BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) received federal approval today (1/27/21) to begin virtual Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) operations in 6 parishes to provide additional food aid to families affected by Hurricane Zeta. The application process will run in a single phase from Monday, Feb. 1, to Sunday, Feb. 7.
DSNAP provides food assistance to eligible households who do not receive regular SNAP benefits and who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster. The state must request that the federal government initiate DSNAP but can only do so after the president activates the Stafford Act and approves the parish for Individual Assistance (IA).
The six parishes recently approved for federal Individual Assistance and DSNAP due to the late October storm are Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and Terrebonne.
Residents who received SNAP benefits in November 2020 are not eligible for DSNAP and should not apply. Residents who began to receive SNAP benefits after November 2020 may be eligible.
What Applicants Need to Know
Due to ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, DSNAP applications will be handled by phone and benefits cards will be mailed to approved applicants.
Residents in the approved parishes will be assigned a day, based on the first letter of their last name, to call the LAHelpU Customer Service Center to apply and be interviewed for DSNAP. On their designated day, residents will call 1-888-524-3578 (select language, then press 3-3-1), between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. See Application Schedule below for assigned dates.
Translation services are available for individuals whose primary language is not English.
Residents are encouraged, but not required, to take the following steps before calling to apply and be interviewed for DSNAP:
Pre-register online first. Step-by-step instructions for this can be found at www.dcfs.la.gov/page/dsnap-registration.
Download the LA Wallet mobile app for identity and residency verification. Information on the app, including download links, can be found at LAWallet.com.
Gather all information needed for the application. A list of what is needed can be found in the FAQs at www.dcfs.la.gov/page/dsnap-faqs.
Residents who pre-registered or applied for DSNAP after Hurricane Laura (or any time since March 2020) do not need to pre-register again.
When residents call to apply and be interviewed for DSNAP, a worker will verify the applicant’s identity and residency, and obtain information about their income, resources and disaster-related expenses. Most applicants will be told on the phone immediately after completing their application and interview whether they have been approved to receive DSNAP and, if so, the amount of benefits they will receive. Applicants will also receive a letter by mail, confirming the eligibility decision made on their application.
Applicants may name an Authorized Representative (AR) to apply for DSNAP benefits on their behalf. The head of household must authorize the person to serve as AR on their behalf, and the worker will need to speak to the head of household to confirm that they agree for the AR to speak on their behalf.
Residents should call the LAHelpU Customer Service Center to apply and be interviewed for DSNAP on their designated day (according to the first letter of their last name) or on the weekend, which is open to all residents in the approved parishes.
Parishes: Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and Terrebonne
Monday, Feb. 1 – Residents with last names beginning with A-C
Tuesday, Feb. 2 – D-G
Wednesday, Feb. 3 – H-L
Thursday, Feb. 4 – M-R
Friday, Feb. 5 – S-Z
Saturday, Feb. 6 – ALL (A-Z)
Sunday, Feb. 7 – ALL (A-Z)
Additional information about DSNAP is available at www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP.