FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2009
DSS Offers Pre-Application for Disaster Food Stamps
Apply Early - It's Easy!
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Social Services today announced that Louisiana residents can now pre-apply online or by phone for Disaster Food Stamps in order to prepare for hurricane season, save time, and avoid long waits in the event of a disaster.
"I urge all low- to moderate-income residents, especially those who were affected by hurricanes Gustav and Ike last year, to take advantage of our Disaster Food Stamps pre-application process," said DSS Secretary Kristy Nichols. "Collecting the required income information for the Disaster Food Stamp application is easier to do before a hurricane strikes rather than after an evacuation. I hope all residents who may be eligible will make pre-application for Disaster Food Stamps part of their hurricane preparation plan."
Disaster Food Stamps provide food assistance for eligible low- to moderate-income households that do not receive regular food stamps who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster. Exact requirements for the program are determined following the event and are based on location and income. Louisiana residents who already receive regular Food Stamps do not need to pre-apply.
If regular Food Stamp recipients are eligible for additional benefits, they will be added to their monthly benefit amount automatically.
To pre-apply, residents can visit www.dss.louisiana.gov
and provide the following information:
- Names, Social Security Numbers and Dates of Birth for each household member
- Current address and parish of household
- Monthly income for each household member
- All liquid resources for each household member (cash on hand, checking & savings account balances, certificates of deposit and money market balance)
The information will be kept securely on file and will be confidential.
If residents do not have on-line access, they may call 1-888-LA HELP U (1-888-524-3578)
to apply as well. Pre-application will be accepted online or by phone only. Pre-applications will not be accepted at DSS Office of Family Services Food Stamp offices. Pre-applying does not guarantee benefits.
After a disaster, residents who have pre-applied only need to visit a Disaster Food Stamp issuance site to verify their information and identity to determine final eligibility and receive their benefit cards. Eligibility requirements and DFSP locations will only be announced after a disaster.
Louisiana's system is the first year-round Disaster Food Stamps pre-application process in the nation. Florida's pre-application concept is available for use only in the days before a hurricane makes landfall, compared to Louisiana's system which is available year-round.
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