- This policy memo impacts SNAP customers residing in Cook County who are subject to SNAP Work Requirement Policy and had their ABAWD Time-Limited Clock ticked for March 2020.
- The month of March will not count if they did not meet the work requirement for that month. IDHS is extending the time period from 3 months to 4 months.
- The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is applying a 12 percent exemption to each Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWDs) residing in Cook County. The ABAWD Time-Limited Clock has been modified for these individuals only for the month of March 2020.
- If the individual received January and February SNAP benefits, the ABAWD Time-Limited Clock will remain ticked. If the individual does not meet the work requirement in April, then SNAP will close for May 2020.
- If the individual applied for SNAP benefits during January or February, the ABAWD Time-Limited Clock will tick only for a month in which the household received a regular SNAP benefit and did not meet the work requirement.
- Client Notice (CN 20.03/CN 20.03S) (pdf), Notice of SNAP Work Requirement Extension Period, and Form 3674 SNAP Work Requirement Fact Sheet will be mailed on or around 03/16/2020, notifying them of the change to their SNAP Work Requirement for the month of March 2020.
Federal law provides that each State agency be allotted exemptions equal to 12 percent of the State's caseload that is ineligible for benefits because of the SNAP Work Requirement policy. These exemptions allow a State agency to extend SNAP eligibility for ABAWDs subject to the SNAP Work Requirement policy. IDHS has made the decision to apply an exemption to each ABAWD residing in Cook County who had their ABAWD Time-Limited Clock ticked for March 2020. The exemptions have been allowed for the month of March 2020 only. The 12 percent exemption is not determined by FCRC staff.
ABAWD Time-Limited Clock Modified
ABAWDs residing in Cook County that used their initial 3 months (January, February, March) of SNAP benefits without meeting the work requirement would lose their eligibility for SNAP effective April 2020. The ABAWD Time-Limited Clock has been modified to untick the month of March and apply the 12 percent exemption for these individuals only for the month of March 2020. January and February remain unmet months.
ABAWDs residing in Cook County that applied for SNAP benefits during January or February will only have the ABAWD Time-Limited Clock ticked for a month in which a regular SNAP benefit was received. The ABAWD Time-Limited Clock for March has been modified to untick the month of March if the work requirement was not met and apply the 12 percent exemption for these individuals only for the month of March.
Work Requirement Not Met in the Additional Month
If the work requirement is not met by these individuals in their initial 3 months, IES will cancel SNAP benefits for the 4th month for a single person household or disqualify a household member that has not complied with the work requirement. IES will send the Notice of Decision 360C informing client of cancellation.
Client Notice (CN 20.03) along with SNAP Work Requirements Fact Sheet (Form 3674) will be mailed on or around 03/16/2020, to notify the customer of the change to their SNAP Work Requirement for the month of March 2020, and that it will be extended from 3 months to 4 months.
IES System Programming Error
Some cases that had the ABAWD Time-Limited Clock systematically modified (unticked) for March 2020 were re-ticked in error when a worker performed an action on the case or a mass change occurred after the data fix. This error has been systematically corrected.
Cases that were impacted by changes made after the data fix will have their ABAWD Time-Limited Clock modified for March. Individuals that were also impacted and removed from a case will be added back to the case and their ABAWD Time-Limited Clock will be unticked for March.
How Does Unticking the Clock for March Impact Eligibility
For timely redes that are processed by an HSC, the month of March will be unticked and client will have an additional month of benefits. For untimely redes, a partial benefit month (April) will not count.
Example 1: Mr. C's certification period ends 03/31/2020. His rede was received, processed, and approved timely on 03/03/2020 through a walk-in visit to the local office. His certification continues April 2020 through the end of March 2021. The ABAWD Time-Limit Clock for the month of March will be unticked. He has not yet met the work requirement for January or February. He will have until the month of April to meet the work requirement. If he does not meet the work requirement by April, IES will close SNAP for May 2020. If he meets the work requirement by April, his SNAP EDG will not close and his benefits will continue.
Example 2: Ms. A's certification period ended 03/31/2020. She submitted her untimely rede application on 04/06/2020. She was approved for April for a partial amount for SNAP benefits. Therefore, she has one more month to use because the month of March is unticked. The month of April does not count because it is a prorated month. If she does not meet in May, then the month of May will be considered her 3rd month. IES will close SNAP benefits for Ms. A. June 2020. If she meets the work requirement by May, her SNAP EDG will not close and her benefits will continue.
Example 3: Ms. D applies for SNAP benefits on 01/16/2020. Ms. D. is found eligible and her SNAP application is approved January 2020 through December 2020. January 2020 is considered a partial month and is not counted. The month of February 2020 is the first month the ABAWD Time-Limited Clock will tick. If she does not meet the work requirement by May, IES will close the SNAP EDG for June 2020. If she meets the work requirement by May, her SNAP EDG will not close and her benefits will continue.
If a customer contacts the office in response to CN 20.03, the FCRC should explain to the customer how this change affects their eligibility for SNAP and that they have an additional month to meet the work requirement before losing eligibility. Provide assistance to any customer who needs a referral to an agency or entity that can help them meet the work requirement. The 12 percent exemption is not determined by FCRC staff.
[signed copy on file]
Grace B. Hou
Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services