Low-income Connecticut residents who incurred disaster-related expenses from Tropical Storm Irene, including loss of income, temporary shelter costs and property repairs, may be eligible for special assistance under the federal Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP), Social Services Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby announced Monday.
Applications for the one-time food benefit will be available beginning Wednesday, Sept. 21, at all 12 Department of Social Services field offices throughout Connecticut. The application period will continue on Sept. 22, 23, 26 and 27.
Eligible households can receive food aid ranging from $200 for a single adult to $952 for a family of six under the plan developed by the Department of Social Services on behalf of the Malloy Administration.
The U.S. Food and Nutrition Service’s approval of D-SNAP for all eight counties marks the first time this special assistance is being offered in Connecticut. Benefits will be issued through ATM-style debit cards for purchasing federally-approved items at supermarkets and groceries.
Commissioner Bremby stressed that D-SNAP applications are available only to Connecticut residents not currently enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps).
“We need to be very clear up front about the federal requirements for this special form of assistance to residents impacted by Tropical Storm Irene,” Commissioner Bremby said. “It is important to note that households already participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cannot apply through this special process for D-SNAP benefits because current recipients are automatically receiving a separate benefit if they are eligible. Second, applicants for D-SNAP must identify non-reimbursable disaster-related losses incurred during a 30-day period from Aug. 27 to Sept. 25.”
Qualified out-of-pocket expenses due to the storm may include loss of income, including self-employment income; dependent care; medical or funeral costs; moving or storage costs; temporary shelter costs; and costs to protect, repair or replace property or household items, including self-employment property.
Applicants must also meet financial criteria to qualify for D-SNAP. Take-home income and liquid assets for the period from Aug. 27 to Sept. 25 cannot exceed $2,186 for a single person; $2,847 for a household of two; $3,272 for a household of three; $3,859 for a household of four; $4,254 for a household of five; $4,753 for a household of six; $5,116 for a household of seven; and $5,479 for a household of eight.
This means that income (including take-home pay, child support, alimony, public assistance, Social Security, pension, etc.) and available liquid assets (cash on hand, savings and checking accounts, etc.) during Aug. 27 to Sept 25, combined, cannot exceed the above amounts to qualify for D-SNAP.
Applications will be taken at Department of Social Services offices in Hartford, Manchester, New Britain, Willimantic, Norwich, New Haven, Middletown, Stamford, Bridgeport, Danbury, Waterbury and Torrington on Sept. 21, 22, 23, 26 and 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For a list of cities and towns covered by each DSS office, visit www.ct.gov/dss; or call 2-1-1, the 24/7 statewide information service operated by theUnited Way of Connecticut.
Applicants should bring proof of identity, residency, income, assets and storm-related expenses for Aug. 27 through Sept. 25. Qualified expenses are losses not covered by insurance, disaster relief through the Federal Emergency Management Agency or other reimbursement.
More information, including an applicant pre-screening tool, is available at www.ct.gov/dss. Information about D-SNAP is also available by calling 2-1-1.
The D-SNAP authorization for Connecticut was approved under federal Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Section 402; and the federal Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, Section 5(h).
Households already enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, while not eligible to apply for D-SNAP benefits, are automatically receiving additional food benefits in their electronic benefit accounts for September, as long as they were in the program during August when Tropical Storm Irene hit, and were not receiving the maximum regular benefit allowed for their income and family size. This extra benefit was approved by federal officials as part of Connecticut’s D-SNAP plan.
“On behalf of the State of Connecticut, I would like to thank our federal partners at the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service for their support and assistance in making D-SNAP available to eligible Connecticut residents,” Commissioner Bremby said.
Department of Social Services Press Release