People living in the designated parishes declared as a major disaster area should preregister prior to going to a disaster site to make the process speedy. Even residents with no water damage should preregister because DSNAP provides help buying groceries to households who have lost income as well as those who have received damage.
These parishes include: Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Points Coupés, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vemillion, Washington, and West Feliciana.
If already receiving SNAP benefits and live in one of these parishes, there is no need to apply for disaster benefits because a suppplement will automatically be issued based on your household size. Residents must provide: ● Name, social security number, and date of birth for each household member ● Current address and parish of household ● Monthly income for each household ● All liquid assets for each household member (cash on hand, checking and savings). There are currently eight DSNAP locations open with more to open in the coming weeks. Residents may also call 1-888-LAHELP-U.
Residents can apply for disaster assistance by either applying online at DisasterAssistance.gov or calling 800-621-3362. Assistance is free and the toll free number operates from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency never charges fees to apply for or receive federal disaster assistance. State and federal officials encourage disaster survivors to be alert for scams and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately.
Both homeowners and renters should apply immediately, whether they have insurance or not because residents can still receive help if deemed under insured. According to the disaster assistance website, help can include grants for rent, temporary housing, home repairs to their primary residence, and other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs..
Business owners aren’t forgotten. The U.S. Small Business Administration may offer low-interest disaster loans to businesses of multiple sizes, whether private or nonprofit. The website says that loans may cover repairs or rebuilding efforts, and may also cover the cost of replacing personal property lost or damaged during the disaster. “The loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.”