CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced today that April Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will be issued early to some Illinois customers. April SNAP benefits will be loaded automatically on customers’ Link cards between April 1st and April 10th.

SNAP recipients who typically receive their benefits between April 1st and April 10th will receive their benefits according to their regular schedule. SNAP recipients who typically receives their benefits after the 10th of the month, will receive their April benefits on April 10th. May benefits will return to the regular schedule.

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“The federal shutdown earlier this year took a toll on Illinois families,” said IDHS Secretary Designate Grace B Hou. “While we were able to maintain operations at the state level and still provide benefits to our customers, February SNAP benefits were issued early as a result. This created a potential long gap in between monthly SNAP issuances. We’ve created a plan to schedule April benefits early for some of our customers, so they don’t have to wait too long in between their benefits.”

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SNAP is a federal program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and distributed through IDHS in Illinois. Because of the way the USDA funded SNAP during the federal shutdown, February benefits were issued in January. To reduce the time in between monthly SNAP issuances, IDHS created a new SNAP issuance schedule for March and April.

There is no need for customers to visit the local IDHS offices or call their caseworkers. IDHS staff will be working in the upcoming days to implement the necessary changes to issue some SNAP benefits early. Customers will receive the normal amount of monthly SNAP benefits on their Link cards, the debit-like cards used to spend SNAP benefits and other cash assistance.

IDHS will be working to communicate the new issuance dates to SNAP customers through the IDHS website, Link website and phone line, a social media campaign and community outreach.

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