FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2010
(225) 342-6700 (o)
Residents Encouraged to Pre-Apply for Disaster Food Stamps to Prepare for Hurricane Season and Other Disasters
BATON ROUGE - With the 2010 Hurricane Season just days away, Louisiana Department of Social Services Secretary Kristy Nichols encouraged residents to pre-apply online for Disaster Food Stamps in preparation for hurricanes and other disasters like the oil spill currently in the Gulf of Mexico.
"With Hurricane Season right around the corner and an oil spill in the Gulf, I urge all residents, especially those living in our coastal parishes, to take advantage of our online pre-application process for Disaster Food Stamps," said Nichols. "By completing the pre-application online, residents are taking a proactive step to prepare themselves and their families for a disaster."
Disaster Food Stamps provide food assistance for eligible low- to moderate-income households not receiving regular food stamps who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster. Pre-applying for Disaster Food Stamps does not gaurantee benefits.
Nichols said that the pre-application process is designed to save time, prevent long waits and to make it easier for applicants to collect the required income information before a disaster strikes.
"I hope all residents will make pre-applying online for Disaster Food Stamps part of their hurricane preparedness game plan," said Nichols.
To 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 and money market account balances and certificates of deposit)
The information will be kept securely on file and will be confidential.
Residents without Internet access may call 1-888-LA HELP U (1-888-524-3578) to pre-apply.
Pre-applying does not guarantee benefits. After a disaster is declared, residents who have pre-applied only need to visit a Disaster Food Stamps issuance site to verify their information and identity, determine final eligibility and receive their benefit cards. Exact eligibility requirements and Disaster Food Stamp issuance sites will be announced only after a disaster is declared.
Louisiana's federally approved system is the first year-round Disaster Food Stamps pre-application process in the nation.