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Updates Contact:

  Kathryn Nelson
  DuPage Federation on Human
     Services Reform
  146 W. Roosevelt Rd.
  Villa Park, IL 60181
  630-782-7545
  FAX 630-516-1306
  knelson@dupagefederation.org

 

Making the Connection Updates


STATE BENEFIT UPDATES (2006-2007)

December 26, 2007
URGENT: CHANGE IN FOOD STAMP WORK REQUIREMENTS

November 26, 2007
FAMILY CARE EXPANSION

October 1, 2007
CHANGES IN MAXIMUM MONTHLY FOOD STAMP BENEFITS
AND INCOME STANDARDS

July 20, 2007
REVISED MAILIN APPLICATION FOR MEDICAL BENEFITS

July 5, 2007
ILLINOIS HEALTHY WOMEN EXPANSION

July 2, 2007
MEDICAL BENEFITS FOR PENDING ASYLEES AND TORTURE VICTIMS

July 2, 2007
NEW IDHS INTERNET APPLICATION PROCESS
CASH, MEDICAID AND FOOD STAMPS

June 29, 2007
MR #07.14: AUTOMATED PHONE SYSTEM INTERVIEW (PSI)

June 27, 2007
TANF POLICY UPDATE: END OF FAMILY ACCOUNTABILITY POLICY

July 30, 2006
MEDICAID RULES REQUIRE PROOF OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IDENTITY

----------------------------------

December 26, 2007
URGENT: CHANGE IN FOOD STAMP WORK REQUIREMENTS

SUMMARY

  • Beginning January 2, 2008 customers living in 22 counties (including DuPage County) must meet the food stamp work requirement policy in order to be able to receive Food Stamp benefits. This means that nonexempt customers residing in these counties are now at risk of losing their food stamp benefits if they do not meet the work requirement.

  • A customer is able to receive only 3 months of FS in a 3-year (36 months) period if the work requirement is not met. The 36-month period is a 3-year fixed period that began in Illinois on 01/01/06 and ends 12/31/08. The fixed period of time is for the entire state. Partial months of benefits do not count towards the 3 months. This means that if the person receives a full month of benefits in January 2008, he will need to meet the work requirement for April in order to receive April Food Stamp benefits. If the work requirement is not met, the person will not be able to receive Food Stamps until 2009.

  • After the first 3 months an additional 3 months of benefits can be issued if the work and training requirement is met. After the additional 3 months the person must then verify on a monthly basis that they met the work requirement in the previous 30 days in order to receive benefits for the next month.
Counties that Must Meet the Work Requirement
Adams
Livingston
Champaign
Madison
Coles
Marshall
DeWitt
McClean
Douglas
McDonough
DuPage
Mercer
Henry
Peoria
Jackson
Rock Island
Jasper
Sangamon
Jersey
Tazewell
Lake
Woodford
  • The Express Stamps module will prevent anyone subject to the work requirement from applying if they live in Lake or DuPage County.

  • Notices are being sent to inform nonexempt customers about the change as well as giving the person information about how to meet the work requirement through community work.


Who Must Meet the Work Requirement

A person must meet the work requirement if they:

  • are age 18 through age 49; and
  • receives food stamps only in a Category 08 case (this means the food stamps are not linked with medical or cash benefits); and
  • Are not exempt.

A person is exempt from the work requirement if they are:

  • are included in a FS case with children under age 18; or
  • Physically or mentally unable to work (this includes temporary health problems such as a broken bone, or chronic illnesses when a person receives SSI, SSDI. Medical statements
  • may need to be provided) or
  • pregnant; or
  • a student, enrolled at least half-time (students of higher education must meet student eligibility requirements);
  • or responsible for care of an incapacitated person; or
  • participating in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program; or receiving Unemployment Insurance; or
  • Residing in an exempt locale.

NOTE: Make sure you let the IDHS caseworker know if a person may be exempt.


How the Work Requirement is Met

A person meets the work requirement if he:

  • works 80 hours per month or earn wages of at least the Federal minimum wage times 80 hours ($5.85 x 80 = $468) this can include in-kind income such as working the required hours in exchange for payment of rent; or
  • Participates and complies with an approved activity under the Food Stamp Employment and Training Program. Approved activities can be Basic Education (if no high school diploma or GED), Vocational Training (short term and requires prior approval as part of an employment plan), Work Experience or Earnfare (Activities must be 80 hours not including study time) or
  • participates in a work program as a requirement to receive assistance from a local governmental unit; or
  • performs community work for the number of hours required (this can be self initiated and be with a local church or community organization)


Work Requirement Policy for New Applicants

At application a person is to be told of this new policy and encouraged to work or participate in an activity upon approval. It is not a requirement that the client works or participates in an activity during the first 3 months of eligibility in order to be able to receive food stamps. If the person works under 80 hours or earns less than $468 gross per month, he will also be told about this new rule and will be given a chance to increase hours or wages.


