January 11 – Illinois residents participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will have benefits funded through February despite the federal government shutdown.
The Illinois Department of Human Services made the announcement Friday, adding that benefits will be issued on January 20. Typically, benefits are issued early in the month.
“We want to reassure our customers that SNAP benefits are funded through the end of February,” said IDHS Secretary James Dimas. “However, we need to spread the word as quickly and widely as possible that these benefits will be issued earlier than usual.”
SNAP is a federal program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture and distributed through IDHS in Illinois. Because of the way the USDA has funded February SNAP benefits, they must be issued on or before January 20 – about a week and half earlier than usual.
Customers will not need to visit the local IDHS offices or call their caseworkers. IDHS staff will be working in the upcoming days to implement the necessary changes so customers see no disruption in their benefits. SNAP customers will receive the normal amount of monthly SNAP benefits on their Link cards, the debit-like cards used to spend SNAP benefits and other cash assistance.
IDHS will be working to communicate the early issuance to SNAP customers in the upcoming days through the IDHS website, Link website and customer service phone line, a social media campaign and community outreach.