Through authority in Title IV, Section 501(b) of the 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act, IDHS will replace SNAP EBT Benefits stolen through card skimming, card cloning or similar fraudulent methods.
IDHS will accept EBT Theft Claims beginning 07/03/2023 for the period 10/01/2022 through 09/30/2024.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Who is eligible for replacement?
- How do I request a replacement of stolen SNAP Benefits?
- What amount of SNAP Benefits will be replaced?
- Can I file more than one claim?
- What is the timeframe to submit a formal EBT Theft Claim for replacement of stolen SNAP Benefits?
- Is it required that I file a police report for the SNAP benefit theft?
- How will I be notified of the decision on my EBT Theft Claim?
- If the claim is approved, how will I receive the replacement SNAP benefits?
- How can I protect my benefits?
- What if my Cash benefits were stolen?
- What if my wallet was stolen with my LINK card and PIN inside, and someone used it?
- Can I file a claim for stolen P-EBT benefits?
- If my benefits were stolen, does that mean my identity has been stolen?
Who is eligible for replacement?
SNAP customers who had their Illinois Link card in their possession at the time an unauthorized transaction occurred in which benefits from their Link account were stolen through skimming, phishing, or a similar type of theft.
Skimming occurs when devices illegally installed on ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, or fuel pumps, capture Link card data and record cardholders' PINs. Criminals use the data to create fake Link cards and then steal from victims' Link accounts.
ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, or fuel pumps, capture Link card data and record cardholders' PINs. Criminals use the data to create fake Link cards and then steal from victims' Link accounts.
Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails, texts or other messages claiming to be from IDHS or EBT EDGE in order to get individuals to reveal personal information, such as Link card numbers or PINs.
NOTE: SNAP benefit loss due to misuse or mishandling of your EBT card and/or PIN will not be replaced.
How do I request a replacement of stolen SNAP Benefits?
A Report of Electronic Theft of Illinois Link Benefits claim form must be completed with the required information and submitted to IDHS. Claims can be submitted:
What amount of SNAP Benefits will be replaced?
There is a limit on how much SNAP can be replaced. When theft occurs, the replacement amount is the lesser of:
- Actual amount of the stolen benefits; OR
- Twice the amount of the SNAP allotment received directly before the theft occurred.
Can I file more than one claim?
Yes. However, you are only eligible to receive replacement of stolen SNAP benefits two times in a federal fiscal year. The current federal fiscal year is October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023. The next federal fiscal year is October 1, 2023 through September 30, 2024. We encourage customers to always submit a claim if benefits have been stolen. You will receive an approval or denial letter explaining the decision.
What is the timeframe to submit a formal EBT Theft Claim for replacement of stolen SNAP Benefits?
Retroactive claims, when theft occurred between October 1, 2022 through July 02, 2023, must be filed within 12 months of July 02, 2023. A report of theft that occurred on or after July 3, 2023 must be reported within 30 calendar days of discovery of the unauthorized transaction.
Is it required that I file a police report for the SNAP benefit theft?
While it is not required to file a police report, it may be helpful in investigating theft incidents.
How will I be notified of the decision on my EBT Theft Claim?
IDHS will send Notice of Decisions for approvals and denials. The Notice of Decision includes - Right to Appeal.
If the claim is approved, how will I receive the replacement SNAP benefits?
If approved you should expect to receive your benefits on your active Illinois Link card. The claim should be processed within 10 days of receipt of the claim. When the claim is processed a notice will be generated and, if approved, replacement benefits will be loaded to the existing EBT account according to the regular daily schedule.
How can I protect my benefits?
There are several things you can do to protect your account and benefits. Visit www.link.illinois.gov to see all the ways you can protect your account.
What if my Cash benefits were stolen?
While you may still file a claim, IDHS is unable to replace stolen cash benefits at this time. The claim would be denied.
What if my wallet was stolen with my LINK card and PIN inside, and someone used it?
IDHS is unable to replace benefits in this situation. It is important to report your card as "lost" or "stolen" immediately in this situation.
Can I file a claim for stolen P-EBT benefits?
A: P-EBT benefits cannot be replaced.
If my benefits were stolen, does that mean my identity has been stolen?
Not ncessarily. If your Link Card information was obtained through a skimming device at point-of-sale terminal that you utilized, none of your personal information would be captured. However, if you responded to a phishing or similar type of scam where you gave out personal information, your identity could be compromised. If you shared your personal information with a scammer, you should take the appropriate steps to protect your identity. Learn more at: https://www.usa.gov/identity-theft