How To Activate P-EBT Card Illinois : Illinois Link Activate Card Login

How To Activate P-EBT Card Illinois : Illinois Link Activate Card Login

There are two ways to manage your Illinois Link Account

1. Illinois Link Card Website

  • Illinois Link Card Website – The Illinois Link Card Website has been updated and will require you to register for an account. For instructions on how to register, please visit ebtEDGE Registration Help (pdf).
  • For language options, scroll to the upper right corner of the login screen, select: Spanish, Polish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian.

2. Illinois Link Help Line 1-800-678-LINK (5465)

  • Listen for the language options of English, Arabic, Chinese, Polish, Spanish, or Russian.To speak your responses, wait through the prompts until asked to speak your 16-digit or 19-digit card number.
  • If you do not have your card number, wait until asked if you would like to use your social security number, date of birth and PIN.

How to Activate the Illinois EBT Card

When you get the EBT card in the mail, call the Illinois LINK Hotline number 1-800-678-LINK(5465) to set up a Personal Identification Number(PIN) and to hear the benefit amount. Follow the instructions below to set up your PIN and activate each card, if you get more than one.

  1. Enter the 16-digit P-EBT card number.
  2. Enter the number nine (999-99-9999) for all digits of the Social Security (Do not enter the Social Security Number of your child or yourself).
  3. Enter the Date of Birth of the child whose name is on the card.
  4. Enter a personally selected 4- digit PIN.
  5. Confirm the entry, and the card is ready to use.

P-EBT benefits can only be used to buy food to be eaten by the child who is eligible for the benefits. The penalties for misuse of benefits under the regular SNAP program also apply to P-EBT benefits. P-EBT cannot be sold or traded to others.

Things You Can Do

  • Change your address
  • Check your Link account balance
  • Report a lost or stolen Link card
  • Order a replacement Link card
  • Select your first PIN or change your current PIN
  • Check recent purchases and withdrawals
  • Report a problem with a purchase or withdrawal

How Do I Get the Benefits?

An EBT card in your child’s name will be mailed in March 2021 to your address provided by the student’s school. If you have more than one child in your home that qualifies for P-EBT benefits, then each child will get their own card with benefits. You can buy food at any authorized retailer location that accepts SNAP benefits.

You can also complete an online EBT transaction for food purchases with Aldi, Amazon and Walmart. Only eligible food or food products for human consumption can be bought with P-EBT benefits. You cannot buy hot foods ready to eat, or foods intended to be heated in the store and lunch counter foods. You can use P-EBT benefits to buy seeds and plants to produce food in a home garden.

Do I Need to Apply for Benefits?

You do not need to apply for these benefits. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will provide the eligible student’s information to the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) monthly. It is important that your child’s school has your correct address on file.

What is the Benefit Amount?

P-EBT benefits are issued for any month in the school year the student has eligible days. For each eligible P-EBT day, an eligible student is allocated $6.82. If you have already received the P-EBT benefits for August and September that was issued as part of the extension in September 2020, you will not receive benefits for those months again. If the student did not get benefits through the extension, benefits will be issued for any eligible days.

When will Benefits be Available?

Starting March 2021, P-EBT benefits will be issued to the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) account. The initial month of P-EBT benefits, which may continue P-EBT eligible days from August 2020 through January 2021 will be issued over a two-month period (March and April). Benefits will then be issued monthly. The date your benefits will be in the EBT account is based on the first letter of your child’s last name. See the P-EBT Benefit Availability Date Chart at the end of this notice.

How to apply?

Already have an Illinois Link Card?

  • Manage My Illinois Link Card and learn more about your Link card such as,
    • Check your Link account balance
    • Report a lost or stolen Link card
    • Order a replacement Link card
    • Select your first PIN or change your current PIN
    • Check recent purchases and withdrawals
    • Report a problem with a purchase or withdrawal


    • Did you ever receive an answer about this? My child’s says the same thing and it’s impossible to get anyone on the phone.

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