Get Your Stimulus Check

GetMyPaymentIL.org can help take you get your stimulus payment as quickly as possible.

Most Illinoisans are eligible for Economic Impact Payments from the federal government. Even if you have no income you are eligible, but you might have to take action to receive your check.

You could receive up to $1,200 ($2,400 for a married couple) and $500 for each eligible dependent.

GetMyPaymentIL.org can help take you through each step so you can get your payment as quickly as possible. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to secure your stimulus check and answers common questions you may have.

Also, the recently IRS announced that it will begin adding 3,500 telephone representatives to answers questions about stimulus checks. People can call (800) 919-9835 with their stimulus check related questions.

GetMyPaymentIL.org Flyer:

(Updated) P-EBT: Relief for Households with School-Aged Children

Illinois’ Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program (P-EBT) will provide 316,000 Illinois households with additional funds to replace the meals children can’t access while schools are closed via LINK cards.

UPDATE: The P-EBT application deadline in Illinois has been extended to August 31st!

For more information about recent P-EBT and SNAP updates this August, please see this blog post.

Due to COVID-19, schools across Illinois have been closed. As a result, families with children who got meals at school have been deprived of food.

In response, Illinois’ Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program (P-EBT) is providing 316,000 Illinois households with additional funds to replace the meals children can’t access while schools are closed.

Families have to apply for SNAP or P-EBT by July 15th August 31st to get any P-EBT. The state will no longer accept P-EBT applications after August 31st. Note: Previously, the deadline to apply for P-EBT was July 15th. That deadline was extended by IDHS.

Note: When applying for P-EBT, you are not required to enter a Social Security Number (SSN)! The application will ask for your SSN, but this is optional. However, inputting your SSN (if you have one) will allow your application to be processed more quickly.

Table of Contents

A Visual Guide to Applying for P-EBT
How much will families receive?
Who is eligible?
How can I apply?
Updates to this Post

A Visual Guide to Applying for P-EBT

Return to Table of Contents

How much will families receive?

  • UPDATE: For families who were enrolled in free and reduced price meals in March, if they enroll in SNAP or P-EBT in June, they will get P-EBT benefits retroactive to March – approximately $342 worth of benefits.
    • CPS families are automatically enrolled in free and reduced price meals. Therefore, all CPS families are eligible to receive P-EBT benefits retroactive to March.
  • P-EBT provides an EBT card that can be used at authorized retailers to offset the cost of meals that would have been consumed at school.
  • P-EBT provides the value of school meals at the rate of $5.70 per child per school day.

Return to Table of Contents

Who is eligible?

All CPS families qualify for P-EBT Benefits, but must submit an application for P-EBT if they are not enrolled in SNAP!

  • Households with children enrolled in free or reduced-price school meals, or with a child attending a school that provides all meals for free, can apply directly for P-EBT.
  • Households at or below 185% of the federal poverty guideline but who are not receiving SNAP or free or reduced-price school meals should first call their child’s school to enroll in free or reduced-price meals and then apply for P-EBT.
    • CPS families do not need to do this. They should apply directly for P-EBT.
  • Current SNAP participants are automatically eligible for P-EBT and should see the benefit increase on their LINK card.

P-EBT will be in place until August 31st.

Info for Immigrants and Refugees:

  • The public charge test does not consider receipt of P-EBT benefits. Using P-EBT benefits will not impact a parent or child’s immigration status.
  • Undocumented households with school-aged children are eligible for P-EBT.
  • A Social Security Number (SSN) is not required to apply for P-EBT. The application asks applicants for their SSN, but this is an optional question.

Return to Table of Contents

How can I apply?

  • The deadline to apply for P-EBT in Illinois is now August 31st.
  • Current and newly approved SNAP recipients will automatically see these benefits deposited on their LINK Card.
  • Those not currently on SNAP will have to complete a simplified application and if approved will be mailed a LINK card. This application can be completed through the ABE Online Application system. Approved applicants will receive a LINK card in the mail.

To apply for P-EBT directly through IDHS, use the ABE Online Application system or call 800-843-6154. There’s also a paper application that can be filled out and faxed or emailed to IDHS – links to the paper application can be found below.

If you have any questions for IDHS, issues applying, or are wrongfully denied P-EBT benefits, you can contact IDHS by emailing dhs.fcs.pebt@illinois.gov.

Legal Aid Chicago can help you apply for P-EBT!

  • Call them at (312) 347-8342 for help.
  • Assistance is available in all languages (including Spanish).
  • For more information on Legal Aid Chicago’s Public Benefits Helpline, click here.

