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Sep 01, 2009
DSS: Gustav Anniversary Good Reminder to Pre-apply for Disaster Food Stamps

BATON ROUGE - On the one year anniversary of Hurricane Gustav, Department of Children & Family 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 or 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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