Emergency Disaster SNAP Benefits And Disaster Food Stamps

Por: Lagniappe Law Lab
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Emergency SNAP Benefits

About Emergency SNAP Benefits

A disaster can trigger the issuance of a few different kinds of "emergency" Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Those are:

  • Disaster SNAP, or DSNAP - If there is a federally declared disaster in which the President authorizes Individual Assistance for your parish, and the parish and state request DSNAP and are approved for DSNAP, you may apply for DSNAP benefits. Current SNAP recipients are not eligible for DSNAP and should not apply.
  • Replacement SNAP - If you are a current SNAP recipient and lose food purchased with your SNAP benefits due to a power outage of at least 24 hours or some other household misfortune, you can apply for replacement SNAP benefits.
  • Supplemental SNAP - If you are a current SNAP recipient not receiving the maximum monthly allotment, you may be eligible for supplemental SNAP benefits if a DSNAP is approved for your parish (see DSNAP info below); and

For more information about Disaster Food Assistance visit: www.dcfs.la.gov/DisasterFAQs

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) must get federal approval to begin the virtual Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP). The pre-registration is simple and can be done online through the CAFÉ customer portal. Disaster survivors who can pre-register for disaster food benefits can typically access benefits quicker. Pre-registration is only the first step; an application is also required. When a federal disaster is declared, then the government can start the process to distribute benefits. Those who preregister in disaster areas may be the first to receive benefits if they are eligible. 

If SNAP clients are eligible for additional benefits in the event of a disaster, those benefits would either be loaded onto their EBT cards automatically or the SNAP recipients would have to submit a form through a process other than the DSNAP.

If you are a current SNAP recipient and lose food purchased with your SNAP benefits due to a power outage in the event of a disaster for at least 24 hours or because of some other household misfortune, you can get Replacement SNAP benefits.

If you are a current SNAP recipient not receiving the maximum monthly allotment, you may be eligible for Supplemental SNAP benefits if DSNAP is approved for your parish. 

Before calling to apply for DSNAP, please download the LA Wallet mobile app at LAWallet.com. If you are applying to DSNAP prepare to provide the following during the application interview: 

  • A driver's license or state-issued ID to verify identity and residency 
    • Other acceptable forms of ID include a work or school ID, ID for health benefits or another social service program, voter’s registration card, paycheck stub, or birth certificate, US passport card, birth certificate, Matricula Consular ID card, and US military discharge papersIf identity is not verified electronically through LA Wallet or OMW, applicants will need to provide a copy of their identification. 
  • Verification of monthly income for each household member (e.g., check stubs, income related to Child Support, alimony, unemployment benefits, Social Security benefits, SSI benefits, VA benefits, FITAP benefits, worker’s compensation, pensions, contributions from friends and/or family)
  • Verification of household resources (e.g., cash in hand, checking or savings statements)
  • Amount of disaster-related expenses you incurred during the disaster period. These include but are not limited to:
    • home or business repairs,
    • temporary shelter expenses
    • evacuation expenses
    • home or business property protection
    • medical expenses due to disaster-related personal injury
    • including funeral expenses
    • disaster-related pet boarding fees
    • expenses related to replacing necessary personal and household items such as clothing, appliance, tools, and educational material
    • fuel for primary heating source
    • clean-up items expense
    • disaster-damaged vehicle expenses
    • and storage and moving expenses
  • Name, date of birth, and Social Security Number (if applicable) for each household member, and driver’s license or state-issued ID number (if applicable) for the head of household; and Residential address and mailing address (if mailing address is different)

DSNAP Pre-Registration

You Can Pre-register For DSNAP Now And Be Ready If DSNAP Becomes Available

The pre-registration is simple and can be done online through the CAFÉ customer portal. Pre-registration is only the first step; an application is also required. Pre-registration gives you a head start on the phone application and interview if DSNAP is ordered for your parish. A CAFÉ account is required to pre-register for DSNAP. CAFÉ, or Common Access Front End, houses the DCFS self-service portal, where online applications, simplified reports, change reports, and redeterminations can be completed and managed.

