State of Illinois
Department of Human Services
Crisis Assistance Program and Expedited Services for SNAP
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) offers a Crisis Assistance Program for families who have an immediate need for food, shelter or clothing. The Crisis Assistance Program in Cook County includes shelter for individuals and families.
If you need food and are not already getting SNAP benefits, you may also be eligible for expedited service for SNAP benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). If you are eligible, expedited service can provide SNAP benefits within five calendar days of the date you apply. This brochure explains the benefits provided through each of these programs.
Crisis Assistance Program
The Crisis Assistance Program provides payment for rent, food, clothes, household supplies and important essential furniture for families who are eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and:
- are homeless or may become homeless because of fire, flood or other natural disasters, such as tornado;
- do not have any food to eat because of fire, flood or other natural disaster;
- are homeless or may become homeless because they were evicted from their home for any reason;
- are deprived of food or needed clothing because of lost or stolen cash; or
- are homeless because someone in their former home physically abused them; or
- are deprived of food, clothing, or rent due to forcing an abuser who is the primary wage-earner from the home.
Families who receive TANF cash assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services may also receive help paying for transportation, lodging and food needed for travel to get essential or specialized medical care.
Eligibility for the Crisis Assistance Program
You may be eligible for rent, food, clothes, household supplies and furniture through the Crisis Assistance Program if your family is approved for assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. This includes a pregnant woman with no other children (and her spouse, if living with her).
If you are eligible, your benefits will be issued within 10 days after you apply. You need a written application.
How to Apply for the Crisis Assistance Program
If you need Crisis Assistance, go to your Family Community Resource Center (FCRC).
If you are eligible, we will help you get the assistance you need.
Expedited Service for SNAP
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides expedited services for SNAP benefits for people who qualify and do not already get SNAP benefits. Those who need food immediately and who meet the eligibility requirements may receive SNAP benefits within five calendar days.
Eligibility for Expedited Service for SNAP
You may be eligible for expedited service for SNAP benefits if:
- your family has no more than $100 available, and
- your income for the month you apply is less than $150, or
- someone in the family is a migrant or seasonal farm worker who is not expecting to receive more than $25 in the 10-day period starting with the date of application; or
- your monthly income and available money is less than your monthly rent or mortgage payment and the appropriate utility standard.
Expedited service means you must be interviewed the day of application or the next day. If you are eligible for expedited services, you will receive your benefits within five days of the date you apply.
Remember: Even if you do not qualify for expedited service you may still be eligible for regular SNAP benefits if you need help buying food.
How to Apply for Expedited Service for SNAP
An application is needed, so it's important that you file an application as soon as possible. The application process begins the day your Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) receives your signed application.
There are several ways for you to apply. You can file electronically using the Illinois Web Benefits Online Application System. Your completed application is submitted electronically to the FCRC and you can track the receipt and status of your application.
You can apply by printing the paper application, Request for Cash Assistance, Medical Assistance, and SNAP. Once you've completed the application, take, mail or fax it to your FCRC. Use the DHS Ofice Locator on the website to find the local office that serves your area.
Visit our website at www.dhs.state.il.us to file electronically or to print a paper application. You can also apply for benefits by going to your local FCRC or you can call the office and ask them to mail you an application.
You may be eligible for benefits even if you do not have an address at the time. If you are eligible, IDHS will make sure you receive your benefits.
For more information:
Call or visit your Illinois Department of Human Services' Family Community Resource Center (FCRC).
If you have questions about any Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) program, call or visit your FCRC. We will answer your questions. If you do not know where your FCRC is or if you are unable to go there, you may call the automated helpline 24 hours a day at:
(866) 324-5553 TTY/Nextalk or 711 TTY Relay
You may speak to a representative between:
8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday - Friday (except state holidays)
For answers to your questions, you may write:
Illinois Department of Human Services
Bureau of Customer Support Services
100 South Grand Avenue East
Springfield, Illinois 62762
USDA Nondiscrimination Statement
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 ( TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
IDHS 3337 (R-09-22) HCD' Crisis Assistance Program & Expedited Services for SNAP Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois.