Louisiana receives approval to extend DSNAP due to high number of applicants

BATON ROUGE, LA – The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services has received federal approval to extend its Hurricane Ida Disaster Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (DSNAP) by three days in order to give more time to the large number of candidates to complete the DSNAP interviews.

As per the USDA Food and Nutrition Service approved request, the DSNAP extension period will begin on October 11 and end on October 13.

In the first phase of DSNAP operations, DCFS staff responded to over 100,000 calls and handled over 73,000 requests.

Higher-than-expected call volumes blocked phone lines. Sometimes the DSNAP line received up to 350 calls per second.

DCFS responded by offering extended hours and “virtual hold” in an effort to serve more callers and accommodate those with limited phone minutes.

The DSNAP extension is an attempt to serve those who still have not been able to apply during their assigned week.

Residents of phase 1 parishes must wait until October 11 and 13 to apply and be interviewed, and should not call during phase 2 or 3 as they will not be able to be served during those weeks.

The same goes for residents in phase 2 if they miss their week to apply, they must wait for the extension period to complete their DSNAP application.

DSNAP parishes include: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupée, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin (Lower St. Martin parishes 70339 and 70380 only), St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.

During the extension, residents of these parishes who have not yet made a request to the DSNAP can call the following days according to the following alphabetical schedule: October 11 – Residents whose last name begins with AL October 12 – MZ October 13 – AZ (open to all surnames) * Note: SNAP recipients from these parishes are not eligible for DSNAP and should not call to apply.

Additional information on DSNAP can be found by texting LADSNAP to 898-211 or by visiting www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP [dcfs.louisiana.gov].

What is DSNAP? How is eligibility determined? DSNAP provides eligible low to moderate income households who are not currently receiving SNAP benefits with assistance in purchasing groceries due to loss of income or damage from a disaster.

Eligibility for DSNAP benefits is determined by examining the applicant’s take-home pay (earning and unearned) within the designated 30-day period (August 26 – September 24), adding all available cash resources (including cash balances). checking and savings), and deducting the total dollar amount spent for any disaster-related expense that has not already been reimbursed within the designated 30-day period.

Find more information on the DSNAP FAQ page at www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAPFAQs [dcfs.louisiana.gov].

This week is phase 2, followed by phase 3.

Here are the timetables:

PHASE 2 – September 27-October 2

Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, Jefferson, Livingston, Plaquemines, Sainte-Hélène, Saint-Martin (lower ZIPs of Saint-Martin parish only 70339 and 70380), Sainte-Marie and Tangipahoa

Monday, September 27 – Residents whose last name begins with AF

Tuesday September 28 – DG

Wednesday, September 29 – NS

Thursday September 30 – TZ

Friday October 1 – Open to all (letters AZ) in phase 2 parishes

Saturday October 2 – Open to all (letters AZ) in Phase 2 parishes

PHASE 3 – 4-9 October

Lafourche, Saint-Charles, Saint-Jacques, Saint-Jean-Baptiste and Terrebonne

Monday October 4 – Residents whose last name begins with AF

Tuesday, October 5 – DG

Wednesday October 6 – NS

Thursday October 7 – TZ

Friday October 8 – Open to all (letters AZ) in Phase 3 parishes

Saturday October 9 – Open to all (letters AZ) in phase 3 parishes.

Due to ongoing concerns with the corona virus pandemic, DSNAP interviews are handled by telephone and benefit cards are mailed to approved applicants through the US Postal Service.

Applicants currently residing in a location different from their residential address may provide a different mailing address at the time of their interview to receive their DSNAP card.

What should candidates know about DSNAP?

Residents of approved parishes should call the LAHelpU Customer Service Center, 1-888-524-3578, to apply and be interviewed for DSNAP.

Applicants should call 1-888-524-3578, select their language, enter 6 and then 1 between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on the day of their appointment interview.

Translation services are available for those whose primary language is not English and special accommodations are provided for the elderly and disabled.

See more information on www.dcfs.la.gov/dsnap [dcfs.louisiana.gov].

For more information on what is needed when requesting DSNAP, visit www.dcfs.la.gov/dsnap [dcfs.louisiana.gov] and www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAPFAQS [dcfs.louisiana.gov].

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