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Sep 10, 2012
DCFS Requests, Receives Extension of DSNAP for Orleans, Jefferson Parishes
Awaiting approval for St. John, Plaquemines request

09.10.12 - The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services has requested and received approval by the USDA to extend the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) for residents of Orleans and Jefferson parishes.

DCFS has also requested an extension for St. John and Plaquemines parishes and is awaiting word from the USDA for approval.

The extension was requested for Orleans and Jefferson due to the large populations of the two parishes and the number of residents applying for DSNAP benefits, while the request for St. John and Plaquemines parishes was because of the impact to the parish.

With the large number of people applying on Monday for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) benefits at the University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena in Orleans Parish and the Alario Center in Jefferson Parish, both sites closed at noon when they reached the maximum number of applicants that can be served before 6 p.m.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the DSNAP site at UNO will be open to all residents of Orleans Parish who were unable to apply for the program on a previously scheduled day.

The Alario Center will be open on Wednesday and Thursday to residents of Jefferson Parish who were unable to apply for the program on a previously scheduled day.

The new deadline for DSNAP in Orleans and Jefferson parishes is Thursday, September 13.

According to federal guidelines, DSNAP sites normally are open for a period of up to seven days. Operating a DSNAP site beyond seven days requires approval from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Individuals who already have received DSNAP cannot reapply. Attempts to defraud the DSNAP program will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Applicants knowingly providing inaccurate or incomplete information, as part of a DSNAP application, could face criminal prosecution and disqualification of benefits. DCFS will investigate suspected fraud and aggressively pursue recoupment and possibly prosecution.

To help expedite the application process, individuals can pre-apply for Hurricane Isaac DSNAP either online at www.dcfs.la.gov/preapply or www.getagameplan.org or by calling 1-888-LAHELP-U (888-524-3578) 24 hours a day. When applying by phone, callers should select the appropriate language and then select options 3 and 3.

DSNAP is an income eligibility based program to assist eligible households who do not receive regular SNAP benefits and who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster. Eligibility is determined by federal guidelines and are based on an individual's known or expected income, resources (such as cash on hand, saving and checking account balances) and unreimbursed disaster expenses during the disaster period of August 26 and September 24.

For more information on income guidelines visit www.dcfs.la.gov or call 211.

DSNAP is administered in Louisiana by DCFS and overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Read more about recipients' rights.

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