Multi-Agency Effort Formed to Accommodate Applicants and to Ensure Smooth Processing; Applications Accepted through Friday
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has increased efforts to serve the overwhelming number of applicants for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at participating local offices. Applications will be accepted through Friday, and benefits will not run out. Already, the department has approved SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps, for more than 5,690 households with 18,320 persons and has issued a total of $2.4 million in benefits.
IDHS is processing the maximum amount of applicants each day and is issuing tickets to individuals in line who could not be seen the same day. The purpose of the tickets is to decrease unnecessary waiting for customers in need of Disaster SNAP benefits. Anyone who requests assistance by 4 p.m. Friday will be seen and need not worry about benefits running out. State and local agencies are working with IDHS to help manage the application process and provide assistance to those waiting in line.
"We want to thank everyone involved for helping things run more smoothly today," said IDHS Acting Secretary Grace Hong Duffin. "We know how important it is for families to receive this food assistance as they recover from the July flooding. I especially appreciate the staff at the offices who are working long after the doors are closed to process the disaster SNAP applications."
To qualify, a person must have had damage to their home or business, disaster-related expenses that were not reimbursed, or a loss or reduction of income during the period of July 22 through Aug. 20. Applicants must bring proof of identity and residence, or employment in a disaster area, prior to the disaster. Active cases do not qualify for Disaster Food Stamps if they already received the maximum benefit level in August:
Individuals may be eligible for Disaster Food Stamps if they live or work in specific areas of the following counties: Cook, DuPage, Carroll, Jo Daviess, Ogle, Stevenson and Winnebago. Illinois residents who lived or worked in a disaster area within one of these counties at the time of the disaster may qualify for this special program. Applicants must apply in the county in which they live.
Disaster SNAP benefits are provided to families based on total income and assets available to a household during the disaster. Non-reimbursed disaster-related expenses are allowed as a deduction from income and assets.
A qualifying two-person family with a net income of less than $1,815 would receive $367, and a one-person household with a net income of less than $1,503 would receive $200. Most benefits will be available within three days of the date of application.
IDHS also reminds people they are not allowed to camp overnight at an IDHS office ,or they will be asked to leave by law enforcement. People must also heed parking and private property signs. Illegally parked cars will be towed.
For more information about SNAP benefits or to find the nearest IDHS location, please call IDHS at 1-800-843-6154. View a list of DHS offices accepting disaster SNAP applications in Chicago.