If you received unemployment benefits during the pandemic, you likely receive Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, or PUC. PUC is scheduled to expire for all unemployment participants at the end of July.
This article contains information and resources on applying for SNAP benefits for both PUC recipients and community organizations that serve clients who have received PUC benefits.
What is Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC)?
PUC provides an additional unemployment benefits of $600 per week. This temporary increase will end on July 25, 2020.
What can I do once my PUC benefits expire?
If you need additional help with purchasing groceries once your $600 per week from PUC stops coming in, you should consider applying for SNAP benefits.
Eligibility for SNAP is based on the income you received in the 30 days prior to the date of your application. For many people, the additional income received through Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) put them over the income limit for SNAP eligibility.
You can apply for SNAP as soon as your PUC benefits end. However, it is important to note that your first month of benefits will likely be $0 based on the income you received through PUC in the prior 30 days.
Future months of benefits, however, will be based on your income without PUC. (Illinois SNAP Policy Manual: PM 13-02-03: Income)
SNAP Income Limits
Below are the gross income limits for SNAP benefits. If your income will be less than the listed amount after the Pandemic Unemployment Benefits (PUC) end, you may be eligible for SNAP Benefits.
|SNAP Unit Size||Maximum Gross Income Standard (165%)|
|Each Additional Member||+608|
Tips for a Smooth Application Process (for Community Organizations)
In order to ensure that IDHS has a clear understanding of the client’s financial situation at the time of application, we recommend providing the caseworkers with an explanation of the fact that the clients income will be decreasing.
You can include a note on the fax cover page for a paper application, or in the comments section of the online application.
Below is a sample text for the note:
Mr. Smith had previously been receiving Pandemic Unemployment Benefits in the amount of $600 per week in addition to his regularly scheduled unemployment benefits. Beginning 7/25/2020, Mr. Smith will no longer be receiving the additional unemployment income, and will only be receiving his weekly benefit in the amount of $250.