- As a result of policy guidance received from the Food and Nutrition Service, SNAP policy for evacuees from the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey is being provided.
- The policy in this memo applies to persons relocating temporarily to Illinois from Texas as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
- Special procedures have been developed for these applicants.
- Effective 09/01/17, apply Evacuee Policy and give two months (September and October) of SNAP benefits on an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card to eligible evacuee applicant households.
- Verify every applicant's identity. Refer to PM 02-08-03. If the customer cannot provide proof of identity, collateral contacts may be used.
- To calculate benefits, use the attached 2017 Disaster Standard Expense Deduction (DSED) Income Guidelines and manually process SNAP benefits through IPACS for applicants approved prior to 9/30/17.
- Do not prorate SNAP benefits based on the date of application.
- Apply the policy in this memo for SNAP applications for Hurricane Harvey Evacuees received through September 30, 2017.
- Assign "Tex" for the special caseload number to identify these persons.
- Assign "Category 08" to identify these cases.
- The Hurricane Harvey Evacuee Policy does not apply to applications taken after September 30, 2017.
- Document the application approval or denial.
- For cash applications, apply regular cash policy.
SNAP BENEFITS - Casework Actions
For any SNAP application for evacuees from an area affected by Hurricane Harvey processed on or after 09/01/17, FCRCs should follow the steps below.
- Evacuating from an area is considered evidence of a disaster-related adverse effect.
- Use the 2017 Disaster Standard Expense Deduction (DSED) Income Guidelines attached.
- The applicant must list all members wishing to receive evacuee benefits and provide their Social Security Numbers, if available.
- The household must attest under penalty of perjury that its available income (take home) and liquid assets, after taking into account disaster-related expenses, do not exceed the disaster income guidelines for its household size. The household must also attest that it is not currently receiving benefits from SNAP, D-SNAP, or other benefits under the Evacuee Policy.
- Accept the household's statement about its current evacuee household size to determine the benefit allotment. The evacuee household is any group of persons evacuated from the disaster who take shelter together. The current household configuration might not reflect its pre-disaster household composition.
- Treat the evacuee household as a separate household from any non-evacuee persons sheltering them, even if the evacuee household purchases and prepares meals with others.
- Verify every applicant's identity. If the customer cannot provide proof of identity, collateral contacts may be used.
- Residency on August 25, 2017, must be verified where possible.
- Evacuee households will receive the maximum allotment for their household size if available income and liquid assets are below the disaster income guidelines.
- Benefits will not be prorated based on the date of application.
- Household's will receive two month's allotment under the Evacuee Policy.
Duplicate Participation Procedures
- Check for duplicate participation by contacting the evacuees' home State prior to issuing benefits (see below for State-specific procedures).
Texas Duplicate Participation Procedures
To verify duplicate participation with the State of Texas, call 1-877-541-7905, then select the following options from the Interactive Voice Response System:
- Option 1 for English;
- Option 2 for Your Texas benefit information;
- Option 1 for Medicaid, SNAP, and TANF information;
- Option 1 to enter Social Security number for someone on your case; -OR-
- Option 2 to enter your case number; -OR-
- Option 3 if information is unknown or for help with the YourTexasBenefits.com website; (caller will be routed to the next available agent).
To obtain replacement EBT cards for ongoing SNAP households that are certified in Texas but have evacuated to another State, individuals should contact the Lone Star Help Desk at 1-800-777-7EBT (1-800-777-7328) to request a replacement card and one will be mailed.
Disaster Standard Expense Deduction Option
The Disaster Standard Expense Deduction (DSED), which is designed to capture food loss along with other disaster-related expenses, such as loss of income and property repairs.
Note: Only households with actual, unreimbursed disaster-related expenses equal to or greater than $100 may qualify for DSED. DSED cannot be applied to cases in which food loss is the only qualifying expense.
DSED Income Eligibility Standards and Allotments
Document the application approval or denial.
Mr. T, a Hurricane Harvey victim, applies for SNAP benefits on September 6th. There are 4 persons in the unit. The applicant has no income but has $500 in a checking account. The applicant is eligible for $649 SNAP benefits for September and $649 in SNAP benefits for October.
Mrs. R applies for SNAP benefits on 09/20/17. She and her 2 children evacuated from Houston and are staying with relatives in Illinois. Mrs. R and her 3 children are treated as a separate household. Mrs. R states that she has $4,000 in income from Social Security. She does not claim any disaster-related expenses. The applicant is ineligible for SNAP under Hurricane Harvey evacuee policy. The FCRC determines eligibility for SNAP using regular application processing procedures.
[signed copy on file]
James T. Dimas
Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services