DCFS has provided more information on the replacement benefits for food lost during Hurricane Barry.
Below is a full release from the Department of Children and Family Services on how those benefits may be acquired.
Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits may be eligible for replacement benefits for food lost due to Hurricane Barry, if they report their loss to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) by Friday, July 26.
For Hurricane Barry, replacement benefits are not automatic. SNAP recipients must apply for them.
Replacement benefits are not Disaster SNAP (D-SNAP) benefits. D-SNAP availability is directly tied to FEMA approving a State request for Individual Assistance (IA), a program that provides financial assistance and resources to people in a declared disaster area resulting from property that has been damaged or destroyed not covered by insurance.
Based on initial reports on the impacts of Hurricane Barry, it does not appear the state will qualify for this level of assistance, according to the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. Anyone with damage to their home is encouraged to report that damage to your insurance company and local emergency management office to give your parish an accurate picture of the scope of damage.
"We are so grateful Hurricane Barry did not cause the damage we expected," said DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters. "For those people who lost power or flooded and lost their food, it was still a major loss. We are working as quickly as we can to ensure those most vulnerable receive the food help they need. While disaster food stamps may not be available, for those on SNAP, we can help. For others, our food bank partners are ready to give needed assistance."
Eligibility for Replacement SNAP
Current SNAP recipients who received SNAP benefits in June and/or July 2019 and who lost food purchased with SNAP due to a power outage or other household misfortune related to Hurricane Barry can apply for replacement benefits.
For food losses due to power outage, the power must have been out for a minimum of 24 hours. DCFS works with the Public Service Commission to obtain reports of specific power outages.
How to Apply
Best, Fastest Option: On or before Friday, July 26, report the food loss to DCFS by turning in a completed and signed SNAP 38 Form in one of the following ways:
- Email it to LAHelpU.DCFS@la.gov; or
- Mail it to DPC, P.O. Box 260031, Baton Rouge, LA 70826; or
- If you cannot email or mail the form, bring it to your nearest DCFS Economic Stability office. A list of DCFS offices can be found atwww.dcfs.la.gov/offices [dcfs.louisiana.gov].
Alternative: If you cannot get the signed form to us before Friday, July 26, then you must do both of the following to report your loss and send in the required form:
- Email LAHelpU.DCFS@la.gov (preferred) or call 1-888-524-3578 by Friday, July 26, and provide your:
- Last 4 digits of Social Security Number
- Dollar value of food loss
- Length of time without power
- Within 10 days of reporting the loss to DCFS by email or phone call, send your completed and signed SNAP 38 Form [dcfs.louisiana.gov] to DCFS by email, mail or bringing it to a local office, as described above.
In keeping with federal regulations, DCFS cannot process a SNAP Replacement request until we receive a signed SNAP 38 Form. The sooner we receive the form, the sooner the request will be processed and the benefits will be issued.
SNAP 38 Forms
SNAP 38 Forms are available online at www.dcfs.la.gov/snapreplacementfaq [dcfs.louisiana.gov] and at DCFS Economic Stability (ES) offices. If a SNAP recipient cannot download the form or get to an ES office, the person can call 1-888-524-3578 to request that a form be mailed to them.
For more information about Replacement SNAP, or to download the SNAP 38 Form, visit www.dcfs.la.gov/snapreplacementfaq [dcfs.louisiana.gov].