Officials encourage registering for DSNAP benefits as part of hurricane prep
With hurricane season off to an active start, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is encouraging all Louisiana households who are not currently receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to make registering for Disaster SNAP (DSNAP) a part of their hurricane preparedness game plan – even if they have registered before.
DSNAP provides eligible low- to moderate-income households who do not normally receive SNAP benefits with help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster.
“Not every disaster triggers a DSNAP, but it’s always best to be prepared,” said DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters. “Registering makes the process much easier and smoother by allowing people to gather and provide their information now, rather than after a storm has hit.”
Registration is simple. Households can go online to the DCFS CAFÉ customer portal and provide: names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers, if possible, for each household member; address and parish of residence; monthly income for each household member; and amount of liquid resources, such as cash, checking and savings.
Due to technology upgrades, even households who have registered for DSNAP before must register again. Doing so now also provides everyone an opportunity to ensure the household’s listed family members and contact information are up-to-date.
SNAP recipients do not need to register for DSNAP. If they are eligible for additional benefits in the event of a disaster, those benefits would be loaded onto their EBT cards automatically or the SNAP recipients would have to submit a form through a different process than the DSNAP.
Registering for DSNAP does not guarantee benefits. DSNAP is administered only after a federally declared disaster and after the state receives approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service to activate DSNAP services.
If a DSNAP is activated, residents who registered would only need to visit a DSNAP application site to verify their information and identity, determine final eligibility and receive their benefit cards. Eligibility requirements and DSNAP locations would be announced at the time of a disaster.
More information about the registration process can be found at www.dcfs.la.gov/dsnap.