SPRINGFIELD - Today, Governor Pritzker announced that the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has extended the deadline for Illinoisans to apply for nutrition benefits to August 31. Eligible Illinois residents can receive food benefits totaling $342 per eligible student. Approximately 390,000 eligible students across the State of Illinois have not yet applied for Illinois Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits for the 2020-2021 school year.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) authorized and will fund the P-EBT program, which will bring food benefits to all school-aged children who are eligible for free or reduced meals at schools through the National School Lunch Program. The benefit is issued to all SNAP households with school-aged children.
"We are pleased to see the deadline extended so that every eligible Illinois family can take advantage of this additional support," said IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou. "IDHS has and will continue to apply for waivers that provide additional food assistance for children and families in our state. This extension is a benefit for families who need support."
The P-EBT program has already provided more than 730,000 children in Illinois with more than $246 million in additional nutrition benefits. Benefits are calculated using a $5.70 per day and per student calculation.
Eligible Benefit Amounts are as follows:
• $182.40= March & April 2020
• $119.70= May 2020
• $39.90= June 2020
These benefits apply to households with school-aged children who were eligible for free or reduced meals from March 2020 through June 2020 when Illinois schools were operating remotely due to COVID-19. Those who did not receive SNAP benefits last spring are able to submit a simplified application for P-EBT benefits using the ABE.Illinois.gov online portal or by completing a paper application which is available at the IDHS website at dhs.state.il.us.
"We know the pandemic has impacted many families financially," said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. "The Pandemic EBT ensures that students eligible for free and reduced-price meals at school have access to the food they need at home as well. ISBE encourages every eligible family to apply and we are taking every opportunity to communicate about this program to schools and encourage schools to share this information with families."