Hurricane Ida Recovery Resources and Information

DSNAP Benefits Approved for St. James Parish Residents

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) received federal approval September 14, 2021 to begin Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) operations to provide additional food aid to families impacted by Hurricane Ida. 

DSNAP, formerly known as Disaster Food Stamps, provides food assistance to eligible households who do not receive regular SNAP benefits and who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster.

SNAP recipients are not eligible for DSNAP and should not apply. Information about SNAP benefits changes related to Hurricane Ida, including replacement benefits for food lost due to power outages, can be found at www.dcfs.la.gov/page/snap-updates

What You Need to Know: 

  • The interview process will run in three phases beginning on Monday, September 20.
  • Due to ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, DSNAP applications will be handled by phone, and benefits cards will be mailed to approved applicants through the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Residents in the approved parishes can 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, prompt 6 and then 1 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m

Residents are encouraged, but not required, to take the following steps before calling to apply for DSNAP:

  • Pre-register online first. Step-by-step instructions can be found at http://www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP
  • Download the LA Wallet mobile app for identity and residency verification. Information on the app, including download links, can be found at LAWallet.com 
  • Gather all information needed for the application. A list of what is needed can be found in the FAQs at http://www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP 
  • Residents who pre-registered or applied for DSNAP since March 2020 do not need to pre-register again.
     

How The Process Works:

  • When residents call to apply and be interviewed for DSNAP, a worker will verify the applicant’s identity and residency, and obtain information about their income, resources and disaster-related expenses incurred between August 26, 2021 and September 24, 2021. 
  • Most applicants will be told on the phone immediately after completing their application and interview whether they have been approved to receive DSNAP and, if so, the amount of benefits they will receive. Applicants will also receive a letter by mail, confirming the eligibility decision made on their application.
  • Applicants may name an Authorized Representative (AR) to apply for DSNAP benefits on their behalf. The head of household must authorize the person to serve as AR on their behalf, and the worker will need to speak to the head household to confirm that they agree for the AR to speak on their behalf.

Residents should call the LAHelpU Customer Service Center to apply and be interviewed for DSNAP on their designated day (according to the first letter of their last name) or on the A-Z days, which are open to all residents in the approved parishes and ZIP codes for each phase.

October 4-9
 Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist and Terrebonne
 
 Day 1 (Monday, Oct. 4) – Residents with last names beginning with A-F
 Day 2 (Tuesday, Oct. 5) – G-M
 Day 3 (Wednesday, Oct. 6) – N-S
 Day 4 (Thursday, Oct. 7) – T-Z
 Day 5 (Friday, Oct. 8) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 3 parishes
 Day 6 (Saturday, Oct. 9) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 3 parishes
 
Additional information about DSNAP can be found by texting LADSNAP to 898-211 or by visiting http://www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP.

Transitional Sheltering Assistance

Residents are now eligible for FEMA's Transitional Sheltering Assistance program. You must apply for disaster assistance first at http://disasterassistance.gov. Visit http://femaevachotels.com or call 800-621-3362 for more information.

The list of participating hotels will be posted on DisasterAssistance.gov, under the link Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program or you can get it by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362. For TTY, call 800-462-7585. For 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.

https://www.femaevachotels.com/

https://www.disasterassistance.gov/

FEMA Resources

Blue Roof Program 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin Operation Blue Roof for homeowners in areas impacted by Hurricane Ida to cover their damaged roofs until permanent repairs are made. To sign up or get more information, visit blueroof.us or call  1-888-766-3258. 

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SBA Disaster Loans

  • SBA disaster loans are the primary source of federal assistance to help pay for repair or replacement costs not fully covered by insurance or other compensation.
  • SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.
  • Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury.
  • SBA offers low interest working capital loans (called Economic Injury Disaster Loans) to small businesses, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes having difficulty meeting obligations as a result of the disaster.
  • Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence.
  • Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property. 
  • Interest rates can be as low as 2.855 percent for businesses, 2 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.563 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.

Note: Loan applicants should check with agencies / organizations administering any grant or other assistance program under this declaration to determine how an approval of SBA disaster loan might affect their eligibility.

 For questions or virtual application assistance:

SBA Virtual Business Recovery Center and SBA Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center

Monday – Sunday (7 days/week) | 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Eastern Time

Email  FOCWAssistance@sba.gov | Call (800) 659-2955

 Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ .

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