St. Mary Parish residents offered Isaac assistance
By JEAN L. KAESS
MORGAN CITY, La. -- St. Mary Parish residents began applying in Amelia today for disaster food stamp assistance.
Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is available for residents who suffered losses from Hurricane Isaac and meet income eligibility requirements.
The DSNAP site, operated by the Louisiana Department of Family and Children Services, is being held at the Amelia Community Center, 2109 Duhon Road, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Residents whose last names correspond with the appropriate letters should visit the site on the appropriate dates: Today, M-R; Friday, S-Z; Saturday, A-C; Sunday, D-G; Monday, H-L; Tuesday, A-Z; and Wednesday, A-Z.
To help expedite the application process, individuals can pre-apply through Tuesday online either at www.dcfs.la.gov/preapply or www.getagameplan.org or by calling 1-888-524-3578 24 hours a day. When applying by phone, callers should select the appropriate language and then select options 3 and 3.
Whether in person, online or on the phone, residents need photo identification; the name, Social Security number and birth date for each household member; monthly income for each household member; and liquid resources for each household member such as cash on hand, checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts.
The federal guideline formula for assistance adds together monthly household income, as well as liquid resources like checking and savings accounts. It then subtracts unreimbursed disaster-related expenses to arrive at an adjusted gross monthly income.
The upper limit of adjusted gross monthly income differs based on family size: one person, $1,514; two people, $1,823; three people, $2,151; four people $2,477; five people, $2,821; and six people, $3,167.
On average, a family of four can have an adjusted gross monthly income of no more than $2,477 to be eligible for assistance.
Unreimbursed disaster-related expenses might include, but are not limited to, things like evacuation costs such as a hotel stay; purchase of a generator; cost of rebuilding a fence; and repairs to a home. Federal guidelines state that the expense must be paid within the benefit period, which for Hurricane Isaac is Aug. 26 through Sept. 24.
If a person is unable to attend during the application dates, he or she may name an authorized representative. The representative must bring his or her own picture identification, a photo copy of the person’s identification for whom the application is being made and a letter authorizing the exchange.
DSNAP is an income eligibility based program to assist eligible households who do not receive regular SNAP benefits and who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster. If a family already receives SNAP benefits, there is no need to apply for DSNAP benefits. Additional funds have been added this month.
For more information on income guidelines visit www.dcfs.la.gov or call 211.