The Illinois Hunger Coalition can also help you apply for P-EBT!

  • Call them at 1-800-359-2163 for help.
  • Assistance is available in multiple languages (including Spanish).
  • For more information on the Illinois Hunger Coalition’s Hunger Hotline, click here.

Return to Table of Contents


Updates to this Post

  • Updated 8/5/20 with P-EBT application deadline extension to August 31st.
  • Updated 6/23/20 with IDHS P-EBT email address and Illinois Hunger Hotline for help with P-EBT applications in most languages.
  • Updated 6/19/20 with new deadline: July 15th 2020. Also clarified the fact that applicants are not required to use a Social Security Number.
  • Updated 6/8/20 with info about retroactive benefits and applying by June 30th
  • Updated 5/26/2020 with info about how to apply and graphics in Spanish and English

Return to Table of Contents

Growing Home Job Training Program Accepting Applications

Growing Home’s urban organic farm is currently hiring for its Production Assistant job training program.

Growing Home’s urban organic farm is currently hiring for its Production Assistant job training program.

Based in Englewood, Growing Home is Chicago’s leading expert in farm-based training for people with employment barriers. They know that, when people have jobs, they have economic stability in their lives; this stability allows for healthy people and families. And when communities have access to healthy food options, the overall well-being and health of the residents improves.

Growing Home’s job training program combines time spent working on the on-site urban farm with lessons on work readiness and environmental literacy, an emotional resilience curriculum, and ongoing support for career success post-graduation.

Program Highlights:

  • Applicants who are accepted begin with a job training program that pays $16/hour for 16-20 hours per week.
  • The job training program will be via remote learning due to COVID-19.
  • Applicants must be 18 years or older, unemployed, and Chicago residents.
  • Participants are meant to transition into permanent, full-time employment after graduation.

Program participants also have opportunities to earn professional certifications, gain access to free legal consultation for record sealing and expungement, and receive the support of a case manager available to provide referrals for supportive services.

Last Day to Submit an Application: Friday, June 12th 2020

See this link for more details and check out the flyers below!


Job Training Program Flyers

Unemployment Benefits Now Available to Gig Workers, 1099 Workers, and other Nontraditional Workers

Nontraditional workers whose businesses have been shuttered by the stay at home order can now apply for unemployment benefits through the State of Illinois’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.

The information below was adapted from this article by Block Club Chicago.

Nontraditional workers whose businesses have been shuttered by the stay at home order can now apply for unemployment benefits through the State of Illinois’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.

Those who qualify for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program must first file a regular unemployment claim online or over the phone. Governor Pritzker has recommended people file online.

Once the regular unemployment claim is denied by the regular system, the applicant can then apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.

Click here for the Block Club Chicago article on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.

Emergency Grants for Individuals and Families Experiencing Homelessness

On May 11, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless will launch a mutual aid fund providing one-time emergency grants of up to $500 to individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) hopes to quickly process applications and distribute funds to those hit hardest by COVID-19 and its economic impact. The fund will be overseen and led by a committee of grassroots leaders with lived experience of homelessness.

Individuals interested in applying can apply online or over the phone beginning Monday, May 11 at 9 a.m. through Friday, May 15 at 5 p.m. 

  • Access to the application will made available on the home page of the CCH website from 5/11 at 9am until 5/15 at 5pm.
  • To apply over the phone, individuals can call and speak to an operator at (312) 641-4148 between 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Outside of those hours, people can leave a message and will receive a return call to fill out the application.
  • The online application is available in Spanish, and Spanish-speaking phone operators can be reached at the above number.

For more information, please visit this webpage or view the flyers below.


NFPN Food Delivery Resource Guide

The Northwest Food Partners Network has put together a printable guide listing food delivery services available to community members on Chicago’s Northwest Side during COVID-19.

To learn about more food resources available during COVID-19, check out our COVID-19 Food Resources page.

As a result of COVID-19 and the resultant health risks of going outside, many people across Chicago are grappling with food insecurity. Certain groups are at risk of serious complications due to COVID-19, such as those over the age of 60, immunocompromised individuals, and those with cardiovascular conditions. These people should not be forced to leave the house and put their lives at risk in order to receive food from a food pantry or the grocery store.

The Northwest Food Partners Network has put together a printable guide listing food delivery services available to community members on Chicago’s Northwest Side during COVID-19. This guide is dual sided and bilingual – one side is in Spanish, and the other side is in English.


