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This is part of Governor Edwards' administration's commitment to addressing the needs of families struggling to recover from the disaster.
Acknowledging the severity of Louisiana's flooding in 11 hardest-hit parishes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) granted the state's request for an additional month of D-SNAP benefits for households that were issued benefits in August in Acadia, Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Livingston, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, Tangipahoa, Vermilion and West Feliciana parishes. Regular SNAP recipients in these parishes were also approved for a second month of supplemental benefits.
"Two months after the devastating and historic floods across South Louisiana, there are tens of thousands of families in these parishes still trying to get back on their feet," said Governor John Bel Edwards. "We're thankful that the federal government recognizes the need for additional assistance for those who are living in the hardest hit parishes. Our people are working hard every day to restore their lives, and it is critical that we continue to help them with some of the basic necessities. Another month of benefits will help ease some of their worries, and hopefully lessen their burdens as they continue to recover and rebuild."
D-SNAP recipients who were issued disaster EBT cards in response to the August floods in 11 affected parishes will have benefits automatically loaded no later than October 18. Anyone who needs to replace a lost card can visit a parish office in one of the 11 parishes listed below. SNAP recipients in these 11 affected parishes will receive the same supplemental benefits they received after the flood, if their household is not already receiving the maximum allotment for their household. These benefits will be automatically loaded on EBT cards as well.
D-SNAP is a 100 percent federally funded benefit program that provides food assistance for non-SNAP recipients who are eligible due to lost income or disaster-related damages. Additionally, the program sometimes provides extra assistance to existing SNAP recipients in disaster areas.
In all, 122,000 households in 21 parishes received D-SNAP benefits in the weeks after the flood, for a total of $48.9 million in D-SNAP benefits issued initially. Regular SNAP households received another $30.9 million in disaster-related benefits.
For the 11 hardest-hit parishes receiving a second month of benefits, DCFS estimates 105,689 households will receive $42 million in D-SNAP benefits, and 72,002 ongoing SNAP households will receive $11 million in supplemental benefits. Recipients will have up to a full year to use their benefits, after which benefits will expire.
"We're pleased to be able to bring a second month of DSNAP to households in our hardest-hit parishes. Those with immediate and ongoing food needs who didn't receive D-SNAP or who live outside these 11 parishes are encouraged to remember that D-SNAP isn't the only solution. Food banks are specially equipped to respond to these types of circumstances. In addition, the regular SNAP program might be another solution, and we encourage those with ongoing food needs to consider applying," DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters said.
There are a number of programming and fraud-prevention steps DCFS must take before it can issue D-SNAP benefits. Because households cannot receive both D-SNAP and SNAP, the department will run duplicate participation checks to ensure none of the households receiving D-SNAP benefits have been certified for SNAP in Louisiana or the neighboring states of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
D-SNAP recipients in the eligible 11 parishes can obtain replacement disaster EBT cards at any of the following locations:
- Acadia Parish Office - 300 E. First St., Crowley, LA 70526
- Ascension Parish Office - 1078 E. Worthy Road, Gonzales, LA 70737
- East Baton Rouge Parish Office - 1919 North Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
- Lafayette Parish Office - 825 Kaliste Saloom Road, Brandywine Complex VI, Lafayette, LA 70508
- Livingston Parish Office - 28446 Charley Watts Road, Livingston, LA 70754
- St. Landry Parish Office - 6069 I-49 S. Service Road, Opelousas, LA 70570
- Tangipahoa Parish Office - 1211 NW Central Avenue, Amite, LA 70422
For questions or additional information, visit the DCFS website at www.dcfs.la.gov or contact the toll-free helpline at 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578).
The D-SNAP program is designed and executed with safeguards in place to deter and detect fraud. The department will pursue prosecution, restitution, and disqualification of future benefits for anyone who fraudulently received aid. To report fraud, visit www.dcfs.la.gov/ReportFraud or call 1-888-LA-HELPU (1-888-524-3578) and select option 7.