Illinois to release March food stamp benefits early

(Illinois News Network) -- The state of Illinois is ready to get residents on food stamps in the state their next round of benefits as quickly as they can.

The Illinois Department of Human Services says it will distribute the benefits, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, all at once because families last got a round of benefits in late January.

DHS's Meghan Powers says the benefits will be ready to go on the first of the month.

"There's nothing they need to do," Powers said. "They do not need to visit the offices or call the offices. Benefits will be automatically loaded on their LINK Cards."

Powers says the early-issue of benefits in January will also impact April's benefits.

"In April, we plan to issue benefits between the first and the 10th of the month," Powers said. "We are waiting on the federal budget to be approved for that plan.  But at this point, we plan for the first through the 10th of the month."

Nearly two million people in Illinois receive SNAP benefits.

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