How to Apply for SNAP in Louisiana
This information is current as of July 15, 2022.
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is an excellent resource for low-income families in Louisiana. It provides monthly benefits to help eligible families access healthy, nutritious food for the whole family.
In this article, we are going to help you figure out everything you need to know about SNAP and how to apply for SNAP in Louisiana.
SNAP is a beneficial program that supports many low-income families in Louisiana.
You and your family must meet strict eligibility requirements to qualify for this program. The SNAP requirements are in place to ensure funds are available for all families who genuinely need the benefits.
Here is a summary of the different ways to qualify for SNAP in Louisiana:
Recipient of Other Government Benefits
If you and your family already receive benefits from several other government programs, you’ll automatically qualify for SNAP without meeting the resource requirement.
The programs that would also qualify you for SNAP include:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP)
- Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP)
- Strategies To Empower People (STEP)
SNAP has a resource limit requirement for all families who apply for the program who are not already enrolled in one of the other government assistance programs.
What this means for families is that if you do not qualify under one of the other programs you receive, you cannot have more than $2,500 in accessible cash in bank accounts, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, etc.
Applicants for the SNAP program must also meet income requirements to be approved for the program. The only exception to this requirement is if your family already receives another of the eligible programs listed above. In this case, your income requirement is waived.
A monthly gross and net income requirement to qualify for SNAP is calculated based on income and the number of qualifying people in your household. More information on the allotment scale can be found on the SNAP website.
General Eligibility Requirements
In addition to the other requirements regarding participation in other government programs, resources, and income, there are also a few other eligibility requirements to qualify for SNAP in Louisiana.
To qualify for SNAP, you must provide proof of the following for all qualifying members of the household:
- Identity (Driver’s license or equivalent)
- Social security numbers
- Louisiana residence
- U.S. citizenship
- Proof of employment (or inability to work if applicable)
How do you apply for SNAP in Louisiana?
Once you determine your eligibility for SNAP, the next step is applying for the program.
Here is a quick snapshot of how to apply for SNAP in a few easy steps:
- First, complete an application – To start the process, you must complete a SNAP application in one of three ways:
- Gather necessary documentation and paperwork – You will be asked to provide several documents to prove that you and your family are eligible for SNAP benefits. A complete list of documents required can be found on the SNAP website.
- Submit application (for paper applicants only) – Send a copy of your completed SNAP application to:
- Mail DCFS Economic Stability, P.O. Box 260031, Baton Rouge, LA 70826
- Fax: (225) 663-3164
- Drop-off: Hand deliver at a DCFS location near you.
- Complete phone interview – Once your application has been submitted, call 1-888-LAHELP-U any time between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday to complete the interview portion of your application.
How Do You Access SNAP Benefits Funds?
Once enrolled in the SNAP program, your benefit amount will load monthly on your EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card.
Funds are added to your EBT card within the first 14 days of the month and are available immediately. You will receive your benefits on the same day each month.
To use your SNAP benefits, swipe your EBT card at the checkout for any qualifying food purchase at your local grocery store.
Your EBT card is PIN protected, so you will be prompted to enter the four-digit PIN each time you use your card. Therefore, it’s important not to share the PIN with others for security purposes.
Does SNAP Cover all Household Food Costs?
SNAP benefits are meant to help eligible low-income families better afford healthy food to feed their families.
The goal of the SNAP benefit is not to completely cover all household food expenses 100 percent. Instead, it is an assistance program meant to pay for a portion of your family’s food expenses to remove some of the financial burdens of providing food for your family.
How much of your monthly food budget your SNAP benefit will cover varies from family to family.
If you’re frugal and budget your benefit money wisely, you can use it to cover a large portion of your groceries. However, if you have a larger family or eat specialty food, you may have to contribute more from your own income.
How Much Money Can You Get From SNAP Each Month?
SNAP benefit allotments are calculated based on the number of eligible people in the household and the family income level. Therefore, allotment will vary from family to family and is subject to change as financial situations change, like new jobs, additional children, children becoming ineligible adults, etc.
The minimum SNAP benefit is $250 for a single-person household, and the maximum benefit is $1,504 for an 8-person household. Larger families can qualify for an additional $188 per member as well. These allotments are based on meeting basic income requirements as well.
What Can You Buy With SNAP?
SNAP benefits can only be spent on food items and items used to produce food like seeds and plants. You can purchase these items at a grocery store and check out with your EBT card, like a regular credit or debit card.
As a rule, SNAP covers anything edible, including dairy, fruits, vegetables, meats, and pantry staple nonperishable food items. There are a few exceptions, but you will find that most any food items available at your local grocery store are covered.
Unlike some other government food assistance programs, there is no list of approved foods to purchase. In addition, although the SNAP program encourages families to prioritize healthy foods, there is no restriction on the type of food that you can buy with your benefit.
Can You Use SNAP on Anything Other Than Food?
SNAP benefits do not cover non-food items, even if purchased at a grocery store. Paper, cleaning, tobacco, alcohol, pet, and some hot prepared foods are not covered.
If you purchase a mix of food and non-food items in the same order, your SNAP benefits will cover the food items only. The remaining balance for the ineligible non-food items will need to be paid for using another form of payment like cash, a debit card, or a credit card.
Save Money on Your Wireless Phone Service
If you qualify for SNAP, you may also be eligible for Lifeline or the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Lifeline and ACP are government-run programs that help low-income consumers receive free or heavily discounted communication services.
Click here to find out more and apply for this valuable benefit.