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SNAP - COVID-19 Information
What You Need to Know Now
Answers to Common Questions
Check out our fact lists below for current and new SNAP recipients. We will update the list with new information as it develops.
New SNAP Applicants
|Caseworkers are not conducting formal interviews, but they may send you a letter requesting additional information if needed.
|Because of the great volume of applications DCFS has been receiving, it may take at least 30 days to process applications. Providing the following information will help DCFS expedite your application.
|Complete your application fully and completely.
|This is NOT a Disaster SNAP (DSNAP).
Current SNAP Recipients
|No need to do anything. No need to contact us.
|April and May redeterminations have been extended.
SNAP COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Assistance, Application Information
What food assistance is available to me?
If you are not a current SNAP recipient, you can apply online for regular SNAP benefits. More information on this can be found at www.dcfs.la.gov/getsnap.
Under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, DCFS is also issuing supplemental SNAP benefits to SNAP households who do not already receive the maximum monthly allotment for households of their size. For more information about supplemental SNAP benefits, see below.
Are we going to have D-SNAP (Disaster SNAP) benefits?
There is no D-SNAP at this time. The federal government is using other options for providing additional food assistance through the recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act (see above). If any additional options become available, we will make announcements on our DCFS website and Facebook page.
If you have a food need and believe you meet eligibility guidelines, you can apply for regular SNAP.
How can I apply for SNAP?
You can apply for regular SNAP benefits online through the CAFÉ customer portal, or by downloading a paper application and submitting it to us by U.S. Mail or fax. Applications cannot be emailed. For instructions on how to apply for SNAP, visit www.dcfs.la.gov/getSNAP or text GETSNAP (no spaces) to 898-211. If a SNAP household is eligible for supplemental SNAP benefits, the benefits will be automatically loaded onto the household’s EBT cards.
How is SNAP eligibility determined? How much could I receive in benefits?
To receive SNAP benefits, households must meet certain resource and income eligibility standards. In addition, a family's SNAP benefit amount depends on the number of people in the SNAP household and the amount of their net income. Click here to view a table showing the maximum SNAP allotments by household size: http://www.dcfs.louisiana.gov/page/584.
I've lost work and income due to the coronavirus pandemic, but did not receive a formal termination notice from my employer. How can I show loss of income when applying for SNAP benefits?
DCFS is seeking guidance from our federal partners at the USDA Food and Nutrition Service about situations where a SNAP applicant has suffered a loss of income through a business closure and cannot reach the business to get verification of their termination or income loss. In the meantime, we are working with applicants to verify their loss of income through whatever means possible. For more about verifications and what kinds of proof are needed, click here: http://www.dcfs.la.gov/page/204.
I'm having trouble uploading my verification documents to CAFÉ. Are there other options for sending my documents to DCFS?
DCFS is upgrading CAFE, but until then, not all devices are compatible with the online system. If you are unable to upload your documents in CAFE, you can send them using one of the following options:
- Email the documents to LAHelpU.DCFS@la.gov
- NOTE: Applications cannot be emailed. They must be filled out online in CAFE, or sent to us by fax or U.S. Mail at the below number/address. Only supporting documents can be emailed.
- Fax the documents to (225) 663-3164
- Mail copies of the documents to:
DCFS Economic Stability
P.O. Box 260031
Baton Rouge, LA 70826
You should also include your name, date of birth, your mailing address and the last four digits only of your Social Security number. If you already have a SNAP EBT card, you should include your case ID number (the small number below the 16-digit number on your card).
After I apply, how and when will I find out if I'm approved?
You will be notified by mail once an eligibility decision is made on your application. DCFS has 30 days to process your application, but due to the extremely large number of applications that we are receiving during these unprecedented times, it may take longer than 30 days. However, if you are determined eligible for SNAP benefits, you will be eligible from the date of application.
If I am approved, when can I expect to receive my EBT card?
If your application meets the federal criteria for expedited services, an EBT card will be mailed to you when your application is received by DCFS. If your application does not meet the federal criteria for expedited services, an EBT card will be mailed to you when your application is certified as eligible or on the 20th day from your application date, whichever is sooner. Please note that you may receive an EBT card without benefits on it, even if your application is subsequently denied.