Supportive Service Payments

Supportive services (e.g. transportation help, minor car repairs up to $300, initial employment expenses, help with minor school expenses) may be provided to someone in an approved Food Stamp employment and training activity. A customer is eligible to receive supportive service payments in advance to enable him to take part in the FSE&T program.


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November 26, 2007
FAMILY CARE EXPANSION

Family
Size
FamilyCare
Assist
FamilyCare
Share
FamilyCare
Premium
Level 1
FamilyCare
Rebate
FamilyCare
Premium Level
2
FamilyCare
Premium Level
3
1
$0-1,132
$1,133-1,276
$1,277-1,702
$1,133-1,702
$1,703-2,553
$2,554-3,403
2
0-1,517
1,518-
1,711
1,712-
2,282
1,518-
2,282
2,283-
3,423
3,424-
4,563
3
0-1,903
1,904-
2,146
2,147-
2,862
1,904-
2,862
2,863-
4,293
4,294-
5,723
4
0-2,289
2,290-
2,581
2,582-
3,442
2,290-
3,442
3,443-
5,163
5,164-
6,883
5
0-2,674
2,675-
3,016
3,017-
4,022
2,675-
4,022
4,023-
6,033
6,034-
8,043
6
0-3,060
3,061-
3,451
3,452-
4,602
3,061-
4,602
4,603-
6,903
6,904-
9,203
For each
additional
person add
$386
$435
$580
$580
$870
$1,160


OTHER ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Parents/Caretaker relatives have to meet the following eligibility criteria in order to qualify for this new expanded coverage:

  • Be an Illinois resident
  • Able to provide a Social Security Number
  • Live with and be the primary support of a child that meets the nonfinancial eligibility requirements for All Kids
  • Be a U.S. citizen or qualifying non-citizen
  • Does not have a Rebate overpayment
  • Meets the following health insurance requirements
    • Been without health insurance for at least 12 months prior to the application
      being filed (unless the adult is pregnant, then the individual potentially qualifies
      if without health insurance at time of pregnancy)
    • Lost employer sponsored health insurance due to the loss of employment
    • The adult has exhausted the lifetime benefit limit for the policy
    • The insurance is purchased through COBRA
    • The adult lost Family Care or All Kids coverage within one year of the application
    • The individual aged out of coverage under the parent’s health insurance


HOW MUCH WILL IT COST FOR FAMILIES?

Parents/eligible adults between 185% FPL and 200% FPL will pay the same premium that is charged for their children in All Kids – $15 to $40 per month for family coverage. Parents between 200% FPL – 400% FPL – Will pay double the premium they pay for their children. Copays will remain the same ($2 to $5 for doctor visits and prescriptions).

  • 185% ≤ 200% FPL: These amounts are charged regardless of age. $15/month (1 person); $25/month (2 persons); $30/month (3 persons); $35/month (4 persons); $40/month (5 or more persons)

  • 200% ≥ 300% FPL: Children $40/month; $80 per adult / month.

  • 300% ≤ 400% FPL: Children $70/month; $140 per adult / month.


WHERE TO APPLY

Currently only the All Kids Unit will authorize medical coverage for adults with a family income that is above 200% of FPL but less than or equal to 400% of FPL. Application can be made at local IDHS offices as well. The family will be assessed for spenddown if income is over 400% of FPL or medical need existed prior to 11/7/07. The IDHS will then send the case to the All Kids Unit to determine eligibility for Family Care Expansion Premiums 1-3.

Since the program is so new, some of the procedures are still being worked out on the process. As I learn more, I will keep you posted.


