The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) announced where residents of parishes under a federal disaster declaration can finalize applications for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) benefits.
DSNAP, formerly called Disaster Food Stamps, 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.
Each site will serve applicants next week on a staggered alphabetical schedule. To minimize wait times, applicants and anyone who pre-registered for benefits should go to a DSNAP location only on one of the days indicated by the first letter of their last name. Applicants who are unable to visit a site on their designated day should go on one of the final days specified.
The following locations will be open Monday, March 21, through Saturday, March 26, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.:
Natchitoches Parish – Council on Aging, 1016 Keyser Ave., Natchitoches
Applicants should go on the following designated days, based on their last name.
Monday, March 21: A-D
Tuesday, March 22: E-K
Wed., March 23: L-R
Thursday, March 24: S-Z
Friday, March 25: A-K applicants unable to make prior scheduled day
Saturday, March 26: L-Z applicants unable to make prior scheduled day
DSNAP applicants MUST go to a specified DSNAP site to apply and receive benefits, if eligible.
Applicants may name an Authorized Representative to go to a DSNAP site on their behalf. Authorized representatives must bring with them to the DSNAP site a picture ID and the picture ID of the applicant/head of household along with a signed statement from the applicant/head of household or an adult household member authorizing them as a representative.
Accommodations will be made for the elderly and those with disabilities to reduce on-site wait times.
Regular SNAP households DO NOT need to apply for DSNAP. Impacted households that receive regular SNAP benefits in the DSNAP parishes will have additional SNAP benefits added to their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards if they are not already receiving the maximum allotment for their household size.
To help expedite the application process DCFS is encouraging residents in all affected areas to pre-register for DSNAP benefits. The best way to do this is online at http://www.dcfs.la.gov/dsnap. However, residents can also pre-register by phone at 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578) daily between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Callers will select the appropriate language and then select options 3 and 3.
All pre-registrants will have to provide the following information:
Name, Social Security Number and Date of Birth for each household member
Current address and parish of household
Monthly income for each household member
All liquid assets for each household member (cash on hand, checking, savings and money market account balances and certificates of deposit)
The information will be kept securely on file and will be confidential.
The pre-registration process does not guarantee benefits, but is designed to save time, minimize long waits and prevent applicants from coming to the site, only to find out that they do not have the right information needed to apply.