Special food stamp assistance to be available for storm victims
NASHVILLE, TN (WRCB) – On Thursday, March 29, the Tennessee Department of Human Services, with USDA approval, will begin issuing D-SNAP (Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits to eligible residents of ten tornado-ravaged counties that have been federally declared disaster areas following the storms that occurred earlier in March.
The D-SNAP program is the Food Stamp Disaster program approved via a waiver from the USDA, Food and Nutrition Service. The program allows households that are not otherwise eligible for the standard SNAP program to receive supplemental food assistance during a time of financial hardship caused by tornado damage.
The benefits are only for eligible residents of Bradley, Hamilton, McMinn, Polk, Monroe, Claiborne, Cumberland, Overton, Jackson and DeKalb counties. Applications for D-SNAP benefits can be submitted Thursday, March 29, 2012 through Thursday, April 5, 2012, including Saturday, March 31.
Only residents of these counties, who sustained tornado loss or damages and wish to apply for the D- SNAP benefits, can apply. Residents who are currently receiving standard SNAP benefits can also apply for the D-SNAP program.
All eligible residents are asked to bring photo identification, address information, Social Security verification, statements of income or resources, and estimated disaster expenses to one of the DHS offices in their county. Staff on-site will make eligibility determinations, and benefits in the form of EBT (electronic benefit transfer) cards will be distributed the same day.
The benefits will represent up to a one-month allotment of food stamps for the appropriate household size, and can be used for up to 90 days in any authorized SNAP grocery retailer.
The following locations are DHS offices in each of the affected counties in the Channel 3 viewing area. They will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m, local time to process applications for disaster SNAP benefits:
Bradley County 950 Star Vue Drive, S.W., Suite 1 Cleveland, TN 37311-5700
Hamilton County 311 E. Martin Luther King Blvd, Suite 301 Chattanooga, TN 37403-4126
Polk County 240 Cherokee Circle Benton, TN 37307-3913
McMinn County 1008 Knight Road, Suite B Athens, TN 37303-4634
For more information, including a list of key questions and answers about the assistance program, please visit the DHS website at www.tn.gov/humanserv or contact your local DHS office.