News Alert: State implements changes to Food Stamp Application Process
Posted: 9/5/2012 3:06:58 PM
Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center
(PLEASE READ)

BATON ROUGE -- The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) today announced locations where residents of nine parishes can finalize their application for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DNSAP) benefits. Additional sites will be announced as the need arises or as additional parishes are approved for DSNAP.

DSNAP, formerly called Disaster Food Stamps, provides food assistance for eligible households who do not receive regular SNAP benefits and who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster.

Each site will serve applicants on a staggered alphabetic schedule. To minimize wait times, applicants and anyone who pre-applied for benefits should go to a DSNAP location only on the day indicated by the first letter of their last name. Applicants who are unable to visit a site on their designated day can go on the final two days each site is open. Applicants can visit any DSNAP site to receive benefits; they are not required to visit the DSNAP site in their parish of residence.

The following location will be open Wednesday, September 5 to Wednesday, September 12 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., but will be CLOSED for the day on Sunday, September 9.

•St. Bernard - Christian Fellowship Church, 5816 E. Judge Perez Dr., Violet (8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)  Residents must park at Meraux Winn Dixie on the corner of Legend & Judge Perez.  Shuttle service will be provided to and from the church.  No walk-ins or drive-ups will be taken.

The above sites will follow the following schedule:

Wednesday, September 5      A through C

Thursday, September 6         D through G

Friday, September 7               H through L

Saturday, September 8          M through R

Sunday, September 9             CLOSED

Monday, September 10          S through Z

Tuesday, September 11         All applicants unable to make prior scheduled day

Wednesday, September 12   All applicants unable to make prior scheduled day

DSNAP applicants MUST go to a specified DSNAP site to apply and receive benefits. DCFS offices will not accept DSNAP applications.

Applicants may name an Authorized Representative to go to a DSNAP site on their behalf. Accommodations will be made for the elderly and those with disabilities to reduce on-site wait times.

Individuals in the approved parishes who pre-applied for DSNAP must visit a DSNAP issuance site with a picture ID to verify their identity and information to decide final eligibility before receiving benefit cards. Pre-applying does not guarantee benefits.

If pre-applicants named an Authorized Representative, that person may go to the site in their place. Authorized representatives must bring with them to the DSNAP site a picture ID and the picture ID of the applicant/head of household along with a signed statement from the applicant/head of household or an adult household member authorizing them as a representative.

Regular SNAP households DO NOT need to apply for DSNAP. Households that receive regular SNAP benefits in the nine DSNAP parishes will automatically have additional DSNAP benefits added to their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards if they are not already receiving the maximum allotment for their household size.

To help expedite the application process, individuals can pre-apply for Hurricane Isaac DSNAP through Tuesday either online at www.dcfs.la.gov/preapply or www.getagameplan.org or by calling 1-888-LAHELP-U (888-524-3578) 24 hours a day. When applying by phone, callers should select the appropriate language and then select options 3 and 3.

The following information is required for DSNAP pre-application:

•Names, Social Security Numbers and Dates of Birth for each household member;

•Address and Parish where you currently live;

•Monthly income for each household member; and

•All liquid resources for each household member (cash on hand, checking accounts, savings accounts).

DCFS is working to get DSNAP benefits out to eligible residents as quickly as possible. Intentionally providing inaccurate or incomplete information as part of a DSNAP application could be considered fraud. Strong safeguards are in place to identify DSNAP fraud and abuse. DCFS will work to investigate suspected fraud and aggressively pursue recoupment and possibly prosecution.

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