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DSNAP approved for select ZIP codes in five parishes

The DCFS says DSNAP applications will be accepted from Monday, June 21, to Friday, June 25, 2021.
The DCFS says DSNAP applications will be accepted from Monday, June 21, to Friday, June 25, 2021.(Dept. of Children and Family Services)
Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 4:17 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services says they have received federal approval to begin virtual Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program operations for impacted ZIP codes of five parishes affected by severe storms, flooding and tornadoes on May 17-21, 2021.

The DCFS says DSNAP applications will be accepted from Monday, June 21, to Friday, June 25, 2021.

The areas approved for DSNAP only include the following ZIP codes in the parishes of Ascension, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Iberville and Lafayette:

· Ascension Parish: 70734, 70737, 70769

· Calcasieu Parish: 70601, 70605, 70607, 70615

· East Baton Rouge Parish: 70802, 70805, 70808, 70809, 70810, 70815, 70816, 70817, 70819

· Iberville Parish: 70764, 70776, 70780, 70788

· Lafayette Parish: 70501, 70503, 70506, 70507, 70520

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, according to the DCFS, and 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.

Each IA-approved parish must also request DSNAP before the benefits can be provided to eligible residents of that parish.

Residents who received SNAP benefits for May 2021 are not eligible for DSNAP and should not apply. But the DCFS says residents who began to receive SNAP benefits effective June 2021 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 parish ZIP codes can call the LAHelpU Customer Service Center, 1-888-524-3578 (select language, then press 3-3-1), between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., to apply and be interviewed for DSNAP benefits.

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 http://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 dcfs.la.gov/page/dsnap-faqs.

The DCFS says residents who pre-registered or applied for DSNAP 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 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.

Elderly and disabled applicants who cannot complete the phone application process can apply at their local DCFS Economic Stability office.

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