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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Louisiana Issues February SNAP Food Benefits Early
Based on recent guidance from USDA FNS, most SNAP recipients will receive their February benefits early - on or before January 20. These are not extra benefits, but an advance issuance of February benefits. SNAP clients who receive their February benefits during this early issuance will not receive additional benefits in February for that month, and should be careful to budget their SNAP benefits to last them through the entire month of February.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides monthly benefits that help eligible low-income households buy the food they need for good health. For most households, SNAP funds account for only a portion of their food budgets; they must also use their own funds to buy enough food to last throughout the month. Eligible households can receive food assistance through regular SNAP or through the Louisiana Combined Application Project (LaCAP). SNAP participants may also meet the income eligibility guidelines for nutrition services through the Women, Infants & Children Program (WIC) offered by the Louisiana Department of Health. Learn more about WIC and find out if you qualify. Budget sheets are frequently used by other organizations as proof of SNAP benefits. Print your Budget Sheet by accessing your account in CAFÉ.
For more information on SNAP and other services available through the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), call 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578).
Print Budget Sheet
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides monthly benefits that help eligible low-income households buy the food they need for good health. For most households, SNAP funds account for only a portion of their food budgets; they must also use their own funds to buy enough food to last throughout the month. Eligible households can receive food assistance through regular SNAP or through the Louisiana Combined Application Project (LaCAP).
SNAP participants may also meet the income eligibility guidelines for nutrition services through the Women, Infants & Children Program (WIC) offered by the Louisiana Department of Health. Learn more about WIC and find out if you qualify.
Budget sheets are frequently used by other organizations as proof of SNAP benefits. Print your Budget Sheet by accessing your account in CAFÉ.
Qualifying for Regular SNAP
To get benefits through regular SNAP, households must meet certain tests, including resource and income tests.
Other eligibility requirements:
Pre-Screening Eligibility Tool (English and Spanish)
(By clicking here you are NOT completing an application for SNAP benefits; instead, you are completing a pre-screening tool that can be used to help determine if you may be eligible to receive SNAP benefits. Application for SNAP benefits must be made at your local DCFS office).
Visit the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program online and view the federal requirements for food assistance in several languages.
|Louisiana Combined Application Project (LaCAP)
Qualifying for LaCAP
LaCAP is a food assistance program for Louisiana residents who are at least 60 years of age and receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is a simplified version of SNAP. If you are eligible for LaCAP, you will receive a Louisiana Purchase Card and SNAP benefits will be automatically deposited into your account every month. There are three standard allotment amounts in LaCAP. Depending on shelter costs, LaCAP participants will receive $35, $82, or $173. LaCAP cases are certified for 36 months.
You may be eligible for LaCAP if you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and you:
Applying for LaCAP
Seniors receiving SSI who need food assistance do not have to use LaCAP.
Food assistance is available through LaCAP or through regular SNAP. If you receive benefits through LaCAP and you want to change to regular SNAP, you can do so at any time.
You may qualify for more benefits through regular SNAP if you:
|Applying for SNAP Benefits
How and Where to Apply
*Households composed entirely of people who are applying for or receiving SSI may apply for SNAP benefits through regular SNAP at the Social Security Administration office unless they already have a SNAP application pending.
Regular SNAP Benefits Amounts
Benefits depend on both the number of persons in the household and the net monthly income amount remaining after all allowable deductions have been subtracted.
Income deductions allowed in the regular SNAP budget are subtracted from both earned and unearned income. The deductions are:
How are My Benefits Issued?
Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is a method of delivering governmental benefits to recipients electronically. Louisiana uses magnetic stripe card technology. The card, which is referred to as the Louisiana Purchase Card enables recipients to access benefits at Point-of-Sale (POS) machines.
SNAP benefits are posted to the recipients account during the first fourteen days of the month. Recipient benefits are accessible by 5:00 a.m. the morning after they are posted. Benefits are posted on the same date every month regardless of the day of the week. Holidays and weekends do not affect the date of benefit availability. In emergency situations, benefits are available immediately.
Benefits are secure and accessible only to persons authorized by the recipient. The Personal Identification Number (PIN) is selected by the recipient and must be correctly entered in order to successfully complete all electronic transactions. As purchases are made at grocery store checkout lanes, recipient accounts are debited and the recipient is given a receipt which provides the remaining account balance.
Eligible Food Items
Households CAN use SNAP benefits to buy:
Information about Disaster SNAP is available at www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP
Your have the right to:
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
A program complaint may be filed with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) by emailing DCFS.Webmaster.DCFS@LA.GOV or by calling 225-342-2342.
You may file a civil rights complaint with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) by completing the Civil Rights Complaint Form. Turn the form in to a local office; mail it to DCFS Civil Rights Section, P O Box 1887, Baton Rouge, LA 70821; email DCFS.BureauofCivilRights@LA.GOV, or; call (225) 342-0309. You may file a civil rights complaint with DCFS and USDA or only DCFS.View the full non-discrimination statement here.
SNAP Historical Information
This program was established by Congress in 1964 by PL 88-55 which was superseded by the Food Stamp Act of 1977 and subsequent amendments to the Act. It is administered at the federal level by the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service and at the state level by the Department of Children & Family Services.
Besides certification and issuance activities, the Food Security Act of 1985 mandated that employment and training services be provided for SNAP recipients who are mandatory work registrants. The employment and training activities, known as the Louisiana Job Employment Training (LaJET) Program, are accomplished through the cooperative efforts of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the DCFS parish offices, (in parishes where available) local governing authorities in the State and the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996, which was signed into law on August 22, 1996, implemented many changes in SNAP, including a limit on the number of months certain persons can receive SNAP benefits without working.