Wednesday, October 13 is the last day to apply for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) benefits for residents of 25 parishes affected by Hurricane Ida.
DSNAP for Hurricane Ida began on September 27 and will end on October 13 at 6 p.m. for the following approved parishes and ZIP codes:
Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin (only lower St. Martin parish ZIP codes 70339 and 70380), St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana parishes.
FINAL DAY: All last names (A-Z) can call from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, October 13. Call 1-888-524-3578, select language, press 6 when prompted and then press 1.
The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) initially approved three phases of DSNAP for the 25 parishes impacted by Hurricane Ida. DCFS received federal approval for an additional three days of DSNAP after staff answered more than 100,000 calls in the first week.
The DSNAP for Hurricane Ida has been the second-largest on record, trailing only the DSNAP operation following Hurricane Gustav.
Through the first three weeks of DSNAP, DCFS answered more than 250,000 calls, processed about 175,000 cases, and approved 130,000 households for benefits. Around $57.4 million in benefits have been issued so far.
Any resident in the 25 parishes approved for DSNAP who has not yet called to apply and be interviewed for benefits should do so now. The number for the LAHelpU Customer Service Center is 1-888-524-3578. The call center will take DSNAP applications between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Pre-registration is a helpful first step but is not required. Residents who have not pre-registered can still call to apply. All residents, regardless of whether they pre-registered, must call to apply and be interviewed in order to have their eligibility for benefits determined.
When calling to apply and be interviewed, residents will provide information on their household members, income, resources and disaster-related expenses. A list of items to have ready before calling can be found at www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP-FAQs. [dcfs.la.gov]
DSNAP provides eligible low- to moderate-income households who do not currently receive SNAP benefits with help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster.
Eligibility for DSNAP benefits is determined by looking at the applicant’s take-home pay (earned and unearned) in the designated 30-day time-period, adding all available cash resources (including checking and savings balances), and deducting the total dollar amount of money spent on any disaster-related expense that has not already been reimbursed during the designated 30-day period. Find more information on the DSNAP FAQ page at www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAPFAQs [dcfs.louisiana.gov].
Residents in the approved parishes must call the LAHelpU Customer Service Center, 1-888-524-3578, to apply and be interviewed for DSNAP. Applicants should call 1-888-524-3578, select their language, prompt 6 and then 1 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on their designation interview day.
Translation services are available for individuals whose primary language is not English and special accommodations are made for the elderly and disabled. See more information at www.dcfs.la.gov/dsnap [dcfs.louisiana.gov].