Disaster Emergency SNAP Benefits

Authored By: Louisiana Department Of Children And Family Services (DCFS)

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About Disaster Emergency SNAP Benefits

When disasters strike, causing significant distress and impact on the lives of individuals and communities, emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits may be issued by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to help those affected. These emergency benefits are designed to provide crucial support in the wake of emergencies, ensuring access to food for those who need it most.

The emergency SNAP benefits can be categorized into three main types: Replacement SNAP, Supplemental SNAP, and Disaster SNAP (D-SNAP), each serving a specific purpose based on the circumstances of the disaster. Click on each tab above to learn more about each type. 

Replacement SNAP Benefits

Replacement SNAP Benefits

Replacement SNAP benefits are provided to households that are already receiving SNAP benefits and have lost food due to a disaster, such as a hurricane, flood, or power outage. DCFS can authorize replacement benefits if there is a household misfortune and the household loses food purchased with SNAP benefits. 

 

What You Need To Know

To apply for replacement benefits, the SNAP household must report the destruction or loss of food verbally or in writing to DCFS within 10 calendar days of the household misfortune and must sign the statement (SNAP 38). During a DSNAP the state can request a waiver to extend the amount of time households have to report the loss of food purchased with SNAP Benefits. 

The value of the replacement benefit should be an amount equal to the value of lost food purchased with SNAP benefits, up to the maximum of one month of the household's SNAP benefits. 

If eligible, the replacement benefits are added to the SNAP household's regular EBT card. 

If the household misfortune is food loss due to a power outage, the power must have been out for a minimum of 24 hours consecutively.

DCFS may use established guidelines or estimates to determine food loss based on the type of food items typically stored in households and the duration of the power outage. This can include considerations for refrigerated versus frozen items, with longer outages likely resulting in more substantial losses.

DCFS works with the Louisiana Public Service Commission to obtain reports of specific areas of power outages. These reports help identify the specific areas and households affected by the power outage.

Supplemental SNAP Benefits

Supplemental SNAP Benefits

Regular SNAP households that live in a disaster area may receive supplemental SNAP benefits if they did not receive the maximum SNAP allotment for their household size in the disaster month and DSNAP is approved for their parish. The idea is to supplement existing SNAP recipients' benefits to cover food costs that often result from disaster situations. Increased food prices or the need to buy ready-to-eat items because of power outages are common reasons for needing supplemental SNAP. The amount of supplemental benefits can vary based on individual circumstances and the extent of the disaster's impact. If DSNAP benefits are available, more information will be posted on the DSNAP webpage.

What You Need To Know

Depending on the disaster, these supplemental SNAP benefits may be issued manually on a case-by-case basis or through an automatic load of SNAP benefits on EBT cards. Automatic issuance is allowed only with approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Regardless of which method is used, current SNAP recipients do not need to complete a DSNAP application or be interviewed for DSNAP benefits.

If a disaster area is not approved for automatic issuance of supplemental SNAP benefits, a SNAP household that resided in a disaster area and experienced an adverse effect due to the disaster must report this during the DSNAP application period for their area by signing the Affidavit of Disaster Loss (DIS 14).

Disaster SNAP

Disaster SNAP (DSNAP)

DSNAP gives food assistance to low-income households with food loss or damage caused by a natural disaster. Households not normally eligible for SNAP may qualify for DSNAP as a result of their disaster-related expenses, such as loss of income, property damage, and, in some cases, loss of food due to power outages. Eligibility for D-SNAP is based on disaster-specific criteria (whether DSNAP has been approved for your parish) and income limits. If DSNAP benefits are available, more information will be posted on the DSNAP webpage.

D-SNAP benefits are typically issued for a month, after which individuals and families may apply for regular SNAP benefits if they need assistance.

 

Last Review and Update: Mar 08, 2024
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