This manual release contains SNAP policy clarifications to questions received from FCRCs and is being added to the policy manual.
- The Illinois Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) meets the definition of a loan and is not considered countable income for SNAP. The SNAP household is allowed a shelter deduction as the mortgage is a continuing charge for the shelter occupied by the household.
- Clarifies when the 5-year eligibility date has been met for a non-citizen who is required to be in a status in the U. S. for 5-years.
- A TracFone Mobile Device with prepaid minutes associated with the basic service of the phone qualifies for the Telephone Standard.
- Consider payments received under the Ticket to Work Program as non-exempt earned income for SNAP.
- Revises where the Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) should email or fax Return of Illinois Link SNAP and/or Cash Benefits (Form 3660) after completion.
- This manual release includes miscellaneous manual page corrections.
Illinois Hardest Hit Fund (HHF)
The federal Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) was established in 2010 to provide targeted aid to families in states hit hard by the economic and housing downturn. The HHF authorizes the United States Treasury Department to provide funds to the state Housing Finance Agency (HFA) to develop locally tailored mortgage foreclosure assistance programs. As part of the Hardest Hit program, the Illinois HFA offers five year 0% forgivable loans with a lien being recorded against the property.
The HHF assistance (loan) is excluded from income as meeting the definition of a loan. The SNAP household is also allowed a shelter deduction as the mortgage is a continuing charge for the shelter occupied by the household.
Non-citizen 5-Year Eligibility Date for SNAP
To qualify for SNAP benefits, a non-citizen who is establishing eligibility based on the five-year requirement (PM 03-01-03-e) must have been in the U.S. in a qualified status for five years. The non-citizen meets the requirement on the 5-year date. Use the month, day and year to determine if the 5-year date has been met.
Example: A non-citizen has been in the U.S. in the status of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) for five-years. The LPR obtained the status on 06/18/18. The FCRC receives a SNAP application on 06/01/18. The LPR does not have SNAP eligibility prior to 06/18/18. The LPR meets the five-year requirement on 06/18/18.
TracFone Mobile Devices and the Telephone Standard
Allow the Telephone Standard for a TracFone with prepaid limited minutes as long as the costs are associated with the basic service of the phone. A TracFone with unlimited minutes does not qualify for the Telephone Standard.
Note: Pre-Paid phone cards that do not accompany a specific mobile device do not qualify for the Telephone Standard.
Ticket to Work Program
Consider payments received under the Ticket to Work Program as non-exempt earned income for SNAP.
Revises Return of Illinois Link SNAP and/or Cash Benefits (Form 3660)
A customer may voluntarily return SNAP and/or cash benefits in their Illinois Link account to prevent the establishment of a claim for an overpayment or to decrease an overpayment amount. For cash and/or SNAP, Return of Illinois Link SNAP and/or Cash Benefits (Form 3660) is completed indicating the amount and the reason for return. The customer signs Form 3660. The instructions on the form are revised and the new version will be made available on OneNet shortly.
Upon completion for both SNAP and/or cash, the FCRC should:
- Fax Form 3660 to the EBT unit at (217) 524-3124 or email to DHS.LINK@illinois.gov the same day it is received.
- Make a copy of the form and give to the customer.
- Upload the original to the customer's electronic case file.
Miscellaneous Manual Page Corrections
- Updates the Western FCRC name to Ogden in WAG 19-06-05.
- Corrects the first dot point in PM 03-11-02 to indicate on or before the 15th day of the fiscal month.
- Corrects policy in PM 13-02-03 and PM 19-03-04 for Change Reporting households to report unearned income if the amount changes by more than $100.
- For consistency in the policy manual pages, adds WAG 08-04-01-k as the corresponding page to PM 08-04-01-k.
Grace B. Hou
[signed copy on file]
Secretary Designate, Illinois Department of Human Services