FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2010 Note to editors: The below list is outreach locations for the REGULAR SNAP program. This is NOT a disaster food stamp program.
DSS Announces Temporary Registration Sites for Regular SNAP in Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Social Services (DSS) is operating temporary registration sites for the regular
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes to assist individuals and families impacted by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill apply for needed benefits.
DSS encourages individuals and families that have been financially impacted by the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico to visit these regular SNAP outreach sites to meet with DSS employees to determine if they may be eligible for nutrition assistance.
"In an effort to respond to the needs of residents in communities hit hardest by this disaster, DSS has established/is establishing SNAP, or Food Stamp, outreach locations in easy to access areas," said DSS Secretary Kristy Nichols. "We hope these locations will simplify the process and ease the burden for those whose livelihoods have been affected by the Gulf oil spill, especially those who may not have had to apply for SNAP benefits before and are unfamiliar with the process."
DSS opened temporary regular SNAP outreach locations in Louisiana's coastal parishes on Monday, May 3rd
. Since that time, Outreach teams have accepted nearly 500 applications from residents.
Temporary regular SNAP outreach locations for the remainder of this week are: Terrebonne Parish Council on Aging
113 Senior Center Street
Chauvin, LA 70344
SNAP Hours of operations: 8AM-3PM Lafourche ParishCut Off Youth Center
205 West 79th Street
Cut Off, LA 70345
Additionally, teams are stationed in Plaquemines, St. Bernard, Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes.
DSS will reassess site locations on a weekly basis in order to determine locations that best serve the public.
Regular SNAP outreach teams will accept applications and answer questions at the Terrebonne Parish location on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Lafourche Parish location will staffed on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The outreach teams will conduct eligibility interviews on site, if feasible. When not feasible or convenient for applicants, telephone interviews will be conducted within 24-48 hours of the application date.
Individuals can also apply for regular SNAP benefits by downloading an application from the DSS website (dss.louisiana.gov) and mailing it back to their local DSS office.
Households can use regular SNAP benefits to purchase foods for the household to eat, such as breads and cereals; fruits and vegetables; meats, fish and poultry; and dairy products. Recipients can also purchase seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat. In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept regular SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals.
In order to be eligible for the regular SNAP program, you must meet both resource and income eligibility requirements. To be eligible, most Louisiana households must have less than $2,000 in resources, such as in a bank account. If at least one household member is age 60 or older or includes a disabled member, that amount is increased to $3,000.
In addition, households must meet both the gross and net income tests. For example, a family of four cannot exceed a gross income of $2,389 and a net income of $1,838. A household only has to meet the net income test if the household includes a person who is 60 years old or older or a person who is receiving certain types of disability payments.
Benefit amounts are established by the USDA-Food and Nutrition Service and depend on both the number of persons in the household and the monthly income amount remaining after all allowable deductions have been subtracted. For example, the maximum monthly amount for a family of four is $668.
When applying, households should be prepared to provide the following information, if applicable, to prove eligibility:
- Identification, such as driver's license, work or school ID, check stub or birth certificate;
- Social Security card;
- Proof of wages, such as last 4 pay check stubs or employer's statement for each person who works.
- Proof of self-employment - income tax returns, sales records, quarterly tax records, personal wage record;
- Other income such as contributions, child support, alimony, Social Security, SSI, VA, retirement checks, Unemployment Compensation (UCB) - award letters, court orders, statements from contributors
- Proof that income has stopped within the last 3 months - pink slip, termination notice, or statement from former employer, termination notice or statement from source of any income that ended
- Housing expenses - rent receipts, mortgage papers, homeowners insurance papers, and property tax papers
- Any Dependent care expenses - receipts or statements from the dependent care provider
- Medical expenses - receipts, pharmacy printouts for last 3 months, doctor bills or other papers that show medical expenses for household members who are disabled or over age 59.
- Child support payments made to someone outside your home - court order or other legal papers and proof that you are making payments such as canceled checks or wage withholding statements; and
- Resources - current bank statements, papers that prove ownership and value of property that you own (other than where you live), papers for any other type of resource such as stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, etc.