BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is urging applicants to pre-register now for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) benefits, although DSNAP sites are still being finalized.
DCFS said it has requested DSNAP benefits from the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service for the parishes covered by the federal disaster declaration. A total of 26 parishes have been included in the declaration.
Officials said in anticipation of approval from the USDA, DCFS is preparing to issue DSNAP benefits next week to applicants from the following parishes: Allen, Ascension, Bossier, Calcasieu, Claiborne, Grant, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Webster, Beauregard Bienville, Caddo, Caldwell, DeSoto, LaSalle, Livingston, Madison, Natchitoches, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Union, Vernon, Washington, West Carroll, and Winn.
The best way to pre-register is online at www.dcfs.la.gov/dsnap. Applicants can also call 1-888-524-3578 Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Select the appropriate language and then select options 3 and 3. You must provide the following information:
Name, Social Security Number and Date of Birth for each household member
Current address and parish of household
Monthly income for each household member
All liquid assets for each household member (cash on hand, checking, savings and money market account balances and certificates of deposit
Officials added the sites will serve applicants on a staggered alphabetical schedule beginning Monday and running through Saturday. See below:
Applicants are urged to visit a location only one of the days they are eligible to do so in order to avoid wait times. Those unable to make it on their designated day should go on the final two days.
According to DCFS, applicants MUST go to a specified DSNAP site to apply and receive benefits. Those sites are still being finalized because of flood damage in many areas.
Applicants may name an authorized representative to go to a DSNAP site for them. The representatives must bring a picture ID and the picture ID of the applicant/head of household with them, along with a signed statement from the person they are representing authorizing them as a representative.
Officials said accommodations will be made for the elderly and disabled to reduce wait times at the sites.
They added regular SNAP households DO NOT need to apply for DSNAP. Those affected who receive regular SNAP benefits in the DSNAP parishes will have additional SNAP benefits added to their EBT cards.