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BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) received approval today (Friday, Oct. 23, 2020), to begin virtual Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) operations in 5 parishes to provide additional food aid to families impacted by Hurricane Delta. The application process will run in a single phase from Monday, Oct. 26, to Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) also authorized DCFS to issue 45% automatic Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and DSNAP Replacement benefits to recipients in certain parishes due to the widespread power outages that followed Hurricane Delta. See "SNAP, DSNAP Replacements" below for details.
DSNAP, formerly called Disaster Food Stamps, provides food assistance to eligible households who do not receive regular SNAP benefits and who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster. The state must request that the federal government initiate DSNAP, but can only make the request after the president activates the Stafford Act and approves the parish for Individual Assistance (IA). Each IA-approved parish must also request DSNAP before the benefits can be provided to eligible residents of that parish.
The five parishes that have been approved for DSNAP related to Hurricane Delta are Acadia, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vermilion.
Residents of these five parishes who received DSNAP benefits due to Hurricane Laura will automatically receive a second month of DSNAP benefits due to the impact of Hurricane Delta and, therefore, there is no need for these residents to apply for DSNAP again. The second month of DSNAP benefits will be issued to these residents on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. If residents need a new DSNAP EBT card, they can call the LAHelpU Customer Service Center at 1-888-524-3578.
SNAP recipients are not eligible for DSNAP and also should not apply. Information about SNAP benefits changes related to Hurricane Delta, including replacement benefits for food lost due to power outages, can be found under “SNAP, DSNAP Replacements” below and at www.dcfs.la.gov/SNAPstorms.
What Delta DSNAP Applicants Need to Know
Due to ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, DSNAP applications will be handled by phone, as they were following Hurricane Laura, 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 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 be 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.
SNAP, DSNAP Replacements
FNS also authorized DCFS to issue automatic 45% replacement benefits to SNAP recipients in 25 parishes and to DSNAP recipients in 14 parishes, due to widespread power outages from Hurricane Delta. Replacement benefits are intended to replace benefits previously used to purchase food that was then lost due to a disaster.
The automatic replacement benefits for both SNAP and DSNAP will be 45% of each household’s allotment. SNAP Replacement benefits are scheduled to be loaded to recipients’ EBT cards on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. DSNAP Replacement benefits will be loaded to recipients’ EBT cards on a date to be announced later.
The 25 parishes receiving automatic SNAP Replacement benefits are: Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Catahoula, Concordia, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Grant, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, LaSalle, Morehouse, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, Vermilion, Vernon, West Feliciana and Winn.
The 14 parishes receiving automatic DSNAP Replacement benefits are: Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Grant, Jefferson Davis, LaSalle, Morehouse, Rapides, St. Landry, Vermilion, Vernon and Winn.
SNAP and DSNAP recipients outside the above-named parishes may request replacement benefits if they suffered food loss due to Hurricane Delta and had power outages of 24 hours straight or more. To request replacement benefits, recipients must submit a completed and signed SNAP 38 form to DCFS by Nov. 9, 2020. More information, including the SNAP 38 form, can be found at www.dcfs.la.gov/SNAPstorms.
SNAP Nondiscrimination Statement
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
- Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
- Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
- Email: email@example.com.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.