April 21 COVID-19 Update: New SNAP benefit extension and student loan relief

By Jacob Lorenz, Staff Reporter

Angel Chevrestt // @sobrofoto
Shoppers leave Kroger supermarket, Carbondale, IL, Saturday, April 4, 2020. Some shoppers opted to wear homemade medical masks, bandanas, or some other improvised facial covering to help protect against the Covid-19 pandemic.
(Angel Chevrestt, 646.314.3206)

There have been 1,551 new cases in Illinois since April 20 and 119 deaths, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of Illinois Department of Public Health, said in the daily governor press conference. 

This brings the total in Illinois to 33,059 cases and 1,468 deaths. 

“We must continue building on the progress we have made and sustain it. Let’s keep being all in for Illinois,” Ezike said. 


Gov. JB Pritzker also had two announcements for students of Illinois and families receiving SNAP benefits. 

More than 140,000 student loan borrowers in Illinois will get more loan relief. This relief is for those who are not covered by the Cares Act, Pritzker said. 

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is working with 20 loan services to allow borrowers to request a 90 forbearance, waived late fees, no negatives credit reporting, a pause of debt collection lawsuits for 90 days and enrollment in other borrower assistant programs, Pritzker said. 

Impacted borrowers can immediately contact their loan provider to get relief with these new options, Pritzker said. 

Pritzker said this is a new process for everyone so if your provider is having troubles as well contact IDFPR, the office of the Illinois attorney general or the US consumer protection bureau for more help. 

Illinois families with SNAP benefits with school age children will get an additional $112 million in food assistance across the state, Pritzker said. 

For the families who are already receiving SNAP benefits, this increased assistance will automatically be linked to their card. 


Households with school-aged children who are eligible for free or reduced meals while school is in session but don’t receive SNAP benefits currently will be able submit a simplified application for this assistance soon, Pritzker said. 

The distribution of that food started yesterday, Pritzker said. 

Staff reporter Jacob Lorenz can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @jtlorenz6. 

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