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October 1, 2007
CHANGES IN MAXIMUM MONTHLY FOOD STAMP BENEFITS AND INCOME STANDARDS

FS Unit Size
Maximum
Food Stamp Benefit
Maximum Gross Income Standards
Maximum Net Income Standards
Elderly Disabled Gross Income Standard
  This amount is issued if the individual(s) have no income. The amount of Food Stamps issued reduces as the income increases. If there is no one in the house who is elderly or disabled, this is the standard used. If gross income is above the amount listed, Food Stamp benefits will be denied with no further calculation This income amount is used when there is a member of the household who is disabled or elderly (65+). The state staff needs to apply all appropriate deductions to the household's gross income to arrive at the Net amount.

This is income level is used when family members purchase food for an elderly disabled individual who lives in the home. If the families Gross Monthly Income is below the amount listed, the elderly disabled person is potentially eligible to receive FS as a separate household.

1 Person
$ 162
$1,107
$ 851
$1,404
2 Persons
298
1,484
1,141
1,883
3 Persons
426
1,861
1,431
2,361
4 Persons
542
2,238
1,721
2,840
5 Persons
643
2,615
2,011
3,318
6 Persons
772
2,992
2,301
3,797
7 Persons
853
3,369
2,591
4,275
8 Persons
975
3,746
2,881
4,754
9 Persons
1,097
4,123
3,171
5,233
10 Persons
1,219
4,500
3,461
5,712
Each Add'l Member
+122
+ 377
+ 290
+ 479

If you are not sure about whether an individual may qualify for Food Stamps you can use the on-line benefit calculator by going to:

http://www.dhs.state.il.us:8080/FSCalc/FSInputCalc.do?lang=en


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July 20, 2007
REVISED MAILIN APPLICATION FOR MEDICAL BENEFITS

Form HFS 2378H (R-04-07) Mail-In Application for Medical Benefits has
been revised. The new form is available for downloading from the
Internet at www.hfs.illinois.gov/medicalforms/.

A number of revisions have been made to Form HFS 2378H (R-04-07)
Mail-In Application for Medical Benefits:

  • The most important revision has been to add a new form that is designed to gather information about education and employment for persons applying for disability benefits. The information collected is critical in helping the state determine whether or not a person has a disability that qualifies the person for Medicaid.
  • The instructions for Mail-In Application for Medical Benefits have been revised to explain the new citizenship and identity documentation requirements.
  • There have been other revisions made to gather additional information about citizenship status and employment status of parents of children under 18.

Old copies of the form will still be accepted, but I strongly recommend that the new form be used whenever an application for Medicaid due to a disability is made.

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July 5, 2007

ILLINOIS HEALTHY WOMEN EXPANSION

Summary
  • Effective 05/01/07, an Illinois Healthy Women (IHW) Expansion allows women age 19 through 44 to apply for family planning (birth control) services.
  • The All Kids Unit will process IHW expansion applications and maintain cases.
  • All Illinois Healthy Women cases are in office 190.

Effective 05/01/07, HFS expanded the Illinois Healthy Women program to allow women to apply for family planning services only.

Women who qualify for Illinois Healthy Women when their medical eligibility ends will continue to be auto-enrolled in Illinois Healthy Women as described in Policy Memorandum Illinois Healthy Women dated 04/05/04.

Women whose Illinois Healthy Women applications are approved will receive an Illinois Healthy Women Questions & Answers Fact Sheet Form 3711HW/S (pdf) and a pink identification card called the Illinois Healthy Women Card (Form 469HW) which is valid for 12 months.

Office Responsibility for Eligibility and Case Maintenance
The central All Kids Unit will process Illinois Healthy Women applications and maintain the newly approved cases as well as continue maintaining the auto-enrolled cases.

DHS Family Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) caseworkers are to refer Illinois Healthy Women customers to the All Kids unit at 1-877-805-5312 for questions about Illinois Healthy Women, replacement of pink medical cards, and other case maintenance issues.

If a woman states she would like to apply for Illinois Healthy Women, the FCRC will give her Form 2378HW Application for Illinois Healthy Women (pdf) or Form 2378HWS (pdf) and is to refer her to a local family planning clinic for assistance with the application and family planning services.

Application Process
To apply for Illinois Healthy Women, women must complete and submit a Form 2378HW or 2378HWS Application for Illinois Healthy Women to the All Kids Unit.

Eligibility
To be eligible for the Illinois Healthy Women program, a woman must:

  • be at least age 19 and younger than age 45;
  • have income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level;
  • not be pregnant;
  • not be sterilized;
  • is not receiving medical benefits through HFS or DHS;
  • meet citizenship/immigration requirements as described in PM 03-01-02 and in Policy Memorandum U.S. Citizenship and Identity for Medical Programs;
  • provide a Social Security Number or proof of application for one; and
  • be an Illinois resident as described in PM 03-02-01.
  • Men are not eligible for this program.

