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June 16, 2011

Illinois Receives $3.4 Million Bonus for Effective Stewardship of Taxpayer Dollars
State Recognized for Accuracy in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – The state of Illinois was awarded a $3.4 million bonus for its effective administration of the Supplemental Food and Nutrition Program (SNAP), USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today.  Illinois was recognized for its accuracy rate of 98.3 percent, which ranked fourth in the nation, and having the third most improved accuracy rate in the country.

“Our improved accuracy in the SNAP program is the result of hard work and care-filled effort by our staff,” said DHS Secretary Michelle R. B. Saddler.  “Despite caseloads of 700, 1,000 or even 2,500 per worker, our DHS caseworkers have demonstrated yeoman’s efforts that have paid off not only for the state, but for each individual that we serve.  We’ve also made changes to simplify the reporting process for SNAP customers, which has helped us streamline the program and improve accountability.”

SNAP helps low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health. Benefits are provided on the Link Card - an electronic card that is accepted at most grocery stores. The program is managed by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture. The Department of Human Services administers the program in Illinois.

There were 862,243 Illinois families receiving SNAP in May.  The maximum monthly benefit for a family of three is $526 a month. The average monthly benefit is $288 a month.

For more information about today’s USDA announcement, visit the USDA website at www.usda.gov.  For more information about Illinois SNAP, including eligibility requirements and applications, visit the IDHS website at www.dhs.state.il.us.


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