UPDATE: The last day to register for USDA’s Disaster Nutrition Program is September 23

Louisiana News

UPDATE: BATON ROUGE, La. — Wednesday, Sept. 23, is the last day to apply for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) benefits for residents of 21 parishes affected by Hurricane Laura.

Phase 2 of the DSNAP application period began on Sept. 17 and will end Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 6:30 p.m.

Any resident in the 21 parishes approved for DSNAP who has not yet called to apply and be interviewed for benefits should do so now, before it is too late. The number for the LAHelpU Customer Service Center is 1-888-524-3578.

The call center will take DSNAP applications between 7:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. After that, no additional DSNAP applications will be accepted.Pre-registration is a helpful first step but is not required. Residents who have not pre-registered can still call to apply.

All residents, regardless of whether they pre-registered, must call to apply and be interviewed in order to have their eligbility for benefits determined.

When calling to apply and be interviewed, residents will provide information on their household members, income, resources and disaster-related expenses.

A list of items to have ready before calling can be found here. For additional information on DSNAP related to Hurricane Laura, please see below or click here.


BATON ROUGE (Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020) – Residents in all 21 parishes approved for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) benefits may apply for benefits any day, today through Wednesday (Sept. 23), regardless of last name, following a change in the DSNAP application schedule.

After seeing minimal call wait times during the first few days of Phase 2, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is suspending the alphabet system to allow residents more opportunity to apply.

Residents of the 21 approved parishes who have not yet called to apply and be interviewed for DSNAP benefits are encouraged to call the LAHelpU Customer Service Center at 1-888-524-3578 any day through Wednesday, Sept. 23. The call center will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today (Sunday, Sept. 20) and 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday (Sept. 21-23).

As a reminder: Pre-registration is only a first step. Residents who pre-registered must still call to apply and be interviewed in order to have their eligibility for DSNAP benefits determined.

For more information about DSNAP related to Hurricane Laura, see below or click here.


BATON ROUGE (Friday, Sept. 18, 2020) – The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) LAHelpU Customer Service Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday (Sept. 19) to help residents pre-register for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) benefits.

Pre-registration will significantly reduce residents’ wait times when they call to apply and interview for DSNAP by allowing them to provide their household members’ information, including income and resources, ahead of their application interview.

Pre-registration can be done online in the DCFS CAFE Self-Service Portal at www.dcfs.la.gov/cafe or by calling the LAHelpU Customer Service Center at 1-888-524-3578, where a customer service representative will walk them through the pre-registration, step-by-step.

Please note that pre-registration is only a first step. Residents must still call to apply and be interviewed on their designated day for their eligibility to be determined.

Flyers outlining the DSNAP application process and the Phase 2 application schedule can be found here and here, respectively.

Additional information, including answers to some Frequently Asked Questions, can be found here.


BATON ROUGE (Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020) – The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has received federal approval to operate a Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) in three more parishes – Caddo, LaSalle and St. Landry – and will add those parishes to the Phase 2 schedule, which begins tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 17).

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) also approved DCFS’s request to extend Phase 1 for another week, until Sept. 23, allowing residents impacted by Hurricane Laura in the nine Phase 1 parishes additional time to apply for DSNAP benefits. Those nine parishes are Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Rapides, Vermilion and Vernon.

Today (Wednesday, Sept. 16) is an open application day for Phase 1 parishes, meaning any resident of those nine parishes may apply, regardless of their last name’s first letter.

When Phase 2 begins tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 17), Phase 1 parishes will follow the same alphabet system as Phase 2 parishes. That schedule – and all parishes participating during Phase 2 – will be as follows:

Parishes Participating: Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Caddo, Calcasieu, Cameron, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, LaSalle, Lincoln, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, St. Landry, Union, Vermilion, Vernon and Winn.

Schedule for All Parishes Participating in Phase 2:

Day 1 (Sept. 17) – Residents with last names beginning with A-C
Day 2 (Sept. 18) – D-G
Day 3 (Sept. 19) – H-L
Day 4 (Sept. 20) – M-R
Day 5 (Sept. 21) – S-Z
Days 6 & 7 (Sept. 22-23) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the participating parishes
On their scheduled day, residents will call the LAHelpU Customer Service Center at 1-888-524-3578 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to apply. On A-Z days, the call center will extend its hours to 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

DSNAP Eligibility
Eligibility for DSNAP benefits is determined by looking at the applicant’s take-home pay in the month following the disaster, adding all available cash resources (including checking and savings balances), and deducting the total dollar amount of money spent or expected to be spent on any disaster-related expense for the disaster benefit period (which, in the case of Hurricane Laura, is August 25 to September 23).

Preparing to Apply: What Applicants Need to Know

  1. Register Online First

Residents who have not yet pre-registered for DSNAP are strongly encouraged to do so before calling to apply. Registering in advance is not the same as applying – residents must still call to apply and be interviewed to determine eligibility. However, registering in advance will help speed the application process, reducing call wait times.

Step-by-step instructions for how to create an online account and register for DSNAP can be found here.

  1. Download LA Wallet

Residents are also encouraged to download the LA Wallet mobile app, which will help speed the identity and residency verification process during their phone interview. Information about the app, including download links, can be found at LAWallet.com.

  1. Gather Needed Documents & Information

When residents call to apply, a worker will verify the applicant’s identity and residency, and obtain information about their income, resources and disaster-related expenses. A list of what information is needed can be found in the FAQs at www.dcfs.la.gov/page/dsnap-faqs.

For additional information on DSNAP related to Hurricane Laura, please see below or click here.


BATON ROUGE (Monday, Sept. 14, 2020) – Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 15 and 16, will be open application days for anyone in a Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) Phase 1 parish, regardless of last name.

Phase 1 parishes are Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Rapides, Vermilion and Vernon.

All residents in those parishes who were affected by Hurricane Laura and have not yet applied for DSNAP are encouraged to apply by calling the DCFS LAHelpU Customer Service Center at 1-888-LA-HELP-U (1-888-524-3578).

The call center will extend its hours on Tuesday and Wednesday to 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. to provide additional time for affected residents to apply.

As a reminder: Registration will help speed the application process, but it is not a substitute for applying. Residents must call and be interviewed for their eligibility determination.

For additional information about DSNAP related to Hurricane Laura, please see below.


BATON ROUGE (Friday, Sept. 11, 2020) – The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) received approval today to operate a Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) in Union and Morehouse parishes, after they were federally approved to receive Individual Assistance due to damages sustained from Hurricane Laura.

Both parishes will be added to Phase 2 of the DSNAP operations, as approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.

For more information about DSNAP related to Hurricane Laura, please see original news release below.


BATON ROUGE, La. (KTVE/KARD) (09/08/2020) — Low-income Louisiana residents recovering from Hurricane Laura could be eligible for a helping hand from the USDA’s Disaster Nutrition Assistance Program, or D-SNAP.

Households who may not normally be eligible under regular SNAP rules may qualify for D-SNAP, if they meet the disaster income limits and have qualifying disaster-related expenses.

To be eligible for D-SNAP, the household must live in one of the designated parishes that have been affected by the disaster.

The announcement on Tuesday, September 8, is the latest in a series of USDA actions taken to help Louisiana residents cope with the devastation caused by Hurricane Laura.

To find out more information about D-SNAP and if you qualify and to register, click here.

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