For Immediate Release
Sepetember 1, 2009
Contact: Trey Williams, 225-342-6700
DSS: Gustav Anniversary Good Reminder to
Pre-apply for Disaster Food Stamps
BATON ROUGE - On the one year anniversary of Hurricane Gustav, Department of Social Services Secretary (DSS) Kristy Nichols today reminded citizens that DSS has developed a new system to allow residents to 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.
"Recalling the full coastal evacuation that was required for Hurricane Gustav and the widespread need created by that storm, 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. "By completing the pre-application on-line or by phone, residents are taking a proactive step to prepare themselves and their families for a disaster. Pre-applying saves time and collecting the required income information for the Disaster Food Stamp application is easier to do before a hurricane strikes rather than after an evacuation."
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 apply, residents can visit www.dss.louisiana.gov or www.getagameplan.org 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 federally approved system is the first year-round Disaster Food Stamps pre-application process in the nation.
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