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SNAP Replacement Benefits due to Natural Disaster, Power Loss, Flooding or other Misfortune

Date: 
01/03/2018
Author: 
MLRI

Federal and state SNAP rules provide for replacement of food lost by individual SNAP recipients due to "household misfortune." Household misfortune includes fire, flood, loss of electricity, equipment (refrigerator/freezer) failure or other disaster.

To request SNAP replacement benefits, the SNAP household needs to:
  • First, report the loss within 10 days of the food loss-- by phone or in writing.  If they get TAFDC or EAEDC cash benefits, the household should call their DTA case worker. If they only get SNAP, call DTA at 877-382-2363. The household can also mail or fax a written statement  of food loss to DTA. 
  • Second, complete the DTA request for replacement SNAP form and submit it to DTA within 10 days of when the loss of food was first reported. (If the househld submits this form within 10 days of the food loss, they do not need to make a separate report first.)

DTA will confirm what happened by contacting a third party or visiting the client's home. DTA must issue replacement SNAP quickly - either within 10 days of getting the report of the food loss, or within 2 days of getting the completed form – whichever is later.  DTA can issue up to one month of replacement SNAP. 

Advocacy notes:

  • DTA will ask the household to verify the loss of power or housing as a result of the misfortune. This can be local news reports of affected areas, information from power companies (for outages) or municipal fire/police departments (in the case of a fire), documentation from a community or other agencies (Red Cross, shelters), statements from appliance repair providers.
  • If the household does not have information confirming the extent of the power loss,  ask DTA to make a collateral contact (third party contact) to the power company.
  • In general, if the 10th day falls on a weekend or holiday, a statement/form received the day after the weekend or holiday should be seen as within the 10 day period and accepted by the DTA office.

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