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Sep 18, 2012
DSNAP Program Approved for East, West Feliciana Parishes
Residents Encouraged to Pre-apply Now for Assistance

09.18.12 - The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) announced today that the United States Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service has approved the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) for two additional parishes - East Feliciana and West Feliciana.

In preparation for the program, which begins in East and West Feliciana on Thursday, September 20, DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier today urged residents of the newly approved parishes to pre-apply for DSNAP benefits.

Each site will serve applicants on a staggered alphabetic schedule. Applicants and anyone who pre-applied for benefits should go to a DSNAP location only on the day indicated by the first letter of their last name. Applicants who are unable to visit a site on their designated day can send an authorized representative, or go on the designated makeup letter day during the final two days each site is open.

An authorized representative will need to bring a copy of the government ID for whom they are applying for, as well as a signed statement from that person giving the authorized representative permission to act on their behalf.

The sites to open beginning Thursday, September 20, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. for East Feliciana and West Feliciana residents are:
  • East Feliciana - East Feliciana Early Learning Center, 914 Plank Rd., Clinton
  • West Feliciana - Independence Community Center, 10498 Hwy. 965, St. Francisville
For the East Feliciana and West Feliciana locations, applicants should go on the following designated days based on their last name.

          - Thursday, September 20 - A through C
          - Friday, September 21 - D through G
          - Saturday, September 22 - H through L
          - Sunday, September 23 - M through R
          - Monday, September 24 - S through Z
          - Tuesday, September 25 - A through M
          - Wednesday, September 26 - N through Z

"We encourage all residents who don't already receive regular SNAP benefits, who are low to moderate income and who experienced loss or damage during Hurricane Isaac to pre-apply online for DSNAP or by phone," said DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier. "Pre-application can significantly reduce the time it takes to get resources to eligible citizens."

According to Sonnier, the pre-application process does not guarantee benefits but is designed to expedite the process and ensure that applicants have all the information needed to apply before visiting a DSNAP site.

The best way to pre-apply is by phone at 1-888-LA-HELP-U (1-888-524-3578) daily between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Callers will select the appropriate language and then select options 3 and 3. If residents have internet access they can pre-apply by visiting www.dcfs.louisiana.gov/preapply or www.getagameplan.org.

All pre-applicants must have resided in the designated parishes on August 26 and must provide the following information:
  • Names, Social Security Numbers and Dates of Birth for each household member;
  • Address and Parish where you currently live;
  • Income for each household member for the period August 26 through September 24;
  • All liquid resources for each household member (cash on hand, checking, savings); and
  • Unreimbursed disaster expenses during the disaster period of August 26 and September 24
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 is 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.

The following are the federal adjusted gross monthly income guidelines by household size:

Household Size
Disaster Gross Monthly Income Limit
1
  $1,514
2
  $1,823
3
  $2,151
4
  $2,477
5
  $2,821
6
  $3,167

On average, a family of four can have an adjusted gross monthly income of no more than $2,477 to be eligible for DSNAP.

Unreimbursed disaster-related expenses might include things like evacuation costs, such as a hotel stay, purchase of a generator, cost of rebuilding a fence or repairs to a home. Federal guidelines state that the expense must be paid within the benefit period, which for Hurricane Isaac is August 26 through September 24.

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

Regular SNAP households DO NOT need to pre-apply or visit a DSNAP site to receive additional benefits. Regular SNAP recipients in East and West Feliciana parishes have already received DSNAP benefits added to their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card if they are not already receiving the maximum allotment for their household size.

Regular SNAP recipients also received replacement benefits equaling 30 percent of their August monthly allotment, to assist in replacing food lost from the storm.

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

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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