CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) and Department of Human Services (IDHS) have disclosed a data breach within the State of Illinois Application for Benefits Eligibility (ABE) system’s Manage My Case (MMC) portal.
The ABE system is responsible for determining eligibility for State-funded medical benefits programs (Medicaid), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
The breach involved unauthorized accounts created in the ABE system, which accessed and linked to existing customer MMC accounts by using the customers’ personal information, which was stolen from another source.
The information accessed includes names, social security numbers, recipient identification numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and income information. The breach potentially affects individuals who have applied for or are receiving benefits through the ABE portal.
The departments report they have taken steps to address the breach and prevent further unauthorized access. They have also notified potentially affected individuals, the Illinois General Assembly, and the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. A dedicated phone line has been set up to assist and answer questions about the incident. The departments also encourage potentially affected individuals to contact consumer reporting agencies and the Federal Trade Commission for identity theft resources.
The breach is a reminder of the importance of strong cybersecurity measures to protect personal information. The Departments’ response to the breach will be closely watched, as the breach has the potential to impact a large number of individuals who rely on the State-funded benefits programs.
The assistance line at 1-877-657-0006 will remain available until August 14, 2023. Potentially affected individuals can also contact consumer reporting agencies to place a free fraud alert or security freeze on their accounts or visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for more information.