Last updated 5/5/2020

Greater Chicago Food Depository Pop-Up Pantries

Greater Chicago Food Depository is expanding food access using new food distributions in African American and Latino communities in Chicago that have been devastated by the combination of COVID-19 and food insecurity.

In partnership with seven faith- and community-based organizations – and in collaboration with the City of Chicago – the Food Depository will deliver truckloads of food to pop-up food pantries on Chicago’s South and West Sides. Many of the communities that are hardest hit by the pandemic were already struggling with high rates of poverty and food insecurity. Through this urgent response, the Food Depository aims to build lasting partnerships to strengthen food access in these communities.

Click here to view the locations and schedules of pop-up pantry locations.

You can also view and download an English and Spanish flyer NFPN has created listing the pop-up pantry locations and schedules. These flyers were last updated 5/5/20.


Applying for SNAP During the COVID-19 Crisis

We’ve created a Spanish and English flyer detailing how you can apply for SNAP during COVID-19.

Due to COVID-19, there are resources to help with applications for SNAP benefits over the phone or the web. Click below to view, download, and print our flyer on how to apply for SNAP during COVID-19. The flyer has help in both English and Spanish.

You can quickly check if you qualify for SNAP at apply.mrelief.com/screener.


Here are the contents of the flyer:

As of April 16th, IDHS Family Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) are closed for in-person visits.

You can still apply for SNAP benefits through IDHS by going to abe.illinois.gov or calling (800) 843 6154. Certain community organizations can also help you apply for SNAP over the phone.

Organizations that can Help You Apply for SNAP Benefits

Catholic Charities – Family Stabilization Services Department

  • Languages: English, Spanish
  • Phone: (312) 655-7500
  • catholiccharities.net
  • Other Benefits Help: Medicaid, Medicare, financial assistance

Chicago Public Schools – Health and Wellness

Greater Chicago Food Depository

Legal Aid Chicago

  • Languages: English, Spanish
    • Interpreters available for any other language
  • Phone: (312) 341-1070
  • When: Monday – Friday starting at 8am
  • legalaidchicago.org/get-help/
  • Other Benefits Help: Medicaid, Medicare, SSI, TANF

Illinois Department of Human Services

  • Languages: English, Spanish
  • Phone: 1 (833) 2-FIND-HELP (1-833-234-6343) or 1-800-843-6154
  • When: Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm
  • ABE.Illinois.gov

Illinois Hunger Coalition

  • Languages: English, Spanish
  • Phone: 1 (800) 359-2163
  • When: Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm
  • www.ilhunger.org
  • Can help with SNAP application denials
  • Other Benefits Help: WIC, LIHEAP, child care, housing assistance, senior nutrition and help, Meals on Wheels

You can quickly check if you qualify for SNAP at apply.mrelief.com/screener.

Other Important SNAP Updates:

  • If your SNAP benefits were scheduled to be recertified in March, April, or May, you are automatically receiving a six (6) month extension. You will not have to recertify until September, October, or November.
  • Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) are exempt from work requirements until the month following the end of the federally declared emergency. Working is not required to keep SNAP benefits.
  • If your monthly SNAP benefit is less than the maximum SNAP benefit for your household size, you will get a supplemental SNAP benefit for April and May.
  • Pandemic EBT will be paid to families with school-aged children in April and May, regardless of immigration status. Families on SNAP will receive this money automatically. Others should submit an application through abe.illinois.gov.

For more details and SNAP updates, go to link.nfpnchicago.org/covid-19-snap

Can’t find assistance? We might be able to help. link.nfpnchicago.org/assistance

Need help with P-EBT, SNAP, Medicaid, or Cash Assistance?

Legal Aid Chicago has created a helpline to get assist you with applying for Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) benefits.

Legal Aid Chicago has created a helpline to assist you with applying for Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) benefits. This includes SNAP (food assistance), Medicaid (health coverage), and Cash Assistance (for families and for the aged, blind, or disabled).

The public charge test does not consider receipt of P-EBT benefits. Using P-EBT benefits will not impact a parent or child’s immigration status.

UPDATE: Legal Aid Chicago’s helpline call also help you apply for P-EBT! For more information about this cash benefit for households with school-aged children, click here.

Continue reading “Need help with P-EBT, SNAP, Medicaid, or Cash Assistance?”

(Updated) P-EBT: Relief for Households with School-Aged Children

Illinois’ Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program (P-EBT) will provide 316,000 Illinois households with additional funds to replace the meals children can’t access while schools are closed via LINK cards.

