Louisiana families who are part of the food stamp program will get a benefits boost this September because of the impact of Hurricane Ida.
Per the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has agreed to give families in 18 parishes across the state an automatic 55 percent increase in their regular allotment for August under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). They will see the food stamp money by September 11 through their SNAP EBT cards.
The 18 parishes that will benefit from this increase are listed under the states' Child and Family Services official page. However, other households in Louisiana that lost power for more than 24 hours during the hurricane may also apply for the food stamp benefit boost if their parishes are not on the list.
They may submit a request to the Child and Family Services by filling out the SNAP 38 form before September 28, 2021. Caseworkers will need to evaluate the request's eligibility and might ask for additional information if necessary. If approved, the food stamp recipients may find the money in their account within ten days of processing.
Extended Food Stamp Emergency Benefits
Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the emergency SNAP food stamp benefit has been extended for September 2021 as COVID-19 cases continue to increase around the state. Abbott recognized that many families who rely on SNAP for food in their household are still struggling to secure their next meals, more than a year since the pandemic's first wave.
Thus, the governor said all families under SNAP would get a minimum of $95 as an emergency allotment for September in addition to the 15 percent increase in benefits. According to KWTX, the money should be in their SNAP account by September 30.
On the other hand, eligible families in Virginia may also enjoy an extension of their emergency allotments beginning September 16. Residents may inquire about the benefit at the local social services CommonHelp center or through the CommonHelp.Virginia.Gov website.
The Virginia Department of Social Services said that they filed a request with the USDA for this extension. However, during a public health crisis, a monthly approval process will still determine the next emergency allotments.
Regular Food Stamp Benefits Increase
By October 2021, the regular monthly SNAP benefits will increase to 25 percent for all recipients in all states in the U.S. This will be the largest increase since the food stamp program started in the 1970s.
More than 40 million individuals use food stamps to fight hunger and poverty. Yet, food insecurity remains a problem for the beneficiaries who use up their SNAP benefits in the first week alone.
The USDA said that 90 percent of the families who use SNAP cite affordability as a barrier. Thus, raising the allotment to 25 percent should help those who continue to struggle with their food budget month after month.
The regular monthly SNAP benefits are separate from the emergency SNAP benefits, which may continue for some states. However, the pandemic-related boost will soon expire unless state officials apply for a re-evaluation with the USDA.
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