If eligible, the first date of eligibility is the first day of the month the application is received. Eligibility continues for 12 months or until the woman turns age 45.

If a woman is an ineligible noncitizens she is to be referred to the Department of Human Services Helpline at 1-800-843-6154 (TTY 1-800-447-6404) to get information about family planning services.

Verification Required at Application
Age and SSN can be verified through the State Online Query (SOLQ) system. Except as stated below, accept the applicant's statement on all other eligibility factors unless there is conflicting information.

Income
The applicant's income must be verified. One paystub or proof of one payment from each source of income is sufficient to verify income.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Status
U.S. citizenship documentation will be requested if it is not provided with the application, however, at this time, the application will not be denied if the applicant fails to comply with the citizenship and identity documentation requirements.

Social Security Number
Applicants for IHW must either have a Social Security Number (SSN) or proof of application for an SSN.

Covered Services
The Illinois Healthy Women card covers the following services:

  • Physical exam and health history for family planning purposes;
  • Office visits related to family planning;
  • Pap tests;
  • Necessary family planning or women's health related lab and diagnostic tests;
  • Birth control drugs and devices including the inserting, implanting, or injecting of a birth control drug, and removing a birth control device;
  • Sterilization services;
  • Testing for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, if diagnosed during a family planning visit;
  • Medicine for sexually transmitted infections (except HIV) if diagnosed during a family planning visit;
  • Mammograms as medically indicated and ordered at the family planning visit; and
  • Generic prenatal vitamins or generic multivitamins with folic acid.

Renewals
Women must renew their Illinois Healthy Women card once every 12 months. An Illinois Healthy Woman Re-Enrollment Form 3815A and a 3815B Calculation Sheet are sent centrally with a self addressed stamped return envelope in the 10th month of eligibility. HFS will accept the woman's statement regarding her monthly income statement on the Re-Enrollment form.

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July 2, 2007
MEDICAL BENEFITS FOR PENDING ASYLEES AND TORTURE VICTIMS


Summary:

  • Effective August 1, 2007, Illinois residents who have an application for asylum pending with the federal Department of Homeland Security, or victims of torture, may qualify for medical benefits.
  • To qualify for this program, persons must meet the regular AABD MANG income and asset standards, and cannot be otherwise eligible for medical assistance.
  • Applications and cases will be handled by the Special Units office in Cook County, and by the DHS FCRC office serving the applicant/recipient's address outside of Cook County.
  • Cases under this program will be under category 90 with a basic number beginning with the letter V.

The mental and/or physical trauma caused by torture, or other circumstances that cause a person to flee his or her country of origin, may delay a person's ability to apply for and receive asylum and to qualify for essential medical coverage. For this reason, a new state law allows some Illinois residents who are asylum applicants or victims of torture to qualify for full medical benefits.

Special Non-Financial Eligibility and Verification Requirements
To be eligible for medical assistance as an applicant for asylum or torture victim, an individual must meet one of the following two requirements:

  • Have an application for asylum pending before the federal Department of Homeland Security, or an appeal pending regarding a decision of asylum status before a court of competent jurisdiction; and is represented either by counsel, or by an advocate accredited by the federal Department of Homeland Security and employed by a not-for-profit organization, in regard to that application or appeal. Verification of this status must include the first of the following documents (A), plus any one of the next six documents (B through G):
    • Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative (form G-28, EOIR-28 or EOIR-27) signed by representative and applicant, and
    • I-589 asylum application Acknowledgment of Receipt issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Citizen and Immigration Services, or
    • I-589 Asylum Interview Notice issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Citizen and Immigration Services, or
    • Referral Notice regarding I-589 request for asylum to a an immigration judge issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Citizen and Immigration Services, or
    • Form I-589 Application for Asylum stamped as received by the Court.
    • Form EOIR-26 Notice of Appeal with Filing Receipt for Appeal, both issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, Board of Immigration Appeals, or
    • Petition for Review of a Board of Immigration Appeals decision stamped by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
    • Be receiving treatment services for torture victims from a federally funded torture treatment center that has been recognized by the Department, and verified by a statement from an authorized staff member on treatment center letterhead attesting to the individual's participation in the torture treatment program.

