Pandemic EBT Up and Running in Illinois

Disaster relief benefits will help families feed their children

Illinois is one of the first states to offer pandemic EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) SNAP benefits to families with school-aged children who would receive free or reduced-price meals when schools were in session.

This program gives families food benefits to replace school meals missed by children, even if those families were picking up meals from their school districts.

Eligible families are those with school-aged children getting SNAP, signed up for free or reduced-price meals, or attending a community eligibility school or district where every child is deemed eligible for free meals.

This program covers all school-aged children, including undocumented children, and provides benefits retroactively to late March – once schools had been shut for 5 days and prospectively through the scheduled end date of school in June.

Because the program is classified as a disaster relief benefit, immigrant families may receive this assistance without concern for adjusting their immigration status under the public charge rule.

SNAP recipients should have benefits already available on their LINK cards. Households not currently receiving SNAP can apply for the benefit online, or by completing a paper application and mailing it in to:  

Central Scan Unit (CSU)
P.O. Box 19138
Springfield, IL 62763-9138

Illinois Department of Human Services Flier on Pandemic EBT [En EspaƱol]

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Systemic inequities and the legacy of structural racism make it harder for low-income people and people of color to achieve financial stability.

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