Step 1 (optional): Find out if you are eligible to apply by using the food stamps eligibility calculator here.
Step 2: If you are eligible to apply for food stamps, continue in one of the following ways:
- Apply online here. If you select this option of applying, you may skip step 3.
- Pick up an application from your local Department of Human Services (DHS) office.
Step 3: Mail your completed application to your local Department of Human Services (DHS) office.
Note: Click here to find your local DHS office here.
For assistance, please call 1-800-843-6154 .
Applying For Illinois Food Stamps
For helping low income families having difficulty affording food, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) was created. SNAP is usually called food stamps, as formerly, colored stamps were given and used to obtain food items. SNAP offered assistance to over 40 million Americans in 2010.
It does not matter what their own race, gender, or religion is – applying for food stamps is available to anyone located inside the United States. The average person acquired $101/month from the SNAP program in 2008, allowing them to buy bread, dairy, various meats, produce, fresh fruits and even garden seeds.
Illinois Food Stamp Guidelines For Applicants
To get accepted into the food stamp program, you must fulfill certain monetary and situational requirements. During the application process, and interview, you will need to have specific documents accessible.
For the majority of people below the age of 60, you cannot have more than $2,000 in assets. If a person in your household, or you, are no less than 60 years old, then the limit is raised up to $3,000. In the event you are currently obtaining aid from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), or accept Supplemental Security Income (SSI), these do not count as assets when you apply for food stamps. What is counted as assets is any cash you’ve got, money that you have saved in a bank account, or your vehicle (in some cases).
There is also an income limit, which will depend on the number of people living in your household when that you apply for food stamps.
How much your expenses are is also considered when applying for SNAP benefits. The total amount you pay for child or elderly care, rent or mortgage and utilities will all be taken into account. Some medical expenses may also be considered under certain circumstances.
Once you are accepted into the SNAP program, you will get an electronic benefits transfer card (EBT). An EBT card is very similar to a debit card and can be used at many grocery stores, and even some qualifying convenience stores or farmers markets.
When Will I Get My Illinois Link EBT Card?
Once you have been accepted into the Illinois food stamp program and have completed your interview, your card will arrive in the mail in 1 week.
How Do I Use My Illinois Link EBT Card?
Before you use your new Link card to buy food with your food stamps you need to select a 4-digit pin number. This number will be required at the cash register every time you make a purchase with your Link EBT card. To set your pin number, click here or call the phone number listed on the back of your Link card (1-800-678-5465). You will need to know the 19-digit number that is on the front of your Link card to set your pin number.
How Do I Check My Remaining Food Stamps Balance?
Knowing how many benefits you have left is very important to keep your food budget balanced throughout the month. To check your food stamps balance, click here or call 1-800-678-5465. Your 19-digit card number located on the front of your Link card will be needed to check your balance.