I received a text message claiming to be from DCFS. Is the text legit?
DCFS sent text messages to SNAP recipients on Monday, March 30, 2020, regarding supplemental SNAP benefits. We sent another message to SNAP applicants with pending applications on Thursday, April 9, 2020, with a link to these FAQs. We may send additional text messages to SNAP recipients and/or applicants with helpful information regarding benefits or other updates, as appropriate.
How can I stop receiving text messages from DCFS?
SNAP recipients/applicants can opt out of receiving text messages from DCFS by replying "STOP" to the text message. Please note that by opting out of text messages, you may miss timely information about benefit changes in response to coronavirus. Please be sure to regularly log into your CAFÉ account and check your messages there to ensure that you receive important notices regarding your benefits. Please also continue to visit the DCFS website at www.dcfs.la.gov for updates.
Supplemental SNAP Benefits
Many Louisiana households who received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in March saw an extra boost on their SNAP cards on March 31, 2020, following a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) authorizing supplemental SNAP benefits to bring each household to its maximum allotment by size, in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As dictated by federal law, households already receiving the maximum SNAP allotment for their household size will not receive supplemental benefits.
What are supplemental SNAP benefits?
Under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and with authorization from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, DCFS can issue additional benefits to SNAP households to bring them up to the maximum monthly allotment for a household of their size.
By federal law, households already receiving the maximum monthly allotment for their household size cannot receive supplemental SNAP benefits.
What are the maximum monthly allotments for SNAP households?
The maximum monthly SNAP allotments per household size are as follows:
|Household Size||Maximum SNAP Allotment|
|Each Additional Member||$146|
How much will I receive in supplemental SNAP benefits?
SNAP households will receive supplemental SNAP benefits in an amount that will bring them up to the maximum monthly allotment for a household of their size.
For example, for a household of 4 people, the maximum monthly allotment is $646. If that household normally receives $400 in monthly SNAP benefits based on their income and expenses, they will now receive an additional $246 to bring their total monthly benefit up to the $646 max for their household size, for each month that supplemental SNAP benefits are issued.
For a list of the maximum monthly SNAP allotments by household size, see the previous question.
When will I receive my supplemental SNAP benefits?
For March, current SNAP households who already received March benefits, and who are not already receiving the maximum monthly allotment for their household size, will receive March supplements on their EBT cards on Tuesday, March 31.
New applicants who applied for benefits in March, but had not been certified as eligible and received March benefits before March 30, will receive their March benefits and supplements in April after being certified eligible. The benefits and supplements will be loaded onto the household’s EBT cards separately and may be a week apart in time.
For April, current SNAP recipients will receive their regular benefit amount on their regular issuance date (April 1st – 14th), followed by their supplements on April 17th.
New applicants will receive their April benefits and supplements on a rolling basis after being certified as eligible. The benefits and supplements will be loaded onto the household’s EBT cards separately and may be a week apart in time.
Do I have to use my supplemental SNAP benefits right away?
No. SNAP benefits, including supplements, are good for up to 365 days from the date of issuance.
I received a letter telling me to reapply for benefits by April 15, 2020. Is this deadline still in effect?
If you received a letter telling you to reapply for your benefits by April 15, 2020, please know that your case has been temporarily extended and you will NOT receive an interview at this time due to the COVID-19 virus. In the coming months, DCFS will mail you a notice with your new interview date and time.
If you applied for benefits and have not yet been interviewed, please know that you may not have a formal interview. However, your worker may contact you for additional information, which may determine your eligibility for SNAP.
Have the work requirements for SNAP been suspended due to the coronavirus?
The rule that SNAP recipients who are classified as Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) can receive only three months of SNAP benefits without meeting federal work requirements has been temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. (The rule would have gone into effect for 50 non-waived parishes in Louisiana on April 1.)
Mandatory work participation through the LaJET program in Orleans, Caddo, Ouachita, and Rapides parishes has also been suspended.
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.
SNAP Nondiscrimination Statement