SNAP Applications From Hurricane Irma Evacuees

Illinois Department of Human Services


Policy Memo


  • As a result of policy guidance received from the Food and Nutrition Service, SNAP policy for evacuees from the areas affected by Hurricane Irma is being provided.
  • The policy in this memo applies to persons relocating temporarily to Illinois from Florida as a result of Hurricane Irma.
  • Special procedures have been developed for these applicants.
  • Effective 09/01/17, apply Evacuee Policy and give one month (September) 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 09/30/17.
  • Do not prorate SNAP benefits based on the date of application.
  • Apply the policy in this memo for SNAP applications for Hurricane Irma Evacuees received through 09/30/17.
  • Assign "FLO" for the special caseload number to identify these persons.
  • Assign "Category 08" to identify these cases.
  • The Hurricane Irma Evacuee Policy does not apply to applications taken after 09/30/17.
  • 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 Irma 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.

Household Composition

  • 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 09/04/17 must be verified where possible.

Benefit Allotment

  • 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 one 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).

Florida Duplicate Participation Procedures

To verify duplicate participation with the State of Florida, email  Please use the subject line "Hurricane Irma verification".

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

Household Size

Net Monthly

Income Limit



Shelter Cap



Disaster Gross

Income Limit



1 $990 $157 $517 $755 $2,419 $194
2 1,335 157 517 1,141 3,150 357
3 1,680 157 517 1,267 3,621 511
4 2,025 168 517 1,559 4,269 649
5 2,370 197 517 1,622 4,706 771
6 2,715 226 517 1,801 5,259 925
7 3,061 226 517 1,857 5,661 1,022
8 3,408 226 517 1,914 6,065 1,169

Each Additional


+347 Not Applicable Not Applicable Not Applicable +404 +146

Document the application approval or denial.

Example 1:

Mr. T, a Hurricane Irma 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.

Example 2:

Mrs. R applies for SNAP benefits on 09/20/17.  She and her 2 children evacuated from the Florida Keys 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 Irma 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