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Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP)

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United States Department of Agriculture

Food and Nutrition Service                                    Office of Emergency Management

 Through the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP), FNS is able to quickly offer short-term food assistance benefits to families suffering in the wake of a disaster.

Eligible households receive one month of benefits, equivalent to the maximum amount of benefits normally issued to a SNAP household of their size. Benefits are issued via an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card, which can be used to purchase food at most grocery stores.

Through D-SNAP, affected households use a simplified application. D-SNAP benefits are issued to eligible applicants within 72 hours, speeding assistance to disaster victims and reducing the administrative burden on State agencies operating in post-disaster conditions.

Households not normally eligible for SNAP may qualify for D-SNAP as a result of their disaster-related expenses, such as loss of income, damage to property, relocation expenses, and, in some cases, loss of food due to power outages.

When States operate a D-SNAP, ongoing SNAP clients can also receive disaster food assistance. Households with disaster losses whose SNAP benefits are less than the monthly maximum can request a supplement. The supplement brings their benefits up to the maximum for the household size. This provides equity between D- SNAP households and SNAP households receiving disaster assistance.

FNS approves D-SNAP operations in an affected area under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act when the area has received a Presidential disaster declaration of Individual Assistance (IA) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

State agencies request FNS approval to operate a D-SNAP within the disaster area. FNS approves program operations for a limited period of time (typically 7 days) during which the State agency may accept D-SNAP applications.

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September 23, 2013

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