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In this Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, photo, Richard Butler and his fiance Amber laugh while they have breakfast in an apartment a friend is letting them live in on Chicago’s South Side. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

New Trump administration rules taking effect April 1 put hundreds of thousands of people at risk of losing their food stamp benefits. They hit particularly hard in places like Illinois, where roughly 90,000 will be affected statewide.

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(kc0uvb / Pixabay)

A Trump administration rule change could leave almost 700,000 people without food stamp benefits by mid-2020. How those changes could impact Illinois residents.

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In this Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, photo, Dr. Jasmine Saavedra, a pediatrician at Esperanza Health Centers whose parents emigrated from Mexico in the 1980s, examines Alondra Marquez, a newborn baby in her clinic in Chicago. (AP Photo / Amr Alfiky)

Doctors and public health experts warn of poor health and rising costs they say will come from sweeping Trump administration changes that would deny green cards to many immigrants who use Medicaid, as well as food stamps and other forms of public assistance. 

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In this Friday, March 17, 2017, file photo, a sign advertises a program that allows food stamp recipients to use their EBT cards to shop at a farmer’s market in Topsham, Maine. (AP Photo / Robert F. Bukaty, File)

At issue is a federal policy that allows people who receive benefits through other government programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, to automatically qualify for the food aid program known as SNAP. 

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The Illinois Department of Human Services announced Thursday that Link cards, which serve as a sort of debit card for food stamps, will be loaded with credit Thursday or Friday. 

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Individuals often drift in and out of the SNAP system intermittently, but the number who suddenly lost benefits spiked last month to 41,000 after recipients apparently missed a Nov. 5 deadline.

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The rollout of Cook County’s sweetened beverage tax has been anything but sweet and easy. Now there’s concern it could put food stamps at risk.