After you create a CAFÉ account, you will have access to a personal dashboard called MyAccount. To pre-register for DSNAP, click the DSNAP Registration link.

Complete your pre-registration by completing the screens for your:

  • Personal Information
  • Contact Information
  • Other Information
  • Household Information
  • Income Information
  • Resource Information

Review the summary of the information you provided and click Submit.

After an emergency, visit a DSNAP site to verify your information and identity and receive your benefit card, if you qualify.

  • Pre-registration will speed up the application process that determines final eligibility after DSNAP is authorized.
  • Pre-registration gives you a head start on the phone application and interview if DSNAP is ordered for your parish. 
  • You may not have access to necessary information following a disaster or evacuation.

DSNAP is only administered after a federally-declared disaster and after the State of Louisiana receives approval from the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services to activate DSNAP services. If a DSNAP is authorized, eligibility for benefits will be based on the applicant's household income, resources, and disaster-related expenses.

Before calling to apply for DSNAP, please download the LA Wallet mobile app at LAWallet.com. If you are applying to DSNAP prepare to provide the following during the application interview: 

  • A driver's license or state-issued ID to verify identity and residency 
    • Other acceptable forms of ID include a work or school ID, ID for health benefits or another social service program, voter’s registration card, paycheck stub, or birth certificate, US passport card, birth certificate, Matricula Consular ID card, and US military discharge papersIf identity is not verified electronically through LA Wallet or OMW, applicants will need to provide a copy of their identification. 
  • Verification of monthly income for each household member (e.g., check stubs, income related to Child Support, alimony, unemployment benefits, Social Security benefits, SSI benefits, VA benefits, FITAP benefits, worker’s compensation, pensions, contributions from friends and/or family)
  • Verification of household resources (e.g., cash in hand, checking or savings statements)
  • Amount of disaster-related expenses you incurred during the disaster period. These include but are not limited to:
    • home or business repairs,
    • temporary shelter expenses
    • evacuation expenses
    • home or business property protection
    • medical expenses due to disaster-related personal injury
    • including funeral expenses
    • disaster-related pet boarding fees
    • expenses related to replacing necessary personal and household items such as clothing, appliance, tools, and educational material
    • fuel for primary heating source
    • clean-up items expense
    • disaster-damaged vehicle expenses
    • and storage and moving expenses
  • Name, date of birth, and Social Security Number (if applicable) for each household member, and driver’s license or state-issued ID number (if applicable) for the head of household; and Residential address and mailing address (if mailing address is different)

If SNAP clients are eligible for additional benefits in the event of a disaster, those benefits would either be loaded onto their EBT cards automatically or the SNAP recipients would have to submit a form through a process other than the DSNAP.

If DSNAP is activated in your parish, you can use the benefit estimator to receive information about the possible assistance you might get. 

You have 9-months to use the federal benefit assistance (including SNAP, P-EBT, DSNAP, etc). Benefits not used within 9 months get removed from the EBT card. Use the card. Each purchase resets a timer for another 9-months. 

If you get a letter saying your benefits will be removed, the letter is meant to inform you that it has been 8 months since the EBT card was last used. You have 1 month to make a purchase or the benefits get removed. If you don't make a purchase, then any remaining benefits can get lost. 

If you applied after you preregistered to DSNAP and then had a phone interview then generally DSNAP applicants are told on the phone interview whether they have been approved to receive DSNAP, and if so, the number of benefits they will receive. 

You will not receive an eligibility decision if you only registered and did not go through the full application. 

You can appeal a denial 90 days from the date of the DCFS's decision on a DSNAP case. The decision letter should include instructions for filing an appeal. Follow the instructions to complete and sign the section below "Fair Hearing Information." Return the appeal form to the address in the instructions. 

Última revisión y actualización: Sep 12, 2022
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