Note: The Marjorie Kovler Center for Treatment of Survivors of Torture, a program of Heartland Alliance, located at 1331 W. Albion Ave., Chicago, is the only agency in Illinois that currently receives federal funds to provide torture treatment services.

Additional Non-Financial Eligibility Requirements
An individual must also meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be an Illinois resident.
  • Be 19 years of age or older.
  • Is not otherwise eligible for medical assistance.

Note: Individuals under this program are exempt from citizenship and social security number requirements.

Financial Eligibility Requirements
Additionally, to be eligible under this program, an individual must:

  • Have countable monthly income at or below the regular AABD MANG community income standard (see PM 15-06-02-a), and
  • Have non-exempt assets at or below the AABD MANG asset disregard level (see PM 07-02-01).

Budgeting
The earned and unearned income of the following persons shall be counted when determining eligibility:

  • Income of the individual.
  • Income of the spouse.
  • Unearned income of a dependent child under the age of 18 years who is included in the income standard because it is to the advantage of the individual.

Monthly earned and unearned income shall be considered as specified for Community MANG AABD, including work related expenses that are allowed as deductions (PM 08-02-00).

Application Process

  • Individuals in Cook County can apply by completing an application and submitting it to the Special Units Office (LO 209.

  • Individuals outside Cook County apply at the FCRC serving the applicant's residence outside of Cook County.

The application date is the date a signed application is received at the Special Units Office in Cook, or the correct FCRC outside of Cook. Applications can begin to be accepted August 1, 2007.

Eligibility can be backdated for up to three months prior to the month of application if the applicant would have met the criteria of this program had he or she applied. Based on the applications not being able to be accepted prior to August 1, no case should be backdated prior to May 1, 2007.

FCRC Actions
Since applicants for this program may not yet have an Alien ID number, the caseworker cannot complete an inquiry through SAVE (this is a data exchange system between the state and USCIS). A SAVE inquiry is not required in this situation. However, if the applicant provides an Alien ID number, the caseworker will complete a SAVE inquiry.

Cases under this program are for medical only and cannot be swapped to cash or receive food stamps. Only one person can be included per case. If an individual who receives medical benefits under this program enters a long term care (LTC) facility, the caseworker is to contact HFS Medical Eligibility Policy at (217) 557-7158 for advice as to action to be taken.

Ongoing Eligibility

  • Eligibility is to be redetermined every twelve (12) months, or when a change is reported. If the client reports a change in immigration status at redetermination, or at any time, the caseworker is to ask for documentation and if an Alien ID number is provided, the worker will complete a SAVE inquiry.
  • To verify continued eligibility under this program at redetermination, clients must provide a current statement from their attorney, accredited representative or the torture treatment center confirming that they continue to meet the requirements of this program.
  • Medical coverage may be provided for up to 24 continuous months from the initial eligibility date so long as an individual continues to satisfy the criteria. An individual who has a break in coverage during the 24 months beginning with the initial eligibility date may re-enroll if all eligibility criteria are met, but the break in coverage does not extend the period of eligibility.
  • If an individual provides verification that he/she has an appeal pending regarding an application for asylum before the Department of Homeland Security, eligibility under this Section may be extended an additional 12 months or until a final decision is rendered on the appeal, whichever occurs sooner.
  • An individual's eligibility is to be terminated if the individual no longer meets the program requirements.

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July 2, 2007
NEW IDHS INTERNET APPLICATION PROCESS
CASH, MEDICAID AND FOOD STAMPS

Individuals with an Illinois address can now complete a DHS Web Application through the internet. The DHS Web application is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and allows individuals to apply for cash assistance (TANF or AABD), Medicaid/All Kids, and Food Stamps.

Applicants can access the on-line application directly from the DHS homepage at www.dhs.state.il.us or the Apply for Food Stamps, Cash and Medical web page at www.idhslink.com.

What needs to be done to begin the application process?

Before a person can start completing the application s/he needs to select an 8 digit password of their own choosing. The password has to be a combination of letters in the alphabet or numbers. It has to have at least 4 alphabetical characters and at least 1 number, and it cannot have more than 2 repeating characters.

Once the password is selected and confirmed, the individual will be assigned a unique household ID number. This page needs to be printed or the numbers written down, since this number with the password allows the individual to start an application, save it, and finish and submit it later.

The individual also will need information about everyone s/he is applying for such as income, assets, birthdates, and social security numbers. If someone is assisting the persons with the application or works for an agency or hospital, this information including contact information will need to also be provided.

