BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Individuals who receive assistance from the Louisiana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) may see a change to their benefits starting this month.
The Department of Children and Family Services announced Wednesday that as of March, recipients will no longer receive the extra pandemic-related benefits they’ve been getting since March 2020.
DCFS says the change is the result of the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, which ended funding for such COVID-related benefits.
Prior to March, the emergency allotments allowed families to receive the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size, with a minimum supplemental allotment of $95.
How to make sure your family has enough to eat
Now that families no longer have access to these extra benefits, DCFS is encouraging SNAP households to report any changes in their household size, income and/or expenses, because certain changes may result in an increase to their regular benefit amount.
In addition to this, SNAP households who still don’t have enough to cover the cost of food are urged to reach out to organizations like LA 211, food banks, and religious groups to find alternative avenues of assistance.
SNAP recipients can review their regular benefit amount in several ways, which are listed below.
- By viewing the customized letter DCFS sent to each SNAP household in February.
- Checking their online CAFE accounts at www.dcfs.la.gov/CAFE
- Accessing their accounts through the LifeinCheck smartphone app.
- Or by calling the LAHelpU Customer Service Center at 1-888-LA-HELP-U (1-888-524-3578) and following the prompts.
Once a SNAP household has reviewed their regular benefit amount, they should make sure their household’s information with DCFS is up to date. This is key as any increase in household size, decrease in income, or increase in costs associated with housing, child care, or court-ordered child support may result in an increase in the monthly benefit amount for the household.
Anyone who is elderly or disabled should also report increases in medical expenses. These changes can be reported online through the CAFE portal, by phone at 1-888-LA-HELP-U (1-888-524-3578) or in person at a DCFS office.