Application for Disaster SNAP benefits following Hurricane Delta due Friday
(KALB) - Hurricane Delta survivors in need of food assistance have until Friday, November 20 at 6:30 p.m., to apply for the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP.)
The Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services added Rapides, Beauregard, Lafayette, St. Landry and St. Martin Parishes to the list last week.
DSNAP differs from the traditional SNAP program because it is made available following federally declared disasters.
The department says the criteria is slightly different. For example, DSNAP recipients are determined by their net pay instead of gross income.
“Right now, during the COVID world, I think this is something your average people are struggling with,” Jean Guinta, DCFS Deputy Assistant Secretary over Economic Stability said about the need for food assistance in Louisiana. “Then you topple that with a disaster of this magnitude and that assistance comes in handy, especially at this time of year. We have Thanksgiving this next week and to see families that are struggling to put food on the table on a regular day is something that we want to try and assist with.”
During Hurricane Laura, DCFS secured nearly $4 million to help more than 7,000 families in Rapides Parish. Those who received disaster aid during Laura are already approved for Delta aid.
Guinta explained the $4 million given to receipts flows back into the local economy when people shop to fill up their fridge.
“Whatever we can do to help and to give that economic charge to the parish”, she said. “This is money that would not have been there.”
Below is information from DCFS on the application process:
What Applicants Need to Know
Due to ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, DSNAP applications will be handled by phone and benefits cards will be mailed to approved applicants.
Residents in the approved parishes will call the LAHelpU Customer Service Center to apply and be interviewed for DSNAP. The call center can be reached at 1-888-524-3578 (select language, then press 3-3-1), between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Residents can call on any day during the application period. There will be no alphabet-system schedule, as there was during DSNAP operations for Hurricane Laura.
Translation services are available for individuals whose primary language is not English.
Residents are encouraged, but not required, to take the following steps before calling to apply and be interviewed for DSNAP:
- Pre-register online first. Step-by-step instructions for this can be found at dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP.
- Download the LA Wallet mobile app for identity and residency verification. Information on the app, including download links, can be found at LAWallet.com.
- Gather all information needed for the application. A list of what is needed can be found in the FAQs at dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP.
Residents who pre-registered or applied for DSNAP after Hurricane Laura (or anytime since March 2020) do not need to pre-register again.
When residents call to apply and are interviewed for DSNAP, a worker will verify the applicant’s identity and residency, and obtain information about their income, resources and disaster-related expenses. Most applicants will be told on the phone immediately after completing their application and interview whether they have been approved to receive DSNAP and if so, the amount of benefits they will receive. Applicants will also receive a letter by mail, confirming the eligibility decision made on their application.
Applicants may name an Authorized Representative (AR) to apply for DSNAP benefits on their behalf. The head of household must authorize the person to serve as AR on their behalf, and the worker will need to speak to the head of household to confirm that they agree for the AR to speak on their behalf.
Additional information about DSNAP can be found by texting LADSNAP to 898-211 or by visiting www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP.
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