What happens after the application is completed?

Once an application is completed a unique e-confirmation number is issued. It is important to advise your customers to write this code down. This code will be used to prove the application was submitted as well as to track the progress of the application, once it has been completed and electronically transmitted.

After the application is completed and submitted on-line, applicants will be provided a list of information that is needed in order to complete the application process, as well as what office the application is being sent to. The applicant needs to ensure the page is printed, as well as the signature pages. Even thought the IDHS office will mail a request for additional information, printing the final page allows the individual to begin the process of collecting
any needed verification.

The individual has to mail the signature page along with the requested verifications to the office that the application is sent to. NOTE: If the signature page is not sent, the application for cash and medical will be denied. Food Stamps can be processed using an electronic signature, so any request for Food Stamps will be processed even if the signature page is never received. The only exception to this is when the application indicates there are others in the home that may be able to apply for their own Food Stamp benefits, separate from the person who completed the WEB application. The IDHS case worker will mail a signature page to the other household and will schedule an interview.

IDHS Example: 65 year old Mr. Z applies online for medical and food stamps for himself, his 35 year old daughter, and his 16 year old granddaughter. At the food stamp interview the IDHS caseworker learns that Mr. Z does not buy and prepare his food with his daughter and granddaughter. This results in the house having 2 different Food Stamp households, and thus possibly 2 different Food Stamp cases. IDHS will schedule a separate food stamp interview with Mr Z's daughter and will mail a request to her for a signed food stamp signature page.

What will IDHS do when they receive the application?

IDHS caseworkers will review the completed on-line application upon receipt and will determine if any other information is needed. If more information is needed the worker will mail a revised request for additional verification. An in office interview will be scheduled based on the responses provided in the application. If the person indicates s/he is unable to come to the office, a phone interview can be arranged. If the wrong office receives the application, the caseworker will forward the application to the correct office.

If the person completes the necessary screens, IDHS staff will review the application for expedited/emergency Food Stamp benefits.

What happens if someone applies for benefits and is already receiving another IDHS benefit?

If a web application is received for a cash request for someone who is already on a medical case, the system will register a new application. IDHS staff will review the Web Benefits application to determine if there are new requesters (e.g. Mom, child, niece and nephew). If there are new requestors, a new application remains registered. If all the persons listed are requesting a change/SWAP from medical to cash benefits, the SWAP request will be
registered using the date the Web application was received and the Web application will be denied.

Individuals who receive medical benefits only request Food Stamps; an application will be registered and linked with the medical case.

Requests for benefits already being received will be denied.

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June 29, 2007
MR #07.14: AUTOMATED PHONE SYSTEM INTERVIEW (PSI)


SUMMARY:
Implementation of the Phone System Interview (PSI) is effective with notices produced after 06/25/07. Customers may call the PSI to complete a redetermination 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in English, Spanish voice and TTY.

The Phone System Interview does the following:

  • Gives eligible EI REDE customers an alternative to the face-to-face interview.
  • Offers phone interview option to mail-in REDE customers.
  • The automated scripted phone interview questions customized to customer.
  • At the completion of the call the person receives a number to confirm interview was finished.
  • A Notice of Incomplete Interview is sent to the person if s/he fails to complete entire interview.
  • Registers the new application.
  • Determines needed verifications and sends a notice to customer.
  • The completed application and request for additional verifications are able to be viewed by IDHS staff in Caseworker Tools (CWT).
  • New EI REDE notices are created to coincide with phone interview procedures.
  • Revises policy to eliminate the requirement for a face-to-face REDE for TANF.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) recognizes working customers often face barriers which may prevent their continued participation in the food stamp program. These barriers may include lack of transportation to the local office for a face-to-face interview or loss of wages for time off work. The automated Phone System Interview (PSI) is a special project designed to provide easier program access for working customers recertifying for benefits. DHS was awarded a Food Stamp Participation grant from Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) to help implement this project. The Phone System Interview supports the agency's mission to give customers easier program access so they may maintain their eligibility and continue to receive benefits without interruption.

Who Qualifies to Use PSI
EI REDE customers who receive food stamps, except those listed below may use the PSI to complete their REDE, instead of completing their interview in a face-to-face visit or by using the mail (see WAG 19-07-04-a):

  • AABD cash and medical cases;
  • Chicago General Assistance (GA) cases;
  • Cases with certain income types, such as earnings of an ineligible noncitizen;
  • Cases with income that is budgeted differently for cash or medical and food stamps;
  • Cases where the payee does not receive benefits.

