SNAP Benefits

SNAP BENEFITS/FOOD ASSISTANCE

Snap benefits update 4/6/2020

This week, all of Illinois’ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients will begin receiving the maximum benefit amount. Between April 8th and April 20th, all eligible SNAP recipients will see their first additional funds if they are not currently receiving the maximum benefit.

This will impact more than 450,000 Illinois households. The additional funds are intended to help Illinoisans obtain food and support for their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The maximum SNAP benefit amounts will be implemented for April and May. It is not known at this time whether these extended maximum payments will continue beyond May.

Increased benefits will be automatically loaded onto SNAP recipients’ Link cards, and there is no need for anyone to re-apply, to visit an office, or to call. All new applications authorized in April will also receive the maximum allotment for their household size.

The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act gives states the option to provide SNAP households with the maximum SNAP allotment, which is based on household size. SNAP households not currently receiving the maximum allotment will receive additional SNAP benefits to bring their allotment amount to the maximum. Households already receiving the maximum benefit will not receive additional benefits.

Illinois SNAP recipients receive their benefits at different times each month, so increased SNAP benefits will be loaded on different dates for SNAP recipients.

The recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act makes quick and temporary changes to SNAP to ensure benefits are adequate and available in the event of quarantines, store closures, reduced staffing in State and local government offices, closure of schools, and temporary job and wage loss.

Manage Your Benefits Online

You can use the ABE Manage My Case portal to manage your Medical, SNAP and cash benefits - online, anytime.

Check the status of an application

Renew benefits Report changes - income, household members, expenses or new address

Upload documents

View notices and benefit details

View and reschedule upcoming appointments

File and manage appeals

Find out more about linking your existing case to ABE Manage My Case (pdf) and review the ABE Customer Guide (pdf) by visiting the ABE Customer Support Center.

Apply Using a Paper Application

  1. Download the application
    • IL444-2378 B - Request for Cash Assistance, Medical Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)(IES)(pdf)
    • IL444-2378 BS Solicitud Para Asistencia Economica - Asistencia Medica - Estampillas de Comida (SNAP) (IES) (pdf)
  2. Follow the directions on the form. Type in as much information as you can. If you can't answer all the questions, that's ok. You must include your name and address. You may print out the application and write on it if you prefer. You must sign the form.
  3. Once you've completed the application, carry, mail or fax it to your local Family Community Resource Center. Use the DHS Office Locator to locate your local office.

Need Help with an Application

Please call our toll-free line at 1-800-843-6154Call: 1-800-843-6154 (Voice), Nextalk 1-800-324-5553Call: 1-800-324-5553, 711 TTY Relay, if you have questions or need help with the application.

Click HERE to find a food bank near you.

Click HERE to find a list of community support organizations near you who can help with essential services such as emergency food and supplies, health services, and financial assistance through direct cash transfers, as well as mortgage, rent and utility assistance.

To apply for WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) click HERE

or call 217-782-2166

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Committee on House Agriculture Fact Sheet and FAQs on anti-hunger programs

Covid-19 and TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program)

Americans now eligible for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) or Medicaid due to job loss or reduction in income are also eligible for the FCC’s Lifeline program click HERE

The FCC’s Lifeline program is the primary federal program charged with helping low-income families obtain broadband and telephone services

More information on the bill. The legislation will:

Suspend the work & work training requirements for SNAP during this crisis.

Keeping tabs on hours worked under an emergency is unrealistic. USDA would prefer to make each case subject to “good cause” exemptions. This is not workable under extreme conditions.

Work training programs may also be shut down by State or local orders, meaning recipients can’t meet the requirement while the emergency exists.

·Allow states to request special waivers from the Secretary to provide temporary, emergency CR-SNAP benefits up to the maximum monthly allotment.

This would permit beneficiaries to stock up at the grocery store before any quarantine, and help deal with price increases for eligible food. It does not increase SNAP benefits beyond current maximum levels for a household size.

·Give broad discretion to the Secretary to provide much more flexibility for States in managing SNAP caseloads, including: more time between periodic reports; allowing more methods of issuance; and a simplified interview process.

This gives States the tools they need to continue providing food to their communities under extreme circumstances.

·Require the Secretary to make State requests for waivers and the USDA response as well as any USDA guidance on State flexibilities publicly available online.

This will help to ensure transparency for States and allow stakeholders to monitor the implementation of this portion of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act .

·Instruct the Secretary to provide a report 18 months after the emergency documenting the decisions made in the operation of this authority.