Economic Support

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has put together a toolkit to help people understand the expansion of benefits and stimulus that have passed at the federal level. There are a variety of resources available to provide people with economic support during and after the COVID-19 crisis. Click here to access the toolkit.

If you’re under financial hardship due to COVID-19, you may qualify for:



The Illinois Department of Employment Security has compiled an FAQ on how the federal stimulus package will impact individuals applying for unemployment. IDES has also launched an unemployment chat tool

Individuals who have been temporarily laid off due to COVID-19 may be eligible for unemployment benefits with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Under recently adopted emergency rules due to the coronavirus outbreak, individuals do not have to register with the employment service, and are instead considered to be actively seeking work as long as they are prepared to return to their job as soon as the employer re-opens. Full eligibility requirements can be found on the IDES unemployment insurance handbook.

Along with general demographic and background information, individuals will need the following information to apply:

  • Drivers license or state ID

  • Current residential and mailing address

  • Social security number

  • Last dates of employment

  • Number of days worked during the last employment period

  • Number of weeks earning $484 or more during last employment period

More information can be found on the IDES website. Check out the PUA website for unemployment benefits that are available for self-employed individuals or independent contractors.



The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Undocumented immigrants are able to apply for these benefits. Learn more and apply online.


SNAP and Medicaid Benefits

Benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, can be used to purchase groceries from local stores. Medicaid can help you access health insurance if you are uninsured. Eligibility is determined by household income. Those affected by recent COVID-19 related job losses may qualify. Apply directly through the IDES website, or get assistance from the Greater Chicago Food Depository Benefits Hotline (Mon-Fri, 8:30a-5p) at 773-843-5416. Visit the Department of Human Services’ website to use an interactive SNAP calculator.


There have been a number of laws that have passed expanding access to food assistance programs. The Greater Chicago Food Depository has compiled a number of resources to help people navigate the different programs for which they may be eligible: