Governor Quinn Announces Food Stamps Available for Northern Illinois Flood Victims

Applications Available at Illinois Department of Human Services Offices in Seven Counties

Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) will offer immediate food assistance to Northern Illinois flood victims. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services has authorized DHS to offer special Disaster SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) benefits for residents of seven counties declared federal disaster areas as a result of flash flooding in late July.

"The recent floods in Cook and six other northern Illinois counties have had a devastating effect on many families and businesses," said Governor Quinn. "Flood victims have immediate needs such as employment, food, clothing and shelter. This emergency program will provide immediate help to families that are recovering from these devastating floods."

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. 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, 2010 through Aug. 20, 2010.

Disaster SNAP benefits will be 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.

SNAP benefits can be used to purchase food for human consumption, but cannot be used to buy alcoholic drinks, tobacco products or non-food products. Benefits must be used within 90 days.

Applications for SNAP benefits are available starting today at certain Illinois Department of Human Services offices. Applicants must bring proof of their identity and their residence or job in a disaster area prior to the disaster.

For more information about SNAP benefits or to find the nearest DHS location, please call DHS at 1-800-843-6154. Please see a list of DHS offices accepting Disaster SNAP Benefit applications. Applications will be accepted now through Sept. 3 from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.