From a News Release from the Illinois Department of Human Services
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) will offer immediate food assistance to 15 counties beginning Wednesday, December 11. 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 severe storms last month.
“The state of Illinois is taking every step necessary to ensure that families across the state have the resources they need to recover from these tragic storms,” Governor Quinn said. “We have been approved for critical federal aid for individuals, businesses and governments, and now we must ensure our residents are getting life’s daily necessities, including access to food. This assistance will provide those affected with extra benefits to buy groceries to feed their families.”
Individuals may be eligible for Disaster SNAP if they lived in one of the following counties when the disaster occurred: Champaign, Douglas, Fayette, Grundy, Jasper, LaSalle, Massac, Pope, Tazewell, Vermilion, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, Will and Woodford. 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 storms on November 17. 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 11/17/13 – 12/16/13.
Disaster SNAP benefits will be provided to families based on total income and assets available to a household during the severe weather event. Non-reimbursed disaster-related expenses are allowed as a deduction from income and assets if verification of the expense is provided.
A qualifying two person family with a monthly income less than $1,923 would receive a maximum of $347 in benefits; a four person family with a monthly income less than $2,604 would receive a maximum of $632 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 storms 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 November 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 December 11-13 and 16-17 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 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.
Individuals are not required to register with FEMA to apply for DSNAP.
Disaster SNAP applications will be taken at the following IDHS Family Community Resource Center (FCRC):
705 N. Country Fair Dr.; Champaign
800 S. Locust St.; Centralia
1560 First Ave.; Ottawa
2301 Metropolis St.; Metropolis
1110 N. Allen St.; Robinson
106 N. Market St.; Golconda
220 S. Bowman Ave.; Danville
2517 W 9th St., Suite A; Mt. Carmel
333 Potomac Blvd., Suite F; Mt. Vernon
45 E. Webster St.; Joliet
200 S. 2nd St., Suite 20; Pekin