HELP ILLINOIS FAMILIES INITIATIVE
Effective immediately, the Help Illinois Families initiative is implementing an online pre-application form to make it easier and faster for individuals and families to start the application process remotely and to determine eligibility for LIHEAP and/or CSBG services. This initiative remains available for all qualifying low-income households, regardless of how they may be affected by COVID-19. Eligible families may qualify for hundreds of dollars of support; all applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis.
PHASE 4 REOPENING
The City of Chicago recently announced that we are entering Phase 4 of the reopening process and that COVID-19 restrictions are beginning to ease up even more.
Under Phase 4 we should all continue to practice the same preventative health practices as before. Wear a mask when in public, social distance at least 6 feet, and wash your hands often.
Day camps and other summer programs that practice social distancing and other safety measures are now permitted. The Chicago Lakefront and the 606 Trail are also reopened with social distancing and other safety measures.
Safety measures continue for stores and public transportation.
WEST TOWN HEALTH MARKET
Fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables are now available at the West Town Health Market which is being held every Thursday from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM at Division and Oakley. SNAP/LINK cards are accepted. For coupons that offer major discounts to SNAP recipients, contact Emma Epstein at firstname.lastname@example.org or (773) 489-8484 ext. 257.
US GOVERNMENT STIMULUS PAYMENTS
Most residents are eligible to receive a stimulus check from the US government via the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Undocumented individuals and those who are currently incarcerated are not eligible for the payments. Unpaid child support may be deducted from stimulus payments.
- $1,200 for individuals
- $2,400 for couples who file taxes jointly
- Households with children under the age of 17 will receive an additional $500 per child
Payments are being sent where households received their last tax refund or where they currently receive Social Security and/or Veterans benefits.
NEW COVID-19 UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
Unemployment benefits are paid by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Two recent changes were made to the unemployment benefits system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:
People receiving standard unemployment benefits received a $600 increase.
People who are not eligible for standard unemployment benefits are now eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Examples of eligibility for PUA include if you have COVID-19, if you have to care for your children who are at home due to COVID-19, if you were advised for health reasons to self-quarantine, or if you do not have a job due to COVID-19.
To qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applicants must first apply for standard unemployment assistance and be denied.
SNAP (FOOD ASSISTANCE) BENEFITS
Current SNAP recipients should have received added COVID-19 benefits starting in April. Complete an Application for Benefits Eligibility to receive SNAP benefits.
OTHER FOOD RESOURCES
- Food bank locations
- Northwest Food Partners Network Guide
- La Casa Norte Food Pantry (M, Tu, W from 11:00 AM-3:00 PM).
- La Casa Norte Community Cafe “Grab and Go” (M, W, 5:30 PM-6:30 PM)
- Chicago Public Schools: CPS families can pick up free food boxes at any CPS school. If you need assistance, please call the CPS Command Center at 773-553-KIDS (5437) or email email@example.com
CHICAGO HOUSING AUTHORITY HCV AND PBV RENT ADJUSTMENTS
If you live in a CHA HCV or PBV unit and you have experienced a loss of income due to Covid-19 you may be eligible for a rent reduction. See the section on “Reporting and Requesting Changes” to request a rent adjustment.
HEALTHY HOUSEHOLD PRACTICES
Play, walk, run outside! Wear a mask and practice social distancing.
CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS REMOTE LEARNING
Chicago’s sudden plunge into remote learning has been difficult for all involved. If families have not received promised computers and/or are not satisfied with their child’s remote learning experience, each family is strongly urged to advocate with teachers, their school’s principal and their Local School Council.