Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Child Care P-EBT

Child Care Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) provides benefits to eligible children in a SNAP household. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has given approval to the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to continue to issue P-EBT benefits due to child care facilities continuing to operate with reduced attendance and/or reduced hours.

Here are some commonly asked questions about Child Care Pandemic P-EBT food benefits for Illinois residents:

  1. What is Child Care P-EBT?

    Child Care P-EBT provides benefits to eligible children in a SNAP household.

  2. Who is eligible for Child Care P-EBT benefits for the 2022-2023 school year?

    The child must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

    • Be under the age of 6 years as of 10/01/2022; and
    • Must have actively received SNAP benefits for one or more months between August 2022 through May 11, 2023, assessed on a month-by-month basis; and
    • Has not already received School P-EBT Benefits for the same month.
  3. What if my child turned 6 on 10/01/2022?

    If your child turned 6 on 10/01/2022, then your child does not qualify for Child Care P-EBT benefits. The child must be under the age of 6 as of 10/01/2022.

  4. Do I need to apply for Child Care P-EBT?

    No, you do not need to apply for Child Care P-EBT. Benefits will be issued to the household's existing Illinois Link card. If you no longer receive SNAP benefits and need to order a new card, you may do so by calling 1-800-678-5465 (LINK) or visiting www.link.Illinois.gov to manage your Link EBT account or to order a new card. Availability will be based upon your regular SNAP availability date.

  5. When will Child Care P-EBT benefits be issued?

    Benefits will be available for August 2022 through December 2022 in July 2023.  The July availability dates are as follows:

    Regular Availability Date Child Care P-EBT Availability Date
    1st 07/07/2023
    2nd 07/07/2023
    3rd 07/09/2023
    4th 07/10/2023
    5th 07/11/2023
    6th 07/12/2023
    7th 07/13/2023
    8th 07/14/2023
    9th 07/15/2023
    10th 07/16/2023
    13th, 17th, 20th 07/17/2023

  Benefits for January 2023 through May 2023 will be issued in August. The August availability dates are as follows:

Regular Availability Date Child Care P-EBT Availability Date
1st 08/11/2023
2nd 08/12/2023
3rd 08/13/2023
4th 08/14/2023
5th 08/15/2023
6th 08/16/2023
7th 08/17/2023
8th 08/18/2023
9th 08/19/2023
10th 08/20/2023
13th, 17th, 20th 08/21/2023
  1. How much Child Care P-EBT benefits will my child receive?

    If your child is eligible, the child received $26.21 for each eligible month for the months of August 2022 to December 2022.  For August 2023 through April 2023, eligible children will receive $20.47 for each eligible month and $10.23 for May 2023 (pro-rated due to the PHE ending 05/11/2023)

  2. I am worried about receiving Child Care P-EBT because of my immigration status. Will getting this benefit count in a public charge test?

    No. It is important to know that Child Care P-EBT will not count in a public charge test. All students are eligible regardless of immigration status. Read Protecting Immigrant Families: Public Charge - Know Your Rights (pdf) for information about what public benefits impact the public charge test.

  3. If my child was under 6 as of 10/01/2022 and enrolled in a public school and received school P-EBT benefits, can they also receive Child Care P-EBT?

    No. If your child was under the age of 6 as of 10/01/2022 and was enrolled in a participating school and is already receiving school P-EBT benefits, your child is NOT eligible for Child Care P-EBT benefits.

  4. If I am currently receiving SNAP and have a Link Card, can Child Care P-EBT benefits be loaded on the card?

    Yes. A child's Child Care P-EBT benefits will be loaded onto your household's Illinois Link card, as long as they meet criteria to receive benefits.

  5. I received Child Care P-EBT benefits for my child, but I do not need nor want them. What do I do?

    If you received Child Care P-EBT benefits, but do not need nor want them, you can contact the contact the FCRC to voluntarily return the benefit.

  6. If my child receives Child Care P-EBT, can I still get food pantry benefits?

    Yes. Your participation in government programs does not affect your ability to get food from the food pantry.

  7. How do I change my address?

    If you have an existing case for SNAP, Cash or Medical benefits, use ABE Manage My Case (MMC) to report your change of address or call the Link hotline at 1-800-678-5465.

  8. Do we need to spend the Child Care P-EBT benefits in the month they were issued?

    No. You do not need to spend your Child Care P-EBT benefit in the month they were issued. However, you must make a purchase in any amount within 274 days (9 months) of the benefit issuance to avoid having benefits expunged from your EBT account due to inactivity.

  9. Can I get Child Care P-EBT benefits if I also receive benefits from the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program?

    Yes, as long as you meet the Child Care P-EBT eligibility requirements, you can receive WIC and Child Care P-EBT.

  10. If I am not receiving SNAP now, can I apply?

    Yes, if you apply for SNAP benefits and are approved, you may qualify to get Child Care P-EBT Benefits for same months your child is approved to receive SNAP.