How Customers Know They Can Use PSI
Information about the Phone System Interview, an access number and password are sent with the notice that food stamps are expiring, (Earned Income Redetermination Application (Form 4764) or Your Food Stamps Are Ending (Form 4893). The PSI requires the customer to enter an access number and a password to start the interview process. The access number and password serve as the customer's electronic signature for the food stamp application. If the password and access number are misplaced or lost, the customer must mail in Form 4764 or if Form 4893 was received contact their caseworker to schedule an interview.

How Long PSI is Available
EI REDE customers who want to complete their REDE using the automated Phone System Interview (PSI) must complete the phone interview by a specific date entered on their notice.

  • Mail-In REDE - By the 5th day of the last month of the approval period (Form 4764 sent).
  • Face-to-Face REDE - By the 15th day after the date of the notice (Form 4893 sent).

Customers who do not complete the interview by the last PSI date on their notice (even if the date falls on a weekend) will need to complete and mail in their form or if due for a face-to-face, contact their caseworker to schedule an interview. A customer is not allowed access after the PSI call in period has ended.

What are the Basics of the PSI Process?
Customers meeting the criteria for the phone interview option are selected and sent Form 4764 Earned Income Redetermination Application, if due for a mail-in REDE. Form 4893 Your Food Stamps are Ending, You Qualify to Use the Phone System Interview to Reapply is sent if a face-to-face REDE is due.

In addition, the customer receives Reapply for Benefits using the Phone System Interview and Your Rights and Responsibilities, Form 4892, with instructions on how to use the phone system, and a preprinted form containing individualized case information (Form 4891 Phone Interview Worksheet). The customer must review the information on the worksheet prior to calling the phone line. The worksheet serves as a guide through the phone interview process. Customers with expiring FS benefits effective August 07 are notified of their eligibility to use the PSI.

  1. The customer calls the Phone System Interview line at 866-217-6070 (voice) and 866-217-6080 (TTY). The customer is offered four language options, English or Spanish(voice), and English or Spanish (TTY).
  2. The customer responds to the questions by speaking their answers. If a response is not understood by the system the customer may be prompted to use the telephone keypad.
  3. Customers who have not reported an address change or name change to their caseworker are told during the interview greeting and introduction that they are not eligible to use the phone system interview.
  4. The automatic telephone script walks the customer through a series of questions required for a REDE including household composition, income, expenses, assets, health insurance (for cash and medical cases) and optional survey questions which include racial-ethnic questions and customer satisfaction questions. The customer may also change or add a phone number, including a second contact number.
  5. A customer who hangs up before the interview is complete, may finish the interview beginning with the last unanswered question, if they call back on the same day. If a call is not returned the same day, the customer must start over at the beginning of the interview.
  6. Form 4722, Notice of Incomplete Interview, is centrally sent each day that an interview is started but not completed. This notice tells the customer that an interview was started but not completed and that s/he must complete the interview by the due date on the notice or contact their caseworker to schedule an interview.
  7. For customers sent Form 4764, IDHS staff are to instruct the customer to complete and mail in the form when they are unable to access PSI because the call in period has ended. The customer's approval period for food stamps ends if they fail to complete the phone interview or reapply.
  8. When a customer completes the entire phone interview, the system gives a completion number to confirm that the interview has been successfully completed. The interview is considered complete if all questions in Section F of the worksheet have been answered. The customer is not required to take the survey. A customer who hangs up without confirming that they want the confirmation number repeated a second time is allowed access to call back on the same day to get number. When the PSI is complete, the questions and answers from the call are saved and stored electronically in Caseworker Tools.
  9. An application is registered with the date of application and the data is transferred to the Automated Case Management System for processing by the caseworker when verifications are received. If received after 5:00 PM or on a non-work day, the date of application is the next work day.
  10. Customers completing the PSI are sent Form 4721, Instructions to the Client - Phone Interview, requesting the needed verifications, including proof of earnings for the calendar month before the last month of the approval period.
  11. When the needed verification is received, the caseworker updates the computer system and if eligible assigns a new 6-month approval period.
  12. The caseworker will deny the application only if the reported income amount has changed by more than $50 and the individual fails to provide verification (PM 19-03-04). For earned income, verification of paystubs is requested if the person reports they do not expect a change in their hourly rate or hours of pay (PM 13-02-01).