UPDATE: The P-EBT application deadline in Illinois has been extended to August 31st!

For more information about recent P-EBT and SNAP updates this August, please see this blog post.

Due to COVID-19, schools across Illinois have been closed. As a result, families with children who got meals at school have been deprived of food.

In response, Illinois’ Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program (P-EBT) is providing 316,000 Illinois households with additional funds to replace the meals children can’t access while schools are closed.

Families have to apply for SNAP or P-EBT by July 15th August 31st to get any P-EBT. The state will no longer accept P-EBT applications after August 31st. Note: Previously, the deadline to apply for P-EBT was July 15th. That deadline was extended by IDHS.

Note: When applying for P-EBT, you are not required to enter a Social Security Number (SSN)! The application will ask for your SSN, but this is optional. However, inputting your SSN (if you have one) will allow your application to be processed more quickly.

Table of Contents

How much will families receive?
Who is eligible?
How can I apply?
A Visual Guide to Applying for P-EBT
Updates to this Post

How much will families receive?

  • UPDATE: For families who were enrolled in free and reduced price meals in March, if they enroll in SNAP or P-EBT in June, they will get P-EBT benefits retroactive to March – approximately $342 worth of benefits.
    • CPS families are automatically enrolled in free and reduced price meals. Therefore, all CPS families are eligible to receive P-EBT benefits retroactive to March.
  • P-EBT provides an EBT card that can be used at authorized retailers to offset the cost of meals that would have been consumed at school.
  • P-EBT provides the value of school meals at the rate of $5.70 per child per school day.

Return to Table of Contents

Who is eligible?

All CPS families qualify for P-EBT Benefits, but must submit an application for P-EBT if they are not enrolled in SNAP!

  • Households with children enrolled in free or reduced-price school meals, or with a child attending a school that provides all meals for free, can apply directly for P-EBT.
  • Households at or below 185% of the federal poverty guideline but who are not receiving SNAP or free or reduced-price school meals should first call their child’s school to enroll in free or reduced-price meals and then apply for P-EBT.
    • CPS families do not need to do this. They should apply directly for P-EBT.
  • Current SNAP participants are automatically eligible for P-EBT and should see the benefit increase on their LINK card.

P-EBT will be in place until August 31st, 2020.

Info for Immigrants and Refugees:

  • The public charge test does not consider receipt of P-EBT benefits. Using P-EBT benefits will not impact a parent or child’s immigration status.
  • Undocumented households with school-aged children are eligible for P-EBT.
  • A Social Security Number (SSN) is not required to apply for P-EBT. The application asks applicants for their SSN, but this is an optional question.

Return to Table of Contents

How can I apply?

  • The deadline to apply for P-EBT in Illinois is now August 31st.
  • Current and newly approved SNAP recipients will automatically see these benefits deposited on their LINK Card.
  • Those not currently on SNAP will have to complete a simplified application and if approved will be mailed a LINK card. This application can be completed through the ABE Online Application system. Approved applicants will receive a LINK card in the mail.

To apply for P-EBT directly through IDHS, use the ABE Online Application system or call 800-843-6154. There’s also a paper application that can be filled out and faxed or emailed to IDHS – links to the paper application can be found below.

If you have any questions for IDHS, issues applying, or are wrongfully denied P-EBT benefits, you can contact IDHS by emailing dhs.fcs.pebt@illinois.gov.

Legal Aid Chicago can help you apply for P-EBT!

  • Call them at (312) 347-8342 for help.
  • Assistance is available in all languages (including Spanish).
  • For more information on Legal Aid Chicago’s Public Benefits Helpline, click here.

The Illinois Hunger Coalition can also help you apply for P-EBT!

  • Call them at 1-800-359-2163 for help.
  • Assistance is available in multiple languages (including Spanish).
  • For more information on the Illinois Hunger Coalition’s Hunger Hotline, click here.

Return to Table of Contents

A Visual Guide to Applying for P-EBT

Return to Table of Contents


Updates to this Post

  • Updated 8/5/2020 with P-EBT application deadline extension to August 31st.
  • Updated 6/23/20 with IDHS P-EBT email address and Illinois Hunger Hotline for help with P-EBT applications in most languages.
  • Updated 6/19/20 with new deadline: July 15th 2020. Also clarified the fact that applicants are not required to use a Social Security Number.
  • Updated 6/8/20 with info about retroactive benefits and applying by June 30th
  • Updated 5/26/2020 with new information about how to apply and graphics in Spanish and English

Return to Table of Contents