Illinois Food Stamps

In Illinois, food stamp benefits are administered through the Department of Human Services’ Family & Community Services Division. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low-income families and people buy food to meet their nutritional needs. There are some eligibility rules that must be met in order to receive food stamp benefits in the state of Illinois. The eligibility factors include income and expenses and residency. There are monthly gross income limits that affect your ability to receive SNAP benefits. For more information, click here.

To get started with the application process, you can download the paper application here. You must complete the form to the best of your ability and sign it. Once you’ve completed the application, you must submit it in person or via mail or fax to your local Family Community Resource Center. Use this tool to locate your nearest office. You may also apply for food stamp benefits online by visiting their website. After submitting your application, you will be asked to come to a DHS office for an interview, during which time you will have to present documents verifying your identity, residency, Social Security number and financial situation.

If you are approved for food stamp benefits, you will receive an Illinois Link card. This card is your key to purchasing eligible foods. The Link card acts like any normal debit card. Simply swipe at the register and enter your PIN. Make sure to keep your PIN secret so no one steals your benefits. Stolen benefits cannot be replaced.


1. How do I check my Illinois Link card account balance?

To check your account balance and access other account information, simply log on to their site and enter the required information.

2. Who should I contact if I cannot get in touch with my caseworker?

If you cannot reach your caseworker, call the DHS Customer Service Helpline at 800-843-6154, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

3. Where can I find more information about income limits?

To see a full breakdown of income limits as they relate to SNAP benefits, visit their website.

4. What are Emergency SNAP Benefits?

Emergency SNAP benefits are benefits that are ready in five days or less from the date you apply.

5. Are there items that I cannot buy with SNAP benefits?

Yes. Federal law prohibits you from buying alcohol, tobacco, household items, vitamins and medicines, pet food and hot foods with food stamp benefits.

Contact: Illinois Food Stamps.