Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
(Food Stamp Program)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides monthly benefits that help eligible low-income households buy the food they need for good health. For most households, SNAP funds account for only a portion of their food budgets; they must also use their own funds to buy enough food to last throughout the month. Eligible households can receive food assistance through regular SNAP or through the Louisiana Combined Application Project (LaCAP). SNAP participants may also meet the income eligibility guidelines for nutrition services through the Women, Infants & Children Program (WIC) offered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. Learn more about WIC and find out if you qualify.
For more information on SNAP and other services available through the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), call 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578).
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides monthly benefits that help eligible low-income households buy the food they need for good health. For most households, SNAP funds account for only a portion of their food budgets; they must also use their own funds to buy enough food to last throughout the month. Eligible households can receive food assistance through regular SNAP or through the Louisiana Combined Application Project (LaCAP).
SNAP participants may also meet the income eligibility guidelines for nutrition services through the Women, Infants & Children Program (WIC) offered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. Learn more about WIC and find out if you qualify.
Qualifying for Regular SNAP
To get benfits through regular SNAP, households must meet certain tests, including resource and income tests.
Other eligibility requirements:
Pre-Screening Eligibility Tool (English and Spanish)
(By clicking here you are NOT completing an application for SNAP benefits; instead, you are completing a pre-screening tool that can be used to help determine if you may be eligible to receive SNAP benefits. Application for SNAP benefits must be made at your local DCFS office).
Visit the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program online and view the federal requirements for food assistance in several languages.
|Louisiana Combined Application Project (LaCAP)
Qualifying for LaCAP
LaCAP is a food assistance program for Louisiana residents who are at least 60 years of age and receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is a simplified version of SNAP. If you are eligible for LaCAP, you will receive a Louisiana Purchase Card and SNAP benefits will be automatically deposited into your account every month. There are four standard allotment amounts in LaCAP. Depending on shelter costs, LaCAP participants will receive $38, $61, $94 or $116. LaCAP cases are certified for 36 months.
You may be eligible for LaCAP if you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and you:
Applying for LaCAP
Seniors receiving SSI who need food assistance do not have to use LaCAP.
Food assistance is available through LaCAP or through regular SNAP. If you receive benefits through LaCAP and you want to change to regular SNAP, you can do so at any time.
You may qualify for more benefits through regular SNAP if you:
|Applying for SNAP Benefits
How and Where to Apply
*Households composed entirely of people who are applying for or receiving SSI may apply for SNAP benefits through regular SNAP at the Social Security Administration office unless they already have a SNAP application pending.
Regular SNAP Benefits Amounts
Benefit amounts are based on the Thrifty Food Plan amounts established by the USDA-Food and Nutrition Service. The Thrifty Food Plan is a current estimate of the actual costs for providing a household with nutritious but inexpensive meals.
Further, benefits depend on both the number of persons in the household and the net monthly income amount remaining after all allowable deductions have been subtracted.
Income deductions allowed in the regular SNAP budget are subtracted from both earned and unearned income. The deductions are:
How are My Benefits Issued?
Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is a method of delivering governmental benefits to recipients electronically. Louisiana uses magnetic stripe card technology. The card, which is referred to as the Louisiana Purchase Card enables recipients to access benefits at Point-of-Sale (POS) machines.
SNAP benefits are posted to the recipients account during the first fourteen days of the month. Recipient benefits are accessible by 5:00 a.m. the morning after they are posted. Benefits are posted on the same date every month regardless of the day of the week. Holidays and weekends do not affect the date of benefit availability. In emergency situations, benefits are available immediately.
Benefits are secure and accessible only to persons authorized by the recipient. The Personal Identification Number (PIN) is selected by the recipient and must be correctly entered in order to successfully complete all electronic transactions. As purchases are made at grocery store checkout lanes, recipient accounts are debited and the recipient is given a receipt which provides the remaining account balance.
Eligible Food Items
Households CAN use SNAP benefits to buy:
Your Rights Regarding SNAP
Your have the right to:
If you believe that you have been discriminated against by SNAP because of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability or for religious or political beliefs, write immediately to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W. Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or request a Food Stamp Discrimination Form from your parish office.
SNAP Historical Information
This program was established by Congress in 1964 by PL 88-55 which was superseded by the Food Stamp Act of 1977 and subsequent amendments to the Act. It is administered at the federal level by the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service and at the state level by the Department of Children & Family Services.
Besides certification and issuance activities, the Food Security Act of 1985 mandated that employment and training services be provided for SNAP recipients who are mandatory work registrants. The employment and training activities, known as the Louisiana Job Employment Training (LaJET) Program, are accomplished through the cooperative efforts of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the DCFS parish offices, (in parishes where available) local governing authorities in the State and the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996, which was signed into law on August 22, 1996, implemented many changes in SNAP, including a limit on the number of months certain persons can receive SNAP benefits without working.