Written by Maria Jackson
The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), or the food stamp program, is a federal government benefits program. It is also called the SNAP program in Louisiana. The food stamp program is intended to help people who have little to no income, and/or who are unable to work, to have the ability to get healthy food during times of need.
Monthly food stamp benefits in Louisiana are administered through the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
There are several ways to apply for food assistance. You can fill out an online application or download it and bring it or mail it to your local DCFS office. Whether you live in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, or any other city in Louisiana, your local DCFS office should be located in your local parish, such as the East Baton Rouge Parish or Cameron Parish.
You can also call 1-888-LAHELP-U for assistance.
You will have to provide verification of your eligibility for food stamp assistance. You will have to verify your identity, Social Security Number, proof of your income and expenses and your assets.
Your methods of proof can include documents like your driver's license, birth certificate, check stubs, rental agreements and bank statements.
Once you've applied, you will have to do an interview with a DCFS employee to determine your eligibility. This may be in person or over the phone.
You must be a Louisiana resident and US citizen or have verifiable USCIS documentation. You must also be registered to work and accept suitable employment opportunities, unless you meet certain exemptions.
You will also have to meet certain income tests and limits in order to receive food stamp assistance. You may also qualify for certain income deductions, such as for child support payments, medical bills, and shelter expenses. These deductions will be included when calculating your income.
You can use the Pre-Screening Eligibility Tool to check your eligibility.
If you receive food stamp assistance, you will receive a Louisiana Purchase Card, which functions like a debit card. Your monthly food stamp benefits will be delivered to your card electronically and you can access benefits at Point-of-Sale (POS) machines.
In Louisiana, food stamp benefits through SNAP may not cover all food-related expenses each month. Under certain circumstances, Louisiana residents may be eligible for additional food assistance through the Louisiana Combined Application Project (LaCAP) or through the Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC).
LaCAP is available to Louisiana residents who meet certain eligibility requirements that are different from the standard SNAP eligibility requirements.
In order to receive LaCAP benefits, you must:
LaCAP has four standard monthly amounts that participants can receive depending on their shelter costs. These amounts are:
People who qualify for LaCAP assistance will get a Louisiana Purchase Card with SNAP benefits loaded with their allotted monthly amount.
People receiving LaCAP assistance can also change to SNAP benefits at any time.
You can apply for LaCAP assistance by calling 1-888-LAHELP-U or filling out an LaCAP application and returning it to your local DCFS parish office. Once your application is received and reviewed, you will find out if you are eligible for LaCAP within 30 days from the date your application was received. If you are eligible, the letter will also state the monthly benefits amount you can receive.
Whether you receive SNAP or LaCAP benefits, you may still have to spend more of your hard-earned money on food. Be sure to maximize your cash by saving with coupons.
Grocery Coupon Network has an extensive collection of coupons to meet your needs. You can find printable coupons for stores right in your area and search by category to make sure you're saving on the items you really need.
You can even find double coupon stores in Louisiana to really maximize your savings and make your food stamp benefits go even further.
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