SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) will offer immediate food assistance in 33 counties impacted by flooding, including Winnebago, Whiteside, and DeKalb counties beginning Monday, June 17. The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services has authorized IDHS to offer special Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to residents in those counties declared federal disaster areas as a result of flooding in April.
Individuals may be eligible for Disaster SNAP if they live in specific areas in the affected counties. To qualify, persons must have had damage to home or business, paid disaster-related expenses that were not reimbursed, or loss or reduction of income as a result of the disaster during the period of 4/16/13 through 5/15/13. Applicants must bring proof of identity, proof of residence in a disaster area prior to the disaster, and any unreimbursed disaster expenses paid during the dates of 4/16/13-5/15/13.
Disaster SNAP benefits will be provided to families based on total income and assets available to a household during the flood. Non-reimbursed disaster-related expenses are allowed as a deduction from income and assets if verification of the expense is provided. A qualifying one-person household with a monthly net income less than $1,549 would receive a maximum of $200 in benefits; a two person family with a monthly income less than $1,879 would receive a maximum of $367 in benefits. Most benefits will be available within five days of the date of application.
Persons receiving regular SNAP benefits that were affected by the flood may also apply for this special program. They may qualify for additional SNAP benefits to bring their benefit level up to the maximum benefit amount for April 2013. Active SNAP recipients that already received the maximum benefit amount for their unit size are not eligible for additional benefits.
Applications will be accepted from June 17 through June 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. To accommodate working families, offices will open at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday (6/18, 6/20). People must apply in person at the designated Disaster SNAP office for their county of residence and complete a paper application. In addition, for some counties, eligibility is limited to residents of certain zip codes (listed below). For more information, residents can call their local IDHS office or visit the IDHS website at www.dhs.state.il.us.
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.
In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, IDHS is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the department.
Persons committing fraud with SNAP will be disqualified from the program, and may be fined up to $250,000, receive a prison term of up to 20 years, or both.
For applications, please see below for eligible counties, eligible zip codes within the county, and the designated Disaster SNAP FCRC.
DeKalb County: DeKalb FCRC 1629 Afton Rd. Sycamore, IL 60178-3253 Phone: (815) 895-8667 Nextalk: (866) 322-8423
Whiteside County: Whiteside FCRC 2605 Woodlawn Rd. Sterling, IL 61081-4174 Phone: (815) 632-4045 Nextalk: (866) 323-4849
Winnebago County– Zip codes of 61115, 61073: Winnebago FCRC 1111 N. Avon St. Rockford, IL 61101-5898 Phone: (815) 987-7620 Nextalk: (866) 322-2681