Louisiana will extend the disaster food stamp application process by three days to deal with the large number of people seeking help after Hurricane Ida.
The extension period will run from October 11 to 13, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services announced today.
In the first phase of operations for the Supplementary Disaster Nutritional Assistance Program, the agency responded to more than 100,000 calls and processed more than 73,000 requests. Higher than expected call volumes blocked phone lines. Sometimes the DSNAP line received up to 350 calls per second.
The agency responded by offering extended hours and “virtual hold” in an effort to serve more callers and watch out for those with limited phone minutes. The DSNAP extension, approved by the federal government today, is an attempt to serve those who still could not apply in their assigned week, officials said.
Residents of phase 1 parishes must wait until October 11 and 13 to apply and be interviewed, and should not call during phase 2 or 3 as they will not be able to be served during those weeks. The same goes for residents in phase 2 if they miss their week to apply, they must wait for 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, Ste. Helena, St. James, St. John Parishes Baptist, St. Martin (zip codes 70339 and 70380), St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.
During the extension, the inhabitants of the parishes who have not yet applied to the DSNAP can call on the following days according to the following alphabetical schedule:
October 11 – Residents whose last name begins with AL
October 12 – MZ
October 13 – AZ (open to all surnames)
Note: SNAP recipients from these parishes are not eligible for DSNAP and should not call to apply.
Additional information on DSNAP can be found by texting LADSNAP to 898-211 or by visiting dcfs.la.gov/page/dsnap.
What is DSNAP? How is eligibility determined?
DSNAP provides eligible low to moderate income households who are not currently receiving SNAP benefits with assistance in purchasing groceries due to loss of income or damage from a disaster.
Eligibility for DSNAP benefits is determined by examining the applicant’s take-home pay (winner and not) within the designated 30-day period (August 26 to September 24), adding all available cash resources (including verification balances and savings). , and deducting the total dollar amount spent for any expense related to the claim that has not already been reimbursed within the designated 30-day period. Find more information on the DSNAP FAQ page at dcfs.la.gov/page/dsnap-faqs.
This week is phase 2, followed by phase 3. Here are the schedules:
Phase 2 – September 27 to October 2
Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, Jefferson, Livingston, Plaquemines, Sainte-HÃ©lÃ¨ne, Saint-Martin (only ZIP 70339 and 70380), Sainte-Marie and Tangipahoa.
Sep 27 – Residents whose last name begins with AF
September 28 – DG
September 29 – NS
September 30 – TZ
October 1 – Open to all (letters AZ) in phase 2 parishes
Oct 2 – Open to everyone (letters AZ) in phase 2 parishes
Phase 3 – October 4-9
Lafourche, Saint-Charles, Saint-Jacques, Saint-Jean-Baptiste and Terrebonne
October 4 – Residents whose last name begins with AF
October 5 – DG
October 6 – NS
October 7 – TZ
Oct. 8 – Open to all (letters AZ) in phase 3 parishes
Oct. 9 – Open to everyone (letters AZ) in phase 3 parishes
Due to lingering concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, DSNAP interviews are processed over the phone and benefit cards are mailed to approved applicants through the U.S. Postal Service. Applicants currently residing in a location different from their residential address may provide a different mailing address at the time of their interview to receive their DSNAP card.
What should candidates know about DSNAP?
Residents of approved parishes should 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, enter 6, then 1 between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on the day of their appointment interview.
Translation services are available for people whose primary language is not English and special accommodations are provided for the elderly and disabled. See more information on dcfs.la.gov/page/dsnap.