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Illinois approves $112M additional SNAP benefits to families with school-aged children

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CHICAGO/SPRINGFIELD (WREX) — The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced Illinois has been approved to provide approximately 316,000 Illinois households with additional SNAP benefits.

The USDA authorized and will fund Illinois’ Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program, which will bring food benefits to all school-aged children who are eligible for free or reduced meals. The benefit will be issued to all SNAP households with school-aged children.

These new benefits will automatically be added to family Link cards. All who are eligible for the additional benefits will start receiving them Monday, April 20th, though April 30th.

“No child should ever have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, especially during a public health emergency,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Expanding SNAP benefits for children who are home from school will help more families stay safe and healthy.

The Pandemic EBT program will provide SNAP households in Illinois with roughly $112 million in additional benefits for their children. Benefits are calculated using a $5.70 per day and per student calculation. Illinois will be issuing the benefits based on a total of 10 missed school days in March and 22 missed school days in April. May benefits will also be issued in the month of May.

Households with school-aged children who are eligible for free or reduced meals when school is in session, but who do not currently receive SNAP benefits, will be able to submit a simplified application for P-EBT benefits as early as next week, using the online portal or by completing a paper application which will be available at the IDHS website at