CHICAGO - Residents in seven counties declared federal disaster areas after recent flooding will now have additional time to apply for Disaster Food Stamps after the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) requested and received approval from the federal government to extend the application deadline to 5:00 pm on Friday, October 24.
The application period was scheduled to end yesterday. The extension follows a surge of applications as more than 11,000 households (43,000 individuals) were approved for more than $5 million in Disaster Food Stamps.
The Department has taken steps to accelerate the process for those applying for food stamps, such as increasing staff at high traffic locations and deploying shuttle buses to take applicants from remote parking locations to the local offices.
“When the Department of Human Services saw an increased demand for Disaster Food Stamps in our Chicago offices, we worked quickly to make it easier for applicants. With increased staffing at these locations, transportation assistance and additional time to apply, the process should be easier for Illinoisans hit by hardest by the flooding. The surge in applications shows how necessary this assistance is in these tough economic times, which for some in these areas, was only made worse by unforeseen flooding that damaged houses, businesses and livelihoods. We will continue to work with these hard-hit Illinoisans to ensure they get the assistance they need,” said IDHS Secretary Carol L. Adams, Ph.D.
Individuals may be eligible for this relief if they live or work in the following counties declared federal disaster areas on October 3: Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Grundy, LaSalle and Will Counties. To qualify, they must have experienced an adverse effect from the disaster, including damage to home or business, food loss, disaster-related expenses not reimbursed, loss or reduction of income, or inaccessibility of assets. Applicants must bring identification as well as some form of proof of residence in an affected area.
Disaster Food Stamp Program
Special applications for the Disaster Food Stamp Program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services are available at (IDHS) Family Community Resource Centers (FCRC) located in the following counties that were designated as federal disaster areas: Parts of Cook County, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Grundy, LaSalle and Will Counties. People living in Grundy County are served by the FCRC in LaSalle County.
Individuals who may be eligible for Disaster Food Stamps must file a claim at their nearest Illinois Department of Human Services office. For office locations, call IDHS at 800-843-6154. Illinois residents who lived or worked in a disaster area in one of these counties at the time of the disaster may qualify for the Disaster Food Stamp.
Disaster Food Stamps will be provided to families based on cash resources available to a household during the disaster. Non-reimbursed disaster-related expenses are allowed as a deduction from cash resources. A 4-person family with a maximum allowable income of $2,328 a month would receive $565 in food stamps. A qualifying 3-person family would receive $445 and 2 persons $311. Most benefits will be available within 3 days of the date of application.
Persons on the regular Food Stamp Program that were affected by the disaster are also encouraged to apply for this special program because they may qualify for additional food stamp benefits to bring their benefit level up to the maximum benefit amount for the month of the disaster.
Food Stamps can be used to purchase food for human consumption, but cannot be used to buy alcoholic drinks, tobacco products or non-food products. Persons committing fraud with the Food Stamp Program may be disqualified from the program, may be fined up to $250,000 and put in prison up to 20 years or both.
Persons may file an application for Disaster Food Stamps at their local IDHS office listed below:
Calumet Park 831 W 119th St Chicago, IL 60643-5274
Phone: (773) 660-4700 (Voice) Nextalk: (866) 439-3713 Fax: (773) 660-2335
2753 W North Ave Chicago, IL 60647-5246
Phone: (773) 292-7200 (Voice) Nextalk:(866) 439-3721 Fax: (773) 292-7224
8020 St. Louis St Skokie, IL 60076-2923
Phone: (847) 745-3200 (Voice) Nextalk: (866) 321-8261 Fax: (847) 745-3276
3301 Wireton Road Blue Island, IL 60406-2442
Phone: (708) 293-4700 (Voice) Nextalk: (866) 439-3715 Fax: (708) 293-4741
2701 W Lake Melrose Park, IL 60160-3041
Phone: (708) 338-7600 (Voice) Nextalk: (866) 439-3720 Fax: (708) 338-7638
1279 N Milwaukee, 3rd Fl Chicago, IL 60622-2296
Phone: (773) 292-2900 (Voice) Nextalk: (866) 439-3718 Fax: (773) 292-2920
1629 Afton Rd Sycamore, IL 60178-3253
Phone: (815) 895-8667 (Voice) Nextalk: (866) 322-8423 Fax: (815) 895-8679
146 W Roosevelt Rd Villa Oaks Office Concourse-Suite 2 Villa Park, IL 60181-3575
Phone: (630) 530-1120 (Voice) Nextalk: (866) 322-3092 Fax: (630) 834-5947
Grundy and LaSalle
700 Centennial Dr Ottawa, IL 61350-1073
Phone: (815) 433-1572 (Voice) Nextalk: (866) 451-5770 Fax: (815) 433-2392
600 S State St Elgin, IL 60123-7610
Phone: (847) 931-2700 (Voice) Nextalk: (866) 323-1092
45 E Webster St Joliet, IL 60432-4067 Phone: (815) 740-5350 (Voice) Nextalk: (866) 322-2586 Fax: (815) 740-5313