COVID-19 FAQ for Illinois Families

May 20, 2020

Where To Get Help


  • Districts are encouraged to provide meals for all children that need them, in a way that is convenient such as allowing families to “grab-and-go.” Check with your district for meal pick-up/drop-off options and to find out how meals will be distributed.
  • Illinois’ Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program is now funded to provide additional benefits to all SNAP-eligible households with school-aged children. These new benefits will automatically be added to family Link cards. Households that do not currently receive SNAP benefits but are eligible for free or reduced meals while school is in session will be able to apply for P-EBT benefits. For more information or call 1-833-2-FINDHELP (1-833-234-6343).


  • Under the Stay at Home order, childcare centers are closed to the general public.
  • Many are currently applying to be licensed as emergency childcare centers to provide childcare to essential/emergency workers only.
  • For more information regarding details on who should receive childcare and the related rules and regulations please go to DHS’ website: https://www2.illinois. gov/sites/OECD/Pages/For-Communities.aspx
  • If you are an Essential Worker (e.g., health care worker, grocery store worker, etc.) your child(ren) can access emergency childcare from licensed child care facilities. To find emergency child care in your area, call (888) 228-1146 or visit COVID-19 Emergency Provider.

Unemployment & Housing

  • The Governor has banned all evictions statewide during the duration of the COVID-19 emergency disaster declaration. Unemployment benefits may be available to individuals whose unemployment is related to COVID-19. Illinois has a new website for COVID-19 resources, including how to get unemployment benefits at https://www2. Unemployment-FAQ.aspx.
  • The Illinois Department of Employment Security’s unemployment benefits customer service phone number is: 800-244-5631 or 866-488-4016 TTY.

Learning & Instruction

  • Beginning March 31 and through the end of the 2019-20 school year, Illinois public schools will move into Remote Learning Days that will count as Instructional Days. During this time, schoolwork will be given and graded, however, ISBE says that work completed during school closures must not negatively impact grades or academic standing, taking into account the fact that students have different access to support and technology at home. In addition, ISBE provides that schools may allow student work during school closures only to increase a student’s academic standing. Please contact your district for information on their Remote Learning Plan for all students, including students with special needs.
  • Illinois state agencies have released a map of hotspots to help students that do not have internet in their homes.


  • If you think you or your children have been exposed to COVID 19 and you or your children develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
  • How to treat symptoms at home (English/Spanish)
  • For the uninsured, underinsured and undocumented, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights provides resources for accessing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and a list of community health centers that are accessible to ALL Illinois residents, regardless of status.
  • Contact the ICIRR at: 312-332-7360.


  • Announcements and information concerning immigrants during the COVID-19 crisis are available from the ICIRR:
    • The ICIRR has comprehensive guides in English/ Spanish: English: com/document/d/1_FkBlQh4AIuGm3_ rQAVBIHmDM-j5cxatvnIoxEIbmCc/ edit; Spanish: document/d/1_FkBlQh4AIuGm3_ rQAVBIHmDM-j5cxatvnIoxEIbmCc/edit
  • The Protecting Immigrant Families organization also has information on its homepage: https://

Please visit ISBE’s COVID-19 website for the most up-to-date information: If you have additional questions and concerns during this time, please contact your school and district first. Find your district contact information here: PublicSchoolDistrictLookup.aspx or call ISBE for your district number: 866-262-6663 or 217-782-4321. If you are unable to reach your school or district, you may email your questions or concerns to ISBE’s COVID-19 email:
For more detailed information, please go to the COVID-19 three pager (https://partnersforeachandever... ) or the more comprehensive COVID-19 FAQ (

How to stay informed

For regular updates on what's happening and how you can help*:

  • For more information and national updates go to the CDC's website.
  • For information provided by the Illinois Governo's office please go to the state website.
  • For ISBE"s Remote Learning Recommendations please go here.

* If you don't have reliable internet access, please stay tuned to your local public radio station for updates: WBEZ 91.5 Chicago