Floridians are waiting for federal relief after Hurricane Ian swept through the state at the end of September. While individual assistance has been declared, Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) has not yet been approved.
According to the Florida Policy Institute, SNAP usually assists after a disaster in three ways:
- Replacement SNAP benefits
- Supplemental SNAP benefits
SNAP households may receive replacement SNAP benefits for the amount of food that was reported lost or destroyed, as long as it does not exceed their monthly SNAP allotment.
Supplemental SNAP can also help Florida households, which is extra SNAP for those receiving benefits when the disaster happened that were not at the maximum amount for their household size. The Florida Policy Institute states that the USDA Food and Nutrition Service must approve supplemental SNAP.
CNN reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved waivers to allow SNAP recipients in affected counties to buy hot foods with their benefits through October, receive replacement benefits and access their October benefits early.
The agency is also applying for D-SNAP, a federal program that helps low-income households who lost food because of a disaster. However, the USDA said it typically takes a week before communities are ready for D-SNAP benefits because survivors are primarily focused on immediate needs during this time.
Once approved for D-SNAP, eligible Florida households will receive benefits on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Because D-SNAP uses different standards, you can still qualify for benefits even if you don’t normally qualify for SNAP.
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