Senator Hunter holds a piece of paper and stands in front of a microphone on the Senate floor.SPRINGFIELD — Under a new law championed by State Senator Mattie Hunter, the Illinois Department of Human Services will collect data on the frequency of stolen SNAP benefits. This comes in response to widespread reports of identity fraud leaving Illinois residents without needed funds to purchase groceries and other necessities.

"SNAP benefits are a lifeline for many Illinois families, and it's important that we do everything we can to ensure these benefits reach those who need them most," said Hunter (D-Chicago). "This new law will help us do that by shining a light on the scope of the problem and helping us develop more effective solutions."

Under the new law, IDHS will have the authority to track how often benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are stolen from their rightful recipients. SNAP participants receive monthly benefits for groceries deposited onto EBT cards, and in recent months, card skimming has increased significantly in many states. IDHS began collecting data on card skimming and other fraud methods in December 2022, making it unclear how much theft had previously occurred. IDHS will be required to report its findings to the General Assembly annually beginning on Jan. 1, 2024.

Last year, Congress passed legislation to replace SNAP benefits stolen between Oct. 1, 2022 and Sept. 30, 2024. House Bill 2214 serves as a starting point for Illinois to gain a clearer understanding of the scope and frequency of SNAP benefit fraud in the state, allowing for more effective measures to be put in place to combat this issue.

"Every dollar allocated for SNAP assistance needs to reach those who need it, and this law is a step forward in our fight against fraud," Hunter added.

House Bill 2214 was signed by the governor on July 28.

Category: Press Releases

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