Representative. A verified POA or Legal Guardian has permission to act on the behalf of the customer in all matters related to the customer's benefits.

HFS Application Agents (formerly known as All Kids Application Agents - AKAA) are Application Assisters. An Application Assister is an organization or community agency that may assist a customer with the application process or redetermination of eligibility for benefits. HFS Application Agents have contractual agreements with HFS to provide program information, work with the customer to provide required documentation, and interact (speak) with Department staff to discuss the status of an application or redetermination. An Application Assister does not sign the application and does not receive eligibility notices or requests for additional information, as a result of their assistance. An Application Assister is not an Approved Representative and should not be identified as such in IES.

Informal Assisters may be local social service agencies, community volunteers, neighbors, friends, or family members that assist the customer with submitting their application. Informal Assisters do not need to record their assistance on the application and do not receive any correspondence related to the application or redetermination.

How to Verify the Customer Provided Consent for Assistance

Caseworkers must verify the customer provided consent for an Approved Representative, POA, Legal Guardian, or HFS Application Agent to assist with their application for benefits. Consent must be verified prior to discussing case details. Only HFS Application Agents and Approved Representatives can speak with the Department(s) without the customer present, when assisting customers with their application or renewal. Look for documents that validate designation in the Electronic Case Record (ECR). Contact the customer if acceptable verification has not been provided.

Approved Representatives

Medical Programs

Acceptable verification of consent for an Approved Representative is a completed Approved Representative Form IL444-2998. A customer may designate multiple Approved Representatives.

Check the form to confirm it has been fully completed and signed by both the customer and the Approved Representative, in order to deem as valid.

The Approved Representative's designated permission rights to assist are noted, described, and can be verified in Section B of the Approved Representative Form IL444-2998.

The customer may cancel designation for one or more authorized Approved Representative at any time by completing Section A and D of the Approved Representative form. When this occurs, change the Approved Representative status in IES as requested.


  • This section provides policy for SNAP customers who appoint someone else to apply for SNAP on their behalf or to make inquiries about their case and/or use their Illinois Link Card to purchase food.
  • Residents of a drug addiction or alcohol treatment facility must apply for SNAP through an employee of the facility designated to act as an Authorized Representative. See PM 05-01-01 and WAG 02-04-03-c.
  • A resident of a group living arrangement may apply for SNAP on their own, or through their Approved Representative, or through an employee of the group home assigned to act as an Authorized Representative. See WAG 02-04-03-c and PM 05-08-05.
  • All other SNAP customers must provide a written statement authorizing a representative to act on their behalf or complete an Approved Representative Form (IL444-2998). The approval must have a written signature by the person who wants the benefits and must be filed in the Electronic Case Record (ECR). If an application is submitted through ABE, the Approved Representative must download Form IL444-2998 to complete and sign. Once completed, Form IL444-2998 is uploaded in ABE (Upload Documents). A written statement is also acceptable for ABE applications and must be uploaded if Form IL444-2998 is not used.
  • A SNAP customer may allow an outside agency to inquire about their application or case status, and help with providing verifications by completing an Outreach Partner Consent Form, but this does not give the outside agency permission to act as an Approved Representative for the customer. See WAG 01-01-04.
  • Document in Case Comments whether an Approved Representative applied on behalf of the SNAP household, or if a person was approved to use the Link Card to purchase food for a SNAP household. Document the full name, address and phone number of the Approved Representative as part of the comments.
  • An Approved Representative is disqualified from being a customer's representative for one year if they misrepresent a SNAP household's circumstances and knowingly provide false information or misuse SNAP benefits. The Approved Representative is sent, Notice of Disqualification of Approved Representative (Form IL444-2476), 30 calendar days before the disqualification. The SNAP household may appeal the Approved Representative's disqualification. Form IL444-2476 is revised.  

POA or Legal Guardian

Acceptable verification for a POA or Legal Guardian is a legal document or court order that confirms the designation. Both medical and financial POAs are acceptable. The POA document must be reviewed to confirm that it is valid.  During the review confirm the designation is currently in effect and includes insurance transactions.

HFS Application Agent

Acceptable verification of consent for a HFS Application Agent is a completed Application Agent Customer Authorization Form - Application Agent Customer Authorization Template (pdf). The HFS Application Agent must provide the form with submissions in addition to keeping a copy for their records, which shall be made available to the Department(s) upon request.

Do not accept the authorization form as designation of Approved Representative status. HFS Application Agents are not Approved Representatives.

An authorization form must be on file in order to speak with the Application Agent.

Who May Provide Signature

An Approved Representative may provide signature for an applicant and may sign the applicant's name or their own name.

An Application Assister may not provide signature for an applicant.

Contact the applicant if a signature cannot be verified.

Form Revision

[signed copy on file]

Dulce M. Quintero

Secretary-Designate, Illinois Department of Human Services

Elizabeth Whitehorn

Director, Healthcare and Family Services

Forms referenced