WAG 22-01-01-b: Issuance of Link Card

PM 22-01-01-b

Mail Link Override Field

A mail Link override field, Mail Link Card? __ (N), is added to the Action to be Taken screens in AIS and ACM and Screen 2 in IPACS. Enter an N in this field when the Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) is issuing the card. Entry of the N will prevent the Link card from being mailed. If the office is not issuing the card, leave the mail Link override field blank.  When processing multiple actions on a case on the same day, it is not necessary to enter an N in the subsequent transactions. 

When authorizing expedited approval with zero allotment (TAR 26) and a card has been issued by the office then an N must be placed in the mail Link override field. If an N is not placed in the field, a card will be mailed.

The following actions do not require an N in the mail Link override field because a Link card will not be mailed by the contractor:

  • authorizing expedited food stamp benefits (TAR 04);
  • authorizing zero allotment (TAR 07); or
  • authorizing crisis assistance (205 code in Item 80).

The Mail Link field on Screen 2 in IPACS allows a dash.  If a dash is entered it will be treated as a blank.  The only other allowable entry in the Mail Link field is N.

Whenever an N is entered by the office, M Link N displays on the Listing of Transactions Report. To verify the N was entered in the Mail Link field, staff go into IPACS Transaction Inquiry, Option 5 the same day that the action is processed.  On Screen 2, Mail Link Card? appears. If staff entered an N in the Mail Link field for that transaction then an N appears next to Mail Link Card?  If the N was not entered on the transaction then nothing appears next to Mail Link Card?.

  1. (FCRC) If the office is issuing the card, check IPACS to get the Illinois Link account number. Always use the Illinois Link account number to issue the Illinois Link card.
  2. (FCRC) Verify identity. If the customer has an ID card that has their photo on it, (e.g., driver's license, Illinois ID card, credit card, student ID), no other proof is needed. The customer should provide two proofs of identity if their photo is not included.  Acceptable proofs of identity include: 
    • birth record
    • driver's license
    • work or school ID
    • wage stub
    • library card
    • military record
    • social security card
    • insurance policy
    • prison - court record
    • state-issued ID
    • voter registration card
    • clinic card - medical record
    • passport
    • firearms ID card.
  3. (FCRC) Complete Illinois Link Card Issuance Form (Form 3658).  The customer signs Form 3658 when they are issued the card in the FCRC. Do not require the customer to sign Form 3658 when the Illinois Link card is mailed to the customer by the FCRC.
  4. (FCRC) Have the customer call the Link helpline or visit the Link Card website to select a PIN or issue a PIN pack (see WAG 22-01-01-e).
  5. (FCRC) Assign the next sequential card number listed on card log sheet 'Card and PIN/PCN Issuance' (pdf).  Check the 'Initial Issuance' column or 'Replacement' column. If a PIN packet is being issued with a Link card, enter the PCN number of the PIN packet in the 'PCN or CSP' column. 
  6. (FCRC) Attach original Form 3658 to the card log sheet 'Card and PIN/PCN Issuance'. 

New textFCRC Issuing the Link Card

Except due to the lack of staff availability, the same worker cannot authorize the benefits on a case an issue the Link card.  If there is only one worker available to issue the benefits and the same person must issue the Link card (e.g. due to expedited SNAP processing), the worker must request and receive written approval to issue the card from a supervisor, local, or regional administrator who will verify correct procedures have been followed prior to issuing the card. The written approval may be via email.

Card Log Sheet

The card log sheet 'Card and PIN/PCN Issuance' (pdf) is provided by the EBT contractor with each shipment of Link cards. Each card log sheet contains 20 Personal Account Numbers (PAN's), commonly called Link card numbers. As each card is assigned, complete information for the card and attach the corresponding Form 3658.

The log sheet with the attached Form(s) 3658 must be retained for a full 5 years.  Retain in the EBT file for 2 years.  After 2 years, send to Business Services, Records Administration.

Undeliverable Cards

Illinois Link cards mailed by the EBT contractor are not forwarded by the post office.  They are mailed in an envelope that has Do Not Forward - Return to Sender under the return address. Illinois Link Cards are returned to the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) contractor when they cannot be delivered by the post office. When the card is returned, the EBT contractor changes the card status to Undeliverable in the EPPIC system. When customers whose cards are Undeliverable call the Illinois Link Help Line, they are directed to a customer service representative who will verify current information and change the address.  See WAG 22-01-01-d for replacing cards on accounts with Undeliverable status.

A daily file of card mailings returned as undeliverable is available in Mobius by accessing report #EBTR4101. The report is available for staff to use when a customer reports a problem with the receipt of a card. If a card was mailed to the correct address but still came back as undeliverable, instruct the customer to check with the U.S. Post Office to ensure their name is registered to the address. In emergency situations, FCRC staff should issue the replacement card.

FCRC staff should never select Undeliverable when entering the status of a card in the EPPIC system. If Undeliverable is selected, the customer will not be able to replace the card or complete any transactions using the Illinois Link Help Line or Link Card website, instead they will receive a message that tells them to contact their Family Community Resource Center. When staff change an address in EPPIC, the address change will pass to the client database (CDB) two days later.  When staff update name, date of birth, or social security number in EPPIC, they must also process the change of name, date of birth, or social security number in the CDB. Changes in name, date of birth, or social security number do not update the CDB.