BATON ROUGE, LA — The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services received federal approval to extend its Hurricane Ida Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) operation by three days to provide the large volume of applicants more time to complete DSNAP interviews.
According to the request approved by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, the DSNAP extension period will begin on October 11 and run through October 13.
In the first phase of DSNAP operations, DCFS staff answered over 100,000 calls and processed more than 73,000 applications.
Higher than anticipated call volumes jammed phone lines. At times, the DSNAP line received as many as 350 calls per second.
DCFS responded by offering extended hours and a “virtual hold” in an effort to serve more callers and be mindful of those with limited phone minutes.
The DSNAP extension is an attempt to serve those who were still unable to apply during their assigned week.
Residents from Phase 1 parishes must wait until October 11-13 to apply and interview, and should not call during Phases 2 or 3 as they will not be able to be served during those weeks.
The same applies to residents in Phase 2 if they miss their week to apply, they must wait until the extension period to complete their DSNAP application.
DSNAP parishes include: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.
During the extension, residents of these parishes who have not yet applied for DSNAP may call on the following days according to the following alphabet schedule:October 11 – Residents with last names beginning with A-L October 12 – M-Z October 13 – A-Z (open to all last names)* Note: SNAP recipients from these parishes are not eligible for DSNAP and should not call to apply.
Additional information about DSNAP can be found by texting LADSNAP to 898-211 or by visiting www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP [dcfs.louisiana.gov].
What is DSNAP? How is Eligibility Determined? 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 (August 26 - September 24), 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].
This week is Phase 2, followed by Phase 3.
Here are the schedules:
PHASE 2 – September 27-October 2
Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, Jefferson, Livingston, Plaquemines, St. Helena, St. Martin (lower St. Martin Parish ZIPs only 70339 & 70380), St. Mary and Tangipahoa
Monday, Sept. 27 – Residents with last names beginning with A-F
Tuesday, Sept. 28 – G-M
Wednesday, Sept. 29 – N-S
Thursday, Sept. 30 – T-Z
Friday, Oct. 1 – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 2 parishes
Saturday, Oct. 2 – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 2 parishes
PHASE 3 – October 4-9
Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist and Terrebonne
Monday, Oct. 4 – Residents with last names beginning with A-F
Tuesday, Oct. 5 – G-M
Wednesday, Oct. 6 – N-S
Thursday, Oct. 7 – T-Z
Friday, Oct. 8 – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 3 parishes
Saturday, Oct. 9 – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 3 parishes.
Due to ongoing concerns related to the corona-virus pandemic, DSNAP interviews are handled by phone, and benefits cards are mailed to approved applicants through the U.S. Postal Service.
Applicants currently residing in a location that is different from their residential address may provide a different mailing address at the time of their interview to receive their DSNAP card.
What Do Applicants Need to Know About DSNAP?
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].
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