The Illinois Department of Human Services manages the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which helps low-income Illinois residents buy food, as well as obtain emergency food at no cost. Also known as food stamps, Illinois residents qualify for SNAP benefits by demonstrating financial need based on household size, income and assets as well as overall household expenses. Residents can apply for SNAP on the human services website, by submitting a paper application and mailing or faxing it to a human services office or by applying in-person at a human services office. Once the application is complete, residents can check the status of their application a variety of ways.
You can check your SNAP application status similarly to how you applied for benefits. If you applied online, log in to the Application for Benefits Eligibility website and enter your user ID and password. By doing so, you can see if your application has been approved, denied or if it is still processing, all from the comfort of your own home. You can also check your status by phone by calling the IDHS helpline at 1-800-843-6154. When prompted, from the available list of options, choose "food stamps" then "case status." You will need your Social Security number and your case number in order to progress through the system and check your status.
Local IDHS offices can also provide you with information on your SNAP application status. This method of checking your status can take longer than other methods such as checking online or calling IDHS directly – especially during busy times – but it is another option available to you. At the office you'll be required to provide your Social Security number and case number for this method as well. You should also check to see if you will need an appointment, or if you can come to check your status on a walk-in basis.
Depending on your own special circumstances, you may need to supply additional documentation as required per your specific case, such as proof of residence. If you are unsure what additional documentation you may need to bring with you when you apply, contact your IDHS caseworker, or visit the IDHS website for more information. The Department of Human Services processes applications within 30 days, and will mail a letter stating whether you have been approved or not, as well as steps for appealing a decision.