Elimination of Face-to Face REDE Requirement for TANF
The requirement to hold a face-to-face interview at redetermination is eliminated with this release. There may be times that the IDHS staff will need to have a face-to-face meeting with a TANF customer to meet other TANF requirements, but not to report a REDE.

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June 27, 2007
TANF POLICY UPDATE: END OF FAMILY ACCOUNTABILITY POLICY

For the past 10 years the state has implemented a policy called the Family Accountability Policy (or Family Cap). This policy resulted in TANF benefits sometimes not being increased due to the birth of a child. This happened when the woman became pregnant while receiving cash benefits. When a child was born, under this policy, the child was included for medical and food stamps but not in the cash benefit.

As of July 1, 2007 this policy has ended. As a result TANF clients who have children that are capped under this program may see an increase in their cash amount. This will result in a decrease in Food Stamps due to the cash increase. TANF clients who become pregnant while receiving TANF will also be able to request an increase in the TANF check when the baby is born.

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July 30, 2006
MEDICAID RULES REQUIRE PROOF OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IDENTITY

CHANGES IN MEDICAID RULES
Effective July 1, 2006, federal Medicaid rules require states to obtain proof of citizenship status AND identity in order to receive federal matching funds for Medicaid covered services. Individuals who are lawful permanent residents have always been required to provide this proof, and will continue to provide proof of lawful permanent resident status. This new rule applies to U.S. citizens. The verification proving citizenship and identity is to be provided at time of application or renewal of Medicaid coverage. (The state is currently not fully implementing this policy, but this can change at any time without notice.) Federal policy has identified varying levels of documentation called primary and secondary documentation. If a person presents a primary documentation, such as a passport, that single document is sufficient to establish both citizenship and identity. If a person uses non-primary documents, such as a birth certificate, then separate proof of identity is required.

1. Primary documents that verify BOTH citizenship status and identity are

a. U.S. Passport
b. Certificate of Naturalization
c. Certificate of Citizenship


2. Usage of secondary documents, regardless of the person's age, requires that BOTH proof of citizenship has to be provided as well as proof of identity. All of the documents accepted are not listed below. If a person does not have one of the following, s/he can ask the Illinois Department of Human Services caseworker, or the All Kids Agent for a list of other acceptable documents, as well as to request assistance to obtain the needed documents.


SOME SECONDARY ITEMS THAT VERIFY CITIZENSHIP
 
SOME ITEMS THAT VERIFY IDENTITY
  • U.S. birth certificate
  • Consular Report or Certification of Birth Abroad
  • U.S. Citizen Identification card
  • Final adoption decree
  • Official Military record of service showing U.S. birthplace
  • Federal or State U.S. census record showing age and U.S. citizenship or U.S. birthplace
  • Medical (clinic, doctor or hospital) record showing U.S. Birthplace and created at least 5 years before initial Medicaid application
 
  • Driver's License or State I.D. with picture (must have name, age, sex, race, height, weight or eye color)
  • U.S. military card, draft record, or military dependent's card
  • State, Federal or Local government ID card (must have name, age, sex, race, height, weight or eye color)
  • An affidavit (as long as an affidavit was not previously used)
  • School ID card with photograph (under 16)
  • Clinic, doctor or hospital record showing date and place of birth (under 16)
  • State staff and All Kids Application Agents are now requesting proof of citizenship and identity at application. Failure to provide the documents can result in benefits being denied or stopped, however, at this time this is NOT happening since the state is currently not fully implementing this policy. Benefits are being approved, and a letter is sent reminding the individual/family that the documents are still needed. Failure to provide the documents in the future can result in benefits being stopped. Make sure your clients know that they will be asked for the information.
  • In the future, when the state fully implements the new rules, failure to provide proof of citizenship status and identity can result in an adult's Medicaid application being denied or current Medicaid benefits stopped.
  • Children who are unable to establish citizenship and identity will receive medical coverage through All Kids, even when the policy is fully implemented in the future. The state, however, will not be eligible to claim federal Medicaid match dollars for any child for whom citizenship and identity has not been established. This will result in an increased financial strain on the State budget.

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Prepared by the DuPage Federation on Human Services Reform
An affiliate of Northern Illinois University/Regional Development Institute
Phone: 630-782-4782 Fax: 630-616-1306

   
 
 
Last Updated January 25, 2010