Food stamps in Louisiana are available for families and individuals who need help purchasing groceries each month. This program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), makes it easier for low-income families to afford healthy and nutritious foods at grocery stores, farmers’ markets and other places. There is also a simplified version of SNAP known as the Louisiana Combined Application Project (LaCAP) for low-income residents who are 60 years of age or older.
In order to apply for SNAP food stamps, you must qualify based on your income or your participation in other benefit programs. After submitting an application, you will undergo an interview that will verify your eligibility. Then, once approved, your benefits will be loaded onto an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card every month, which you may use just like a debit card. Read below to learn more about SNAP assistance in Louisiana and discover how to apply for these benefits.
Learn About Louisiana Food Stamps Requirements
The requirements for food stamps eligibility in Louisiana are set by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Once you apply, a local Social Services office will determine whether you meet these requirements. The main food stamp qualifications relate to your household’s income and resources as well as your employment status, age and/or disability status.
The specific SNAP income guidelines vary based on your family size and whether you are receiving benefits from any other government program. For example, you may automatically meet the income requirements if you already receive help from the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) or if you get Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Income limits also vary based on whether or not you qualify for any deductions. For example, if you pay for child care or have medical expenses related to a disability, these may be deducted in some cases. Any deductions you receive will lower the amount of income that the DCFS counts when determining your eligibility.
In addition to meeting the pre-determined food stamp income guidelines, you also need to prove that you have limited resources. A resource can include assets such as bank accounts, savings bonds and/or cash.
As a general rule, you cannot enroll in the SNAP program if your resources exceed the limits in place, even if you would qualify based on your income. Learn more about the resource and income requirements you must meet by downloading our free guide.
Your SNAP eligibility is also based on other factors, which may exclude you from the program even if your income and resources meet the requirements. As an example, you can only qualify for benefits if you:
- Are a U.S. citizen or legal resident.
- Reside in Louisiana.
- Provide the Social Security Number (SSN) for each household member.
- Show proof of your identity.
- Register to work, if required.
The work requirements for the food stamps program in Louisiana only apply to able-bodied adults between 18 and 60 years of age. In order to receive assistance, able-bodied adults who meet the age requirements must maintain a job or register for employment assistance as required.
Furthermore, be mindful that the SNAP eligibility rules are slightly different if you are applying for benefits through the simplified version of this program for seniors. In order to get those benefits, you need to be at least 60 years of age and must currently be receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
How to Apply for Food Stamps in Louisiana
When you are ready to apply for food stamps, you may do so online, by mail, via fax or in person. To apply for food stamps online, you must use Louisiana’s online benefit portal to complete the form. With this method, your application will be delivered immediately, which may allow it to be processed more quickly. If you wish to apply for SNAP using a paper form instead, obtain the appropriate form from a local SNAP office and then submit it in person, through the mail or by fax.
Once your Louisiana food stamp application is received, you will need to prepare for an interview, which is when a designated case worker will verify your eligibility. Overall, you can get ready by gathering documentation relating to your expenses, income, resources, employment and other relevant details.
In most cases, benefit interviews will be conducted over the phone after your application is submitted. However, some interviews are held in person instead. If this is the case, you will need to schedule an appointment with a local SNAP office.
After you apply for food stamps and undergo your interview, you will receive a determination within a month. However, in emergency situations, it may be possible to receive benefits more quickly. By obtaining our free guide, you can learn more about the process of applying for assistance.
Find Out About SNAP Benefits in Louisiana
Once you are approved for SNAP benefits, you will receive an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card that can be used just like a debit card. Generally, the amount of food stamp benefits you receive every month is based on your income and family size. Because this program is meant to supplement your grocery budget, you must typically use your benefits in addition to your personal funds in order to afford all of your groceries for the month.
Louisiana SNAP food benefits can be used to purchase a wide variety of items, including fresh, frozen, canned and dried food. Most grocery stores accept these benefits, as well as certain farmers’ markets and other establishments. The main categories of approved foods include:
- Meat, fish and poultry
- Fruits and vegetables
- Dairy products and eggs
- Cereal and bread
- Most snacks and drinks
- Seeds and plants
You cannot use SNAP benefits to buy any non-food items such as household products, cosmetics or pet food. Furthermore, hot foods, alcohol, tobacco and medicines cannot be purchased with your EBT card.
Name: Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)
Phone Number: 1-888-524-3578
Address: P.O. Box 260031, Baton Rouge, LA 70826
Director: Marketa Garner Walters