2020-August — Benefits and Services Updates from Age Options
The information below was compiled by Age Options and shared with partners within the Age Options network. The information below includes updates to benefits programs and services, and other resources that apply to seniors and people with disabilities in the context of Covid-19.
Thank you so much to Age Options for putting together this information.
- DHS has established Urgent Call Center Teams at the Family Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) to assist with emergency cases. Go to “Family Community Resource Center Urgent Call Teams” at https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=123570 to locate emergency numbers for the FCRC teams
- Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) has granted an additional extension to allow SNAP households to claim “good cause” for not providing a social security number through August 31. 2020. Good cause can also be given to TANF, AABD and cash when the Social Security Office in their area is closed or is providing limited services. For the policy memo, go to “Good Cause Given for Failure to Verify Social Security Number Extended through August 2020”: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=125803
- DHS has temporarily closed the four suburban Cook County Family Community Resource Centers (FCRCs). They include the South Suburban, West Suburban, North Suburban and Northern Offices. To check on whether the office is open in the future, go to the Office Locator at: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?module=12
- Emergency SNAP allotments have been extended for August 2020. Benefits will become available beginning 8/21/20 through 8/31/20. A notice will not be sent to households informing them of the additional benefits. Go to “Emergency SNAP Allotments” for more information: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=125935
- An interview is not required for expedited and non-expedited SNAP households whose identity is verified and all mandatory verifications needed to establish eligibility are provided through August 31, 2020. Go to “Extension of the SNAP Interview Adjustment for Applications Filed in July 2020 and August 2020 for more information: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=125691
- SNAP households whose certification period expires at the end of July or end of August due to not returning a REDE application, will have their case reinstated with a six month extension. For more information, go to “SNAP Certification Periods Ending in July 2020 and August 2020 will be Extended”: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=12473
- The Bureau of Hearings may use alternative means to conduct hearings, such as telephone or video conference when possible to meet the standard required timeframes. They can extend the fair hearings process up to 120 days from the receipt of the request for fair hearings that were already in process or for which requests are received from March 1, 2020 through August 31, 2020. Go to “Flexibility on Time-frames for Fair Hearings for SNAP Due to COVID-19 Extended through August 2020” for more information https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=125988
- The SNAP Employment and Training Program became voluntary last August. All individuals receiving SNAP may volunteer to participate in the program except those receiving TANF cash. For more information, go to “Voluntary SNAP Employment & Training Program” at https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=88001
Benefits Access Application
- If you have a consumer who paid full price for a license plate sticker and is part of the Benefits Access Program, go to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Online Refund Request at https://www.ilsos.gov/bap/ and enter the Benefits Access Program Control Number and Illinois License Plate Number to see if he is eligible for a refund
- For information regarding refund requests, go to “Refund Request”: https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/accounting_revenue/refund_request/home.html
- For consumers who wish to request a refund by mail, go to “Consideration of Refund Application”: https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/accounting_revenue/refund_request/home.html scroll down the page to “Refund Application Form” and print the form
Secretary of State
- Illinois Secretary of State’s Office announced that the expiration date for valid driver’s licenses held by Illinois drivers who are 75 years of age or older has been extended for a period of one year past the license’s current 2020 expiration date. This means that drivers age 75 and older do not have to visit a facility to renew their driver’s license until shortly before their birthday in 2021. Go to “Jessie White Announces One-Year Extension of Driver’s License Expiration Dates for Seniors Age 75 and Older” for more information: https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/news/2020/august/200825d1.pdf
- It’s a good thing they extended the deadline because there are quite a few driver’s facilities that are temporarily closed due to having a staff member diagnosed with COVID-19. They include the following:
- Bridgeview: https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/news/2020/august/200821d1.pdf
- Des Plaines https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/news/2020/august/200824d1.pdf
- Midlothian Driver’s License Facility Closing: https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/news/2020/august/200820d1.pdf
- South Holland: https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/news/2020/august/200819d1.pdf
The Chicago Heights office is closed until further notice. For more information, go to https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/news/2020/august/200819d1.pdf
The office which was located in the Village of Orland Park building is closed. The Secretary of State will be opening an office in the Orland Township building in the future. For more information, go to: https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/news/2020/june/200626d1.pdf for more information.
IHDA’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program
The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) has extended the deadline for Illinois renters to apply for aid by one week to 12:00 p.m. on August 28, due to those impacted by the recent storms. The Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program provides $5,000 to eligible tenants who have seen their household income decline as a result of the COVID-19. For additional help, applicants may visit era.ihda.org or contact IHDA’s call center at 312-883-2720, or toll-free at 888-252-1119. For those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired, please contact Navicore Solutions for free assistance at: (877) 274-4309 (TTY).
Resource to help Illinois families get their stimulus checks. Go to https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=125948 for more information
Elizabeth Lough, MPH, CIRS A/D
Benefits Access Specialist
1048 Lake Street, Suite 300
Oak Park, Illinois 60301
phone (708)383-0258, (800)699-9043